Playing without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Will Fonseca, the College of Staten Island nearly handed CUNYAC-leaders Baruch College their first home loss of the season. Instead, it was the host Bearcats that pulled off a modest, 66-62, victory over CSI that secured them the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship and the top seed in the overall CUNYAC Postseason Tournament. The win sent the Bearcats to 18-5 overall and 14-1 in the CUNYAC, while the loss put the Dolphins into a three-way tie for second-place in the CUNYAC, sending them to 17-7 overall and 11-4 in CUNYAC play.
Away from the team for personal reasons, the Dolphins missed the play of Fonseca, who leads the CUNYAC with over 25 points and 12 rebounds per game. Still, the Dolphins were able to hang tough, jumping out to a quick, 9-3, edge in the game’s first four minutes thanks to four points by Thomas Delahanty. Baruch managed the comeback though as consecutive baskets by Raymond De La Cruz and Granville Gittens put the hosts up 12-10. The teams sparred back and forth from there, taking turns getting hot and then turning cold. CSI led by as many as seven in the frame, 21-14, before Baruch came roaring back to cut the lead to 31-29 by halftime.
Baruch’s late first half surge extended in the second half. Plagued by some miscues and fouls, the Dolphins went almost four minutes without even taking a shot, as Baruch opened up a 44-37 edge with 12:51 to go, sparked by a 10-2 run, led by five points from Edward Roscigno.
Down by as many as eight, CSI did resurrect itself, and posted a big, 9-0 run, to take a 53-52 lead with 6:22 to go, led by four Frank Schettino points and a Vincent Dacunto three. The teams traded baskets and then the Bearcats went up by a pair of possessions with under three minutes to play. Down 62-58 with 2:08 left, Delahanty powered for a layup to cut the lead to two, and after a BC misfire, Delahanty converted again down low to knot the score at 62-62 with 1:29 to go. Unfortunately, the Dolphins would not score again.
After another BC miss, CSI had its chance at 47 seconds, but Michael Tate missed a baseline jumper and CSI committed a foul on the would-be rebound. Finally, with 13 ticks left, Roscigno drove the lane and converted the game-winning layup. Down to a final possession, Tate missed another jumper for CSI, and another loose ball foul put Gittens at the line with less than a second remaining, and he hit both the ice the game.
CSI was led by Tate’s 16 points and 11 rebounds in his first start of his career, while Delahanty finalized with 14 points and seven rebounds. Gittens led BC with a game-high 20 points adding six boards. Roscigno finished with 17 points. Although CSI was a +2 in the rebounding column, they were whistled for six more fouls than the Bearcats, and BC scored a huge edge at the free throw line, going 18-26 to CSI’s 7-10.
The Dolphins will finish the 2014-15 regular season against Lehman College at the Sports & Recreation Center on Tuesday, February 17 at 7:30pm. It will be Senior Night at the College, as CSI will honor lone senior Michael Tate. A win by the Dolphins would secure them of at least a tie for the No. 2 seed in the conference, while a loss would finalize them in fourth place in the CUNYAC Regular Season standings.