The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad narrowly slipped by visiting New Jersey City University tonight, posting a 79-74 winner in the quarterfinal round of the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Tournament at the Sports & Recreation Center.  CSI, the top seed in the eight-team field, improved to 26-3 overall, while the Knights finalized their season at 14-13.  The Dolphins will next play on Saturday, hosting No. 4 Stevens Institute of Technology as part of semifinal play.

The back-and-forth affair started with a quick 5-0 lead for NJCU before CSI responded with a three-point play from CSI senior Jonathan Chadwick-Myers.

The Dolphins were having trouble scoring against a strong Gothic Knight defense, however, the game featured plenty of whistles, and the Dolphins had their chances from the line, burying a series of free-throws to stay within striking distance. CSI would eventually take the lead on another Chadwick-Myers basket.  The guard was on fire, hitting four of his six shots giving him 10 points early in the first half.

NJCU’s Khalid Muhammad was able to even the score at 21 a piece at the 8:21 mark with a jumper from the free throw line, but CSI answered that with a 10-2 run to put them up 31-23, giving them their first comfortable lead of the evening, prompting an NJCU timeout.

The Gothic Knights came out of their timeout with a modest 4-1 run to bring them within five.  With 1:20 remaining in the half, Walik Albright was able to go to the basket and make the layup despite being fouled on the way up, he would make the following free-throw to shrink the Dolphins lead down to two.

CSI went into half time leading the Gothic Knights, 35-32. To that point the Dolphins were led in scoring by Will Fonseca with 13 points and the Gothic Knights were led by Albright’s 14 points.  The Dolphins shot 42% in the first half and the Gothic Knights shot 39%. 

The second half started off much the same way the first half ended, as the scoring was back and forth and no team was really able to put distance over the other.  A Justin Harte layup brought the Gothic Knights within one of the Dolphins making it 49-48.

Frankie Schettino was able to hit a contested three pointer from the top of the arc to put the Dolphins up three, 55-52.  CSI leading scorer Bloochy Magloire finally entered the score sheet with 8:27 left in the game when he was able to make two free throws.

Jamall McDaniel hit a three from the corner to bring the Gothic Knights within one which turned into the lead when the Knights were able to make a layup after a missed layup on the opposite end.

With 2:24 remaining in the game and with every possession now becoming magnified, CSI’s Frankie Schettino hit two big free-throws to put the Dolphins back up two, 70-68.  After NJCU tied the game again, Chadwick-Myers again delivered with a long jumper to give CSI another two point edge.  From there, NJCU would convert on their next two possessions and CSI found themselves down by two points with inside of 30 seconds to play.

Needing a lift, Magloire, who to that point was 0-for-9 from the floor, hit a baseline three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining to put the Dolphins up one.  From there NJCU gave the ball to Albright, but he would miss a short jumper and Chadwick-Myers was able to get the rebound and get fouled.  He would make both free-throw shots at the line putting the Dolphins up, 77-74, with 10 seconds remaining in the game.  Still, NJCU had one more chance to possibly tie the game, but a turnover by Justin Harte with 2.1 sealed the game for the Dolphins who wound up winning the game 79-74.

CSI was led by Chadwick-Myers’ 24 points on 9-17 shooting.  Fonseca added 15 points, while Javon Cox tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes.  NJCU’s Albright led all Knights scorers with 20 points.  CSI shot just 41.7% for the game next to NJCU’s 44.1%.  NJCU out-rebounded CSI, 43-37, but the Gothic Knights commited 18 turnovers to the Dolphins’ 10, a season low.

For the Dolphins, the win broke a three-game ECAC Quarterfinal losing streak, and the Dolphins will now make their first foray into the semifinals for the first time since 2003-04.  CSI will play Stevens Institute, a winner over NYU earlier this evening.  The game will be played on Saturday at 2pm.