Flashback Friday looks at the top moments from the 2014-15 athletic year at the College of Staten Island. To kick off the summer countdown is the Men’s Basketball improbable comeback victory over St. Joseph’s College of Brooklyn on January 24, 2015 at the Sports & Recreation Center.
#10 – Men’s Basketball – Improbable Comeback vs. St. Joseph’s College (BK)
Date: January 24, 2015
Who: CSI Men’s Basketball vs. St. Joseph’s College (BK)
Where: Sports & Recreation Center
What Happened (click links for highlights): With under seven minutes to play, the Dolphins found themselves down by 17 points, 79-62, before erupting for an improbable 30-8 run to end the game. A trio of Frank Schettino three-pointers prompted the comeback, coupled with an improved call to defense. After a Will Fonseca basket cut the lead to 82-75 with 4:30 to go, Schettino buried another three to whittle the lead further. Still, CSI was down by five with two minutes to play before Vincent Dacunto hit a three to make it 87-85 with 1:48 to play. Schettino garnered a steal and ran in for a layup to tie on the next possession, and after a miss, Edin Bracic found Fonseca for a lay-up to give CSI their first lead, 89-87 with 1:08 to go. SJC would not score again, and three Michael Tate free-throws sealed the win. It marked CSI’s biggest comeback of the season, and for the Dolphins, it was their second-highest point output of the season. Aside from his 22 points, Schettino notched 13 assists, the second-highest total in CSI single game history and a career-high. His teammate Fonseca punched in 32 points, leading all scorers. CSI improved to 13-5 with the win, while the Bears fell to 12-6.
Looking back…with Frank Schettino
Going into that game against St. Joseph’s, you had won five straight games. Why did you struggle for the better part of that game? I felt like for most of the game we were struggling in many ways. One way was that St. Joseph’s was shooting the ball incredibly in the first half. One kid had about five three’s himself. Another reason was that they played us zone and that took us out of our comfort zone. Shots were not falling for us and that led to long rebounds for them and they would push the tempo back at us.
Down by 17 with seven minutes left, a lot of people thought the game was over before you hit a couple of big three-pointers. How did that change the game? Being down 17 with only a couple minutes to go, we knew we had to make a run right away. Our tempo started picking up and most of all we started hitting shots. St Joe’s was still playing a zone and we knew that we would get good looks at three’s and we started taking advantage of it. As a team we really look to get our shooters open. In the last couple of minutes, I hit a couple which really got our confidence and momentum up. Then we would get stops after stops. Then Vinny and Edin hit big threes. Then we were down two and I got a steal and tied it up. At that point we knew it was over. We got a stop and Will got an and-one and that was it.
You scored 16 of your 22 points in the final seven minutes. How good did it feel to heat up when your team needed it most? Getting hot in the final minutes was well needed. I was struggling all game but my teammates kept sticking with me and trusting me. Then when I started hitting a couple I just got going. When you start hitting a couple of shots in a row, every shot you take you think is going to go in. Good thing someone got hot because if not that game could have ended in a blowout. So heating up to bring the game back was a blast and the whole team picked up energy off of it which led us to the win.
You told the media after the game that once you knocked it down to single digits you knew you were going to win. What gave you that confidence? Throughout the whole game being down double digits we never doubted ourselves. We stuck with the plan and we finally went on our run. Once we got it to single digits I told the team that the game was ours. When the game switches to your tempo, things start going your way, shots go down, and it’s a matter of time before you put a lot of points on the board. Also playing in our home gym was a big part of it, because the crowd gave us a lot of confidence.
How does a game like that stand out in your mind. Was it as fun to play as it was to watch? That game was incredible. Best game of the season, in terms of the comeback, playing together, having confidence in each other and many more. It was so much fun. When you come back from almost 20 points down with only a couple minutes left, there’s nothing like it. We all felt like little kids jumping around because we were so excited. That game stands out the most in my mind because it was the best win of the season. I still watch that game every once in a while, and it will never get old.