The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team broke open a tie game in the early stages in the second half to cruise to a 78-63 win over City College of New York in CUNYAC play at the Nat Holman Gymnasium in Manhattan this evening.  Winners of two-straight, the Dolphins improved to 7-4 overall and 4-1 in the CUNYAC, while the Beavers fell to 4-8, 0-6, respectively.

Both teams struggled offensively coming out of the gate, collectively missing the game’s first seven shots while committing three turnovers in the first 2:30 before CSI registered the game’s first six points on two baskets by Thomas Delahanty and one by Will Fonseca.  CCNY finally scored 4:42 into the contest on a Salvatore Palazzolo three, one of five three-pointers on 17 attempts in the first half by the Beavers.

CSI pulled ahead by as many as 11 points in the opening frame, when a pair of Michael Tate baskets gave the Dolphins a 21-10 lead with 8:51 to go in the opening stanza.  From there, however, CCNY did their damage, going on an 8-0 run, powered by a pair of baskets each from Anthony Lewis and Khalil Hamer.  A Mohamed Marie jumper gave CSI an eight-point lead moments later, but again CCNY narrowed the lead and another Hamer basket book-ended by three-pointers from David Solano and Matt Wilmot-Stroud cut CSI’s lead to just a digit, 32-31, at half.

A quick foul by CSI to open the second half, gave CCNY a chance to take the lead in the second half, but Manfred Cadet made one free-throw, tying the score at 32-32, and it seemed like momentum was on CCNY’s side.  The Dolphins, however, had other plans, starting out hot in the second and hitting consecutive baskets from Delahanty, and two from Khari Rollock.  The Beavers answered with a Saleh Nasser jumper, but another set of inside baskets by Delahanty and Fonseca pit CSI back up 10, 44-34, with 13:42 to go, and just like that, CSI was back in full control.

After CSI went ahead by 14, the Beavers were able to pull to within 9 with 9:39 to go on a Lewis dunk, but from there, CSI answered again, this time with a 14-7 spurt over the next three and a half minutes that put CSI up big, 64-48, with just 5:54 left.  The Beavers came to within 11 after that, but CSI led by as many as 18 before settling for the comfortable 78-63 decision.

Leading the way for CSI was leading scorer Fonseca, who posted 23 points and 12 rebounds in the win, consistent with his season averages.  Delahanty added 16 points and eight rebounds, while Frank Schettino posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists.  Schettino leads the nation, averaging eight assists per game.  CCNY was led by Lewis’ 16 points off of the bench, adding 11 rebounds.  CSI shot a blistering 54.7% in the contest, which included a 68.2% clip in the second half.  The team also hit its first 13 free-throws en route an 18-21 performance from the line, good for 85.7% after coming into the game shooting just under 61% from the stripe this season.  The Beavers shot a chilly 35.3%, which included an 8-26 clip from beyond the arc.

The win was CSI’s 10th-straight over CCNY, and the team improved to 51-7 all-time against the Beavers, a mark that includes a 22-5 all-time record in games played at CCNY.

Up next for the Dolphins will be a matchup with Lehman College on Friday, January 9, at 7:30pm, at the Apex in the Bronx.