DOLPHINS FALL IN ECAC SEMIFINAL WITH OT LOSS TO RU-NEWARK

The College of Staten Island erased a second half deficit to force overtime, but unfortunately could not get past Rutgers-Newark as part of ECAC Metro NY/NJ Tournament Semifinal action played at Brooklyn College this afternoon, falling 81-75, after an extra session.  CSI had their chances late; including a chance to take the lead with a second remaining at the free-throw line, but ultimately the team would fall short, ending their season with a mark of 17-12.  The Scarlet Raiders improved to 15-13 overall, and will take on Brooklyn College in tomorrow night’s ECAC Championship at Brooklyn at 5:30pm.

In a silver lining to the afternoon, CSI senior guard Megan Myhre made history, notching her 1,000th point in the early stages of the second half, en route to a team high  23 points.

CSI did lead for most of the early stages, building an early 11-5 lead after a Victoria Gallinaro three and a driving lay-up by Victoria Crea.  The Dolphins would eventually go up, 14-8, before RU-Newark woke up to the tune of a 10-0 run to take an 18-14 lead at 8:02 left in the first sparked by three Jade Howard lay-ups and a short jumper by Sharee Gordon.  

RU looked to take full control after a 10-2 run gave them their biggest lead at 30-21 with 3:37 to go in the frame, but it was all CSI from there, as the No. 3 seed finished the half on a 10-2 run of their own, sparked by two Myhre three’s to close to within 32-31 at halftime.

The Raiders continued to hold a modest lead in the second frame, and the team took turns answering each other.  CSI was forcing RU into multiple turnovers, but the Dolphins at time struggled to penetrate inside and could not keep the Raiders from banking in second chance points.  Finally, with just 5:22 left, another Howard lay-up seemed to give the lead for good at 62-53, their biggest of the game, but CSI had other plans.

Coupled with an ice-cold run for RU, which would see them score just one more point the rest of the way, CSI began to chip away.  After four straight Crea points, Myhre dropped in another three to make it 62-60 with 3:20 to go, and then after a failed attempt by both teams, Nikki Fabozzi converted a lay-up to knot the game at 62-62.

That’s when both teams had their chances, but neither team could walk through open doors.  First, both teams traded turnovers, and after a RU miss, CSI turned the ball over again at 1:35.  After another RU miss, CSI committed a foul, and Gordon got the Raiders back up by making one of two freebies at 1:28 to give RU a 63-62 lead.  CSI, however, turned the ball over again, but RU did the same the other way.  With under a minute to play Crea missed a layup, but again RU turned the ball over in response.  That led to the most critical moment of the game.  

Down one, CSI’s Christina Pasaturo missed an open three with 11 ticks to go, but Crea came up with a big rebound for CSI, but she promptly turned the ball over.  Forced now to foul, CSI did successfully, and RU’s Arianna Williams missed the front end of a one-and-one and CSI’s Fabozzi got the rebound while being fouled, sending her to the line, where she would shoot a one-and-one of her own.  Fabozzi missed the free-throw, but Myhre was able to corral the long rebound and put up a shot.  The shot missed but Gallinaro got the rebound and she was fouled with just 1.9 ticks remaining, and the junior had her chance to ice the game.  Gallinaro made her first free-throw, but the second was missed, and instead of a CSI win, the game was forced to overtime.

After both teams struggled so mightily to score in the final minutes, the points flowed like water in the overtime.  Another three by Myhre gave CSI the lead, and the Dolphins held on to the lead until a Howard lay-up got RU up 70-69 with 2:42 to go.  A Gallinaro three put CSI up 73-72 with 1:36 to go, but RU would close the game on a 9-2 run.  Shayla Glenn started by giving the Raiders back the lead at 51 seconds, but Fabozzi answered with a lay-up to put CSI back up 75-74 with 40 seconds to play.  Mara Simmons was fouled for RU with 22 seconds left and she made both ends, and from there CSI got desperate, missing shots and then forced to foul.  RU was up to the task going 5-for-5 from the line in the final minute to win the game, 81-75.

After Myhre’s 23, CSI was paced by 15 points from Gallinaro and 14 from Crea, who added a team high 9 rebounds.  The Dolphins, who shot just 34.7% from the field had a tough day from the line, going just 7-of-16 (44%) from the stripe.  RU was led by Howard’s 30 points and 15 rebounds, but the center also committed a whopping 17 turnovers, part of 35 on the day for RU.  The Raiders were able to weather that, however, by out-rebounding CSI, 59-34.

For CSI, this marks the second straight year that they fell in the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Semifinal to end their season.  This was the Dolphins’ 11th appearance in ECAC Postseason play, having won the tournament only once in 2008-09.
 

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