The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team enjoyed a good shooting night, led by Will Fonseca’s 35 points, to take an 81-65 win over John Jay College at the school’s Homecoming evening in Manhattan. The Dolphins improved to 6-2 overall and 3-0 in conference play with the win, their third in a row, while the Bloodhounds dipped to 1-8, 1-2, respectively.
Nine straight points by senior Will Fonseca started the game for the Dolphins in a positive direction, and CSI got off to an 11-0 lead before the Bloodhounds had a response. CSI would lead from wire-to-wire, and the following 35 minutes became an exercise in JJC looking to make up ground, and the Dolphins responding with big answers.
In the first stanza, a pair of Geno Ware buckets pulled JJC to within four, 21-17, before a Fonseca answer pulled the Dolphins back up. JJC continued to chase and cut the lead to a single digit on three separate occasions, the last at 2:28 on an Essien Epps jumper to make it 30-29. Much like they started the half, the Dolphins closed on a great run to end it, going on a 10-0 spree to grab a 40-29 halftime edge. Fonseca scored eight of the 10 points, while Kevon Murphy added a deuce.
The comfortable lead was challenged a handful of times in the second half, but each time, CSI had a fitting response. CSI took a 16-point edge five minutes into the frame, thank to a Wesley Smith to open the half and two freebies by Khaleeq Baum. After cutting the lead to single digits twice, CSI again opened up 16-point leads to stay poised, as Khari Rollock hit a threat 8:28 to advance CSI’s lead to 65-49.
From there, however, JJC made its best run, scoring a 9-0 streak that cut the lead to just 65-58 with 5:33 to go. CSI asked for time, and the Dolphins responded by sinking three consecutive free-throws and Smith jabbed in another three to put CSI back up, 73-58 with just 3:57 to go. From there, JJC never came back to within 12 points, and CSI expanded to 18 points with under a minute to go before the Bloodhounds closed to the 81-65 final.
CSI was led by Fonseca’s 35 markers, adding a game-high 14 rebounds. Smith powered for a career-high 16 points, while Thomas Delahanty finished with 9. Murphy scored a career-best four blocked shots. The Bloodhounds were paced by Epps’ 21 points, adding four rebounds. Jordan Aiken and Ware each tallied 11 points, with Ware adding a team-best six rebounds. CSI shot a warm 52.9% from the floor (27-51), while JJC finished at 35.7% (25-70), and just 4-20 from beyond the arc. CSI held a modest rebound advantage at 41-39.
For CSI, this was their seventh straight win over the Bloodhounds. They will now remain idle until December 29-30, when they usher in the 14th Annual Tournament of Heroes at CSI. CSI will face off against Westminster College in the opening round at 7:30pm on December 29.