The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad rallied from behind to take a first half lead, then went on a tear to start the second frame, eventually prevailing over visiting Hunter College, 81-66, in their home and CUNYAC-opener at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening.  CSI leveled to 2-2 overall and 1-0 in the CUNYAC, while the Hawks fell to 3-3, 0-1, respectively.

CSI got off to a nice start in the game, going up early, 9-4, thanks to three straight Will Fonseca buckets, the first an emphatic dunk and the last turning into a three-point play.  After going up by a half-dozen points twice, Hunter did have time to rally, using a 10-0 run to power to a 22-18 edge with 6:10 to go in the initial frame.  Three-pointers by Brian Kruger and Taulant Ibraj steadied the attack for the Hawks.

A resilient CSI, however, had other plans, and after a pair of ties, CSI used a 7-2 run in the final 2:18 to grab a 33-28 lead going into intermission.  The run was punctuated by a buzzer-beating lay-up by Edin Bracic who powered inside for an offensive rebound off of a Frank Schettino miss.

Like the women’s unit earlier in the evening, the CSI men went on a tear to start the second half, going on a 13-4 run to open the stanza over the first 3:36.  Thomas Delahanty powered for a pair of inside baskets, and Schettino added a pair of buckets, the second a long three from the top of the arc.  From there, Hunter tried in vain to chip away, getting the lead down to single digits a pair of times, but CSI kept responding, ballooning the lead up to 16 on three occasions.  Another driving lay-up by Fonseca at 1:21 gave the Dolphins their biggest lead at 81-64 before CSI settled for the 15-point win.

CSI was led by Fonseca’s 36 points, tied for the 6th-highest single game output in CSI history.  He also added 12 rebounds, six blocks and four steals.  Schettino added 12 points and 13 assists, tying his personal high and the third-highest single-game total in CSI history.  Bracic added 11 points and 8 rebounds.  Hunter was led by Kruger’s 14 points.  Robert Borusiewicz added 10 points and 12 rebounds.  CSI out-rebounded HC, 38-28.

CSI improved its overall record against Hunter College to 46-23 all-time, and have taken 10 in a row since 2010.

The Dolphins are back in action on Saturday afternoon, hosting Montclair State University at the Sports & Recreation Center for a 1pm tip-off.