The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad was victimized by a hot-shooting Baruch College in the second half, squandering a lead and falling to the Bearcats, 81-70, at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening as part of CUNYAC play. With the win, Baruch lifted to 5-1 overall and 2-0 within the CUNYAC, while the Dolphins fell to 3-3, 1-1, respectively.

In a see-saw first half, the Dolphins went up at intermission, 32-30.  The teams traded leads early, but Baruch shot out to an 18-10 lead, its largest of the half, thanks to an 8-0 run over four minutes.  BC’s Granville Gittens scored all eight points in the run, the last of them on a three-pointer.  CSI would rally, however, to the tune of a 14-2 run over the next five minutes.  CSI leading scorer Will Fonseca provided the highlights, scoring all but a pair of points in the stretch, including a three of his own.  CSI went up by as many as six via a Vincent Dacunto three-ball to make it 32-26, but the Bearcats scored the final four points of the fame before intermission.

The 15-minute break proved exactly what the doctor ordered for BC, and the Bearcats immediately went on a 6-2 spurt to take the lead, 36-32 on a three-point play by Gittens at 17:40.  A three-pointer by CSI’s Edin Bracic gave CSI back the lead, but it would be their last of the game, as Baruch powered to a 21-1 run over the next six minutes.  

Mired in a scoring funk, the Dolphins shot 0-14 over an eight minutes stretch, before a bucket by Frank Schettino cut Baruch’s lead to 57-41 with 9:49 remaining.  From there, CSI tried in vain to come back, and did eventually find their groove.  A three by Schettino narrowed the lead to 65-55 with 5:23 to go, and later a Bracic three cut the lead to 71-63 with 3:11 to go.

CSI, however, was running out of real estate in terms of time on the clock and a series of fouls slowed the game down, allowing Baruch to do damage from the line, where they were exceptional all evening.  With under a minute to play, CSI narrowed the Baruch lead to five, 75-70, but a missed free-throw by Schettino allowed Baruch to take possession, and the visitors ran the game clock down to 17 seconds before CSI was forced to foul.  Rough play led to a long lapse as the officials doled out technical fouls to both teams; eventually Baruch recorded three freebies and possession, icing the game.

Baruch’s Gittens led all scorers with 25 points, adding 13 rebounds.  CSI was led by Fonseca’s 19 points and 11 rebounds followed by Schettino’s 13 points, all in the second half.  Bracic added 9 and Dacunto eight in the defeat.  CSI shot a chilly 35.9% in the game and connected on just 65% from the stripe while the Bearcats shot a crisp 46% from the field and 26-33 from the line (78%).

CSI leads the all-time series vs. Baruch, 48-19, and the Bearcats broke a two-game skid against the Dolphins, and ended the Dolphins’ 22-game home win skein.

CSI will pick up play on Thursday evening against John Jay College at 7pm in Manhattan.