In their annual Martin Luther King, Jr. matchup against Kean University, the College of Staten Island used a strong second half to pull past the Cougars in Union, NJ, 70-58, as part of non-league play. The win was the fourth-straight for the Dolphins, moving the team to 11-5 overall on the season, while the Cougars, now losers of six-straight, dropped to 3-13.
In a see-saw first half the Dolphins were able to take a five-point lead into the lockers, but without a fight as the teams wrestled through six lead changes in the stanza. Frank Schettino got CSI started with a three, but Kean promptly scored the next six points, all by Tommy Soulias, who scored the first 10 for Kean and shot out to a 10-7 lead. A Will Fonseca jumper gave CSI again 15-14, bit the teams traded a pair of baskets from there, reversing the lead each time. After a J.J. Hladik jumper gave the Cougars a slim 24-23 lead, both teams went cold, going a full three minutes without a score until CSI finally caught a little fire with inside of 3:00 left in the frame.
Gregory Civiletti started things off with a three, and after a Soulias lay-in evened things at 26-26, CSI closed the first half on a 7-2 run, highlighted by a three-point play from Mohamed Marie. At the break, CSI was up 33-28.
CSI led wire-to-wire in the second half but each time the team made a move to extend the lead to double-digits, the Cougars were there to counter. Fonseca gave CSI its biggest lead, 43-34 in the early stages, and after KU cut the lead to three, 49-46, on a Soulias three-ball, CSI again pulled ahead thanks to a Thomas Delahanty drive. Later, Fonseca powered the Dolphins on a crucial stretch, scoring a pair of layups and then turning a KU turnover into an emphatic dunk at 2:38 to stake CSI to a 64-56 lead. It would prove to be CSI’s final field goal of the afternoon, but the Dolphins would weather any comeback thanks to solid work from the free-throw line, as the Dolphins made six freebies in the final 1:24 to seal the game.
The Dolphins shot 46.9% from the floor and were led by Fonseca’s 23 points and 11 rebounds. Schettino added 14 points while Marie added 12 points off of the bench. Rounding out the double-digit scorers was Delahanty with 10 points and seven rebounds. Soulias led all scorers for KU with 27 points on 9-19 shooting. Tim Steward finished with 9 points and five rebounds. CSI out-rebounded Kean 34-29 and were a +4 in the turnover column, forcing 17 Cougars errors.
CSI upped their record over Kean to 9-10 overall, improving to 3-6 all-time at Kean. This was the 10th-straight year that the teams have met on Martin Luther King, Jr. day.
?CSI is next in action on Wednesday, when they travel to face Hunter College to resume their CUNYAC schedule at 7pm.