The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team advanced past the quarterfinal round of the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Championship Tournament for the first time since 2008-09, scoring a huge second-half comeback to turn back visiting College of Mount Saint Vincent, 83-75, at the Sports & Recreation Center.  The Dolphins, who advanced to 21-7 overall will move on the semifinals on Saturday, where they will face Brooklyn.  The visiting Dolphins finalized at 18-10.

 A huge 53 point second half scoring output by CSI allowed them to overturn what was a 17-point MSV lead at intermission.  The Dolphins seriously improved their shooting in the second half to 47% while Mt. St. Vincent’s dropped to 28%, after the visitors posted a 47% clip of their own in the first stanza.

Both teams started off slow in this postseason affair, as the visitors held a modest, 3-2, lead through five minutes of play. CSI had just four points through seven minutes of play, all four of which can be attributed to Megan Myhre.

At the 12:28 mark Myhre added to her total with a long range jumper that brought the Dolphins within one.  Mt. St. Vincent then drove back down the court and had an open look from three which they were able to sink to extend their lead to four. 

CSI was having trouble scoring in the paint as Mt. St. Vincent forward Kelly Fraser was blocking everything that came down low.  The visiting Dolphins rode the momentum well, scoring a 12-1 run with 6:41 remaining in the first half to take a 12 lead.  The frustrated Dolphins asked for a timeout but the poor shooting for the home squad continued to the tune of just 31% from the field.  CSI’s Nikki Fabozzi was able to snap the scoring drought for the Dolphins with time winding down in the half, but alas CSI could only go into the lockers down by a huge 47-30 count.

By halftime, Mt. St. Vincent was led by Brittany Carroll who had 17 points on 50% shooting from the floor.  CSI was led by Myhre who had 12 points on 67% shooting from the floor.  CSI was dominated in the paint in the first half as they allowed 18 points while only scoring eight points of their own from within the paint.

Needing a lift, CSI came out in the second half shooting much better as they started the second half on a 13-2 run making the score 49-43.  Mt. St. Vincent scored its first points of the half at the 13 min mark when Carroll hit a three pointer on the inbound pass, but momentum was clearly swinging CSI’s way.

At 12:56 Myhre immediately took the inbound pass and ran down the court and drained a contested three point shot to bring the Dolphins within six. A huge momentum swing came with 9:56 left in the game when Fraser commited a charging foul and Melanie Johnson hit a wide open three pointer to put the Dolphins up one, 55-54, their first lead of the game.

 Two back-to-back steals by Tocco and Johnson increased the Dolphins’ lead to 59-54.  The Dolphins continued to hold the lead in a turnover-riddled game.  With 4:00 minutes remaining Fabozzi was fouled and sent to the line, in which she hit both to increase their lead to 70-63.  In a telling statistic, CSI hit their first 15 free-throws of the second half after shooting 9-12 in the first frame.

 In a crucial part of play with MSV trying to mount a comeback with inside of two minutes to play, Victoria Gallinaro was able to break Mt. St. Vincent’s press and drive to the basket for a layup where she would get fouled, converting the free throw which put the Dolphins up 77-70 with 1:23 remaining.  From there, MSV was forced to foul and the home Dolphins were able to ice the game at the line, giving them the big victory.

yhre finished the game with 25 points while Johnson finished with 24 points and six rebounds.  A big double-double from Nikki Fabozzi who scored 15 points and 17 rebounds, also fueled the Dolphins.  MSV countered with 27 points from Brittany Carroll who nailed five three-pointers.  MSV held a commanding 50-39 edge on the boards, forcing 24 CSI turnovers, but the visitors committed 27 total fouls, culminating in a CSI 26-31 performance from the line. When asked at the end of the game what changed in the second half that your team was able to explod for 53 points, Coach Shanahan simply said “I woke up a sleeping giant at halftime”.

Other’s in ECAC action tonight, Brooklyn beat Elmira 50-47, while Hunter 78-76, and Kean beat Lehman College 73-57.