BROOKLYN HANDS CSI ECAC SEMIFINAL LOSS, 61-56

The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team had plenty of fight tonight, but in the end the team fell to Brooklyn College, 61-56, as part of the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Tournament Semifinals at the Sports & Recreation Center.  No. 3 Brooklyn will face No. 1 Kean University, also a winner this evening, in the ECAC Final tomorrow night at 7:30pm.  For the Dolphins, their season ends at 21-8.
 
Down most of the way, CSI came back to grab a lead midway through the second stanza, but the Bulldogs weathered the storm, staying the course and holding strong at the end to seize the win.
 
The Bulldogs were having their way early, breaking up a 3-2 CSI lead with a decisive 10-0 run, led by five Nicole Francomano points.  The same lead would grow to 17-5 on a Sarah Shanderson three as CSI was mired in poor shooting, connecting on just one of their first 12 shot attempts.  Brooklyn took their biggest lead at 20-7 with 12:04 to go before CSI finally started to right the ship.  Back-to-back three’s by Nikki Fabozzi and Victoria Gallinaro helped piece together a 14-4 CSI run over six minutes, and CSI would cut the BC lead to three on another pair of occasions before the Bulldogs settled into a 35-29 halftime lead.
 
A Shanderson three to start the second frame put BC comfortably ahead again, but the CSI did start to chip away.  The Dolphins cut the lead to four before BC went up again by 10, 44-34, on Nacrima Mann free-throws.  CSI blitzed back with an 11-2 run, aided by a steal and two baskets from Gallinaro, one of them a three-point play.  A Megan Campbell three for BC stopped the run before CSI could take the lead, but with 9:48 left and CSI trailing 51-47, CSI came to take the lead.
 
Freebies by Gallinaro got things started, and then the sophomore buried a three with 7:12 left to give CSI the lead, 52-51.  But with momentum on their side CSI lapsed.  Over the next three minutes CSI would miss three shots, commit two fouls and turn the ball over, and with four minutes to play BC found themselves back up 55-52.  CSI’s Jamie Pifalo stopped the chill with a three of her own to tie the game, but BC’s Asia Foster went right down and scored for Brooklyn and the visitors would never trail from there.
 
CSI would miss its last 11 shots from the floor over the final 3:46, leaving the door open for Brooklyn, who used a Campbell layup with 56 seconds left and a free-throw from Shanderson with 27 ticks left to ice the game, handing CSI the frustrating loss.
 
CSI connected on just 26.6% of their shots, one of their season’s worst marks, aided by BC’s poor shooting of 28.1%.  The Dolphins were just 7-24 from three-point range and were out-rebounded, 54-41.  BC was led by Campbell’s 18 points and 11 rebounds.  CSI was helped by Gallinaro’s 22 markers, while Fabozzi led all with 15 rebounds.
 
Brooklyn will face No. 1 Kean in tomorrow’s Championship.  The Cougars took care of No. 5 Hunter earlier this evening, 69-49.

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