It certainly wasn’t pretty, and the Dolphins shot an icy 28.1% from the field, but the College of Staten Island women’s basketball squad found a way to hold off visiting Lehman College, 49-43, as part of CUNYAC play at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening. CSI, who swept the season series with the Lightning improved to 12-10 overall and 9-4 in the CUNYAC, while Lehman fell to 3-18, 3-10, respectively.
If the first 10 minutes were any indication, then the stage was certainly set, as both teams were combining to shoot just 19% as the teams were tied, 9-9, at the 8:34 mark of the first half. Two straight baskets by LC’s Keonti Powell gave the visitors a 13-9 lead, and after CSI cut the lead to a digit, another two baskets by Powell, one of them a three-pointer, gave Lehman their biggest lead of the game, 18-12, with 4:19 to play in the frame. CSI, however, managed to get it together in time for the half, ending the frame on a 7-0 run, started by a Megan Myhre three-pointer, to take an ugly 19-18 lead at intermission.
CSI was shooting just over 24% for the half, matched by Lehman’s 20%. both teams were also combining to shoot just 3-24 (13%) from beyond the arc, and the Dolphins were having an equally uncomfortable time at the charity stripe, connecting on a dubious 4-of-13 (31%) from the line.
The home squad didn’t exactly catch fire in the second half, but the Dolphins were able to execute a 9-3 run over the first 5:43 of the second frame to take a 28-21 lead, what would be their biggest of the game, aided by another Myhre three and transition lay-ups by Olivia Tierno and Lisa Galasso. From there, Lehman tried to chip away, and the visitors got the game to within a single possession on nine separate occasions, but each time CSI responded or the Lightning just couldn’t seem to cash in on a couple of open looks.
Lehman had its best chance with inside of three minutes left. Down by three, the team missed two consecutive open looks. CSI cashed in the other way with a Victoria Gallinaro trey, and Lehman followed with a Jasmin Castro-Lopez turnover. Mired by anemic free-throw shooting all night, CSI made just one of six free-throws in the final with just over a minute remaining, almost daring the Lightning to creep back into it, but the Lightning would miss their final five shots of the game, preserving the win for CSI.
For the game CSI shot just 28.1% (18-64), while Lehman shot just 24.6% (16-65). Despite being out-rebounded, 60-46, CSI forced 28 Lehman turnovers, which led to an 18-3 advantage for CSI in points off of turnovers. The Dolphins also had their worst shooting performance from the free-throw line, connecting on just 10-of-29 shots (34.5%).
Olivia Tierno notched a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, adding four steals. Powell more than paced all scorers for Lehman, scoring 26 of her teams 43 points and adding eight rebounds. Jennifer Navarro notched 11 points, but shot just 4-of-27 from the field.
CSI will next be in action on Wednesday night, when they travel to face Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, for a 6pm tip-off.