The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad shot a chilly 35.8% from the field tonight, were out-rebounded, and committed 21 turnovers, but in the end found a way to hold off visiting Lehman College as part of CUNYAC play tonight at the Sports & Recreation Center, 65-59. CSI lifted its overall record to 16-5 and CUNYAC record to 11-2 with the win, while the Lightning stumbled to 7-15, 2-11, respectively. The win secured a first round CUNYAC Tournament home game on February 17.
In what was a see-saw first half, Lehman got out to the crisp start, opening up an early, 9-3, lead after just 4:15. A Dylan Bulger lay-up and a three-point play by Herschel Jenkins knocked the lead down to one, but an Erasmo Soto three-pointer put Lehman back up by four, 12-8. Lehman would continue to hold the lead until the 11:03 mark, when a Jenkins lay-up, gave CSI its first lead, 14-12. A Matt Van Manen lay-up then completed a 13-3 run for the Dolphins that spanned just under six minutes, that gave CSI a 16-12 lead at 9:49.
The teams then traded leads three times until an Olusegun Williams jumper gave Lehman a 22-21 lead. Williams scored again, and CSI’s Jonathan Chadwick-Myers connected on a lay-up at 1:29 for the final points of the half as Lehman took a modest, 24-23, lead into the locker room.
Lehman assumed control of momentum in the second half, getting out to a trio of six-point leads, the last coming at 12:56 off of another Williams jumper. CSI then powered back, trimming the lead to a point on two occasions, until at 9:58, a Chadwick-Myers three gave CSI a 42-41 lead, completing a 10-3 run by the Dolphins.
A lay-up by Bulger and a three-pointer by CSI leading scorer Bloochy Magloire, who was held scoreless in the first half, gave CSI a 50-45 lead at 7:27. From there, Lehman countered with a 7-2 run over the next four minutes, as CSI shot 0-4 and committed three turnovers in the span, as a Kevin Gil three-pointer tied the game at 53-53.
Still mired in poor shooting, CSI ironically would only connect on one more field goal in the final 3:45 of the game, but it was a huge one. The Dolphins would score their next five points at the free-throw line to take a 59-55 lead with 1:04 to go. Lehman’s Stanley Stephens went to the line for Lehman also with 1:04 to go, but only made one of two shots. With possession and the shot clock at nearly zero, Chadwick-Myers found an open Magloire, who buried a long-range three with just 31 ticks to go to give CSI a 62-56 lead. After a LC miss, the team fouled CSI’s Javon Cox, who made two free throws to give CSI its biggest lead at 64-56.
Things got interesting a few seconds later, however, when with 11 seconds to go, Soto nailed a three-pointer for Lehman, and CSI quickly turned the ball over with seven seconds to play. Quaseem Weems misfired on what would-have been a three, and CSI added another free-throw to seal the game with two seconds to play, 65-59.
CSI shot just 35.8% (19-53), with Lehman shooting 24-63 for 38.1%. Lehman out-rebounded CSI, 41-38, but fell victim at the line, where CSI was 22-35, while the Lightning were just 5-8.
CSI was led by Magloire’s 20 points, while Javon Cox added 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Bulger 12 points and 11 rebounds. Lehman was paced by Soto’s 15 points and seven rebounds.
The Dolphins will next be in action on Wednesday evening, when they travel to Brooklyn to take on Medgar Evers College for an 8pm tip-off.