In a game that featured six lead changes, it was Hunter College that got the better of things, scoring a 79-76 win over the College of Staten Island in CUNYAC play at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening.  The loss sent the Dolphins to a record of 18-5 overall and 13-2 in the CUNYAC, while the Hawks lifted themselves to 11-12 overall and 8-6 in CUNYAC.

It didn’t take long for Hunter to assume control of this one as a Kristen Markoe three-ball got things started for the visitors, and the Hawks quickly extended to 5-0 on a Dimitra Thomopolous lay-up moments later.  Hunter would go up by as many as six points on two occasions before CSI came charging back.  Down 20-14 with 11:14 left in the opening stanza, the Dolphins unleashed a 9-0 run spanning the next five minutes, aided by a Megan Myhre three and consecutive lay-ups by Melanie Johnson and Jamie Pifalo.  From there, the lead changed hands three times before Hunter rallied of a 9-0 run of their own, aiding them to what would eventually be their biggest lead, and a 39-31 edge at the break.

Needing a lift, CSI got it to start the second chapter, extending to a 6-0 run to start things off and cut the lead to 39-37.  In a recurring theme of the half, however, CSI just could not seem to get over the hump, despite a couple of golden chances.  While CSI struggled, the Hawks ran up another 7-0 run to extend to their biggest lead, 56-46, with 11:07 to play.

From there, CSI responded favorably again, cutting the lead down to six twice before finally pushing through with less than five minutes to play.  A personal four-point spurt by Johnson knocked the lead down to three, 64-61, and after trading baskets, CSI used a pair of Myhre freebies and a long two-pointer by freshman Alyssa Carlsen to grab their first lead since midway through the first half, 67-66 with 3:14 to play.  

CSI had a window to increase their lead on their next two possessions but failed to capitalize, and Hunter’s Thomopolous scored on an open lay-in at 1:54 to go to give the Hawks back the lead.  Hunter would never trail again.  the team traded buckets and then with :38 to play and the shot clock winding down, the Hawks’ Racquel Baudanza hit the game’s biggest shot, a very long-range three to give the Hawks a 73-69 edge.

CSI made things interesting with one final push.  Putting the Hawks at the line, Markoe hit just one of two freebies at :14 and with CSI down by four, Katelyn Hepworth drove quickly the other way, hitting a lay-up while getting fouled.  Hepworth nailed the point after, and CSI promptly fouled again with seven ticks remaining.  This time Markoe would hit two for the 79-76 advantage.  Down to their last possession, CSI was able to find sophomore sharpshooter Myhre near the corner, but the off-balance three-point attempt rattled off of the back of the rim, preserving the intense victory for the Hawks.

The win for Hunter evened the season series at one apiece.  CSI won the game played at Hunter earlier this season, 80-77, in overtime.

CSI was led by Myhre’s 18 points, while Johnson finished with 17 points and eight rebounds.  Nicole Lenard tallied a game-high 24 points for Hunter, while Markoe poured in 22 points and 11 rebounds.  

CSI will be idle until Monday, February 17, when they face Rutgers-Camden for a non-conference home game at 7pm.  The game is a make-up of an early-season game that was snowed-out.