The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad crawled out of a hole early, and then held on late to take a 71-65 win over UMass-Dartmouth in the Hampton Inn Classic held in North Dartmouth this evening.  CSI leveled to 1-1 with the win, while the Corsairs fell to 0-2.

It was tough treading in the early-going for the Dolphins, who fell behind by as many as 15 points in the opening stages, as the Corsairs ran out to a 32-17 advantage over the first 13 minutes, helped along by three Jake Laga three’s.  From there, CSI tried to chip away, and the team was successful in the final six minutes of the stanza.

Kevon Murphy started with a bucket, and then Mohamed Marie completed a three-point play, CSI continued en route to a 13-0 run, ending with a Frank Schettino lay-in that cut the lead to 32-30 with four minutes to play.  CSI cooled off from there, but so did UMass, who shot just 1-67from the floor in the final six minutes with six turnovers.  Going into halftime, the once huge lead was just 36-35 in UMass’ favor.

The Dolphins didn’t wait long to turn things around in the second frame, as Will Fonseca scored the opening basket and from there CSI held the lead for the next five minutes. The lead would change hands a pair of times, but again CSI made a move, going on an 11-3 run spanning five minutes to take a 59-52 edge, finished off by another Fonseca open-look lay-in.

CSI looked to hold on from there and did.  UMass cut the lead to a single digit twice, the final time on a Jordan Rezendes lay-up at 1:42, but Schettino responded with a lay-up the other way a few beats later, and after a pair of misses, CSI struck again with a Murphy bucket to make it a two possession game, and CSI connected on three straight free-throws to put the game away by a final 71-65 count.

CSI shot just 39.7% for the game, but the Corsairs struggled just as badly, connecting on just 34.9% from the floor.  The key for the Dolphins was on the glass, where they owned a huge 53-38 advantage.  Both teams finished with 17 turnovers. 

Schettino led all scorers with 20 points, adding 15 rebounds, a career high, and five assists.  Fonseca dumped in 18 points and 13 rebounds, and was named a tournament all-star.  Rezendes led all UMass scorers with 15 points, while Wale Abraham finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

CSI will next be in action on the road against Ramapo College on Wednesday evening, November 19, at 7pm.