The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team broke open a close game late, and used tenacious defense all evening, to score an impressive, 78-59, win over Baruch College at the ARC Arena in Manhattan as part of CUNYAC play this evening.  CSI lifted to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play, while the home Bearcats fell to 4-4, 1-1, respectively.

Although the final score said otherwise, the game was close the entire way.  CSI owned the lead for long stretches of time but the Bearcats always kept within distance.  The Dolphins however used a second half rally to blitz past Baruch, leading to lop-sided final.  Along the way, the Bearcats shot just 33% for the evening, a sharp contrast to CSI’s 47%.

CSI started the game on a 5-0 run, and matched the lead at 11-6 on a Vincent Dacunto lay-in before BC powered back to take a 14-12 lead on two William Sixsmith three-pointers.  CSI’s Edin Bracic matched the bomb to give back the lead at 8:28, setting the stage for a back-and-forth first period.  

The lead would change hands twice more in the period, but a big 12-3 CSI run, sparked by two Will Fonseca buckets, gave CSI a decisive 29-22 edge, and the Dolphins parlayed that into a 35-28 halftime edge.

A three-point play by Fonseca to start the second stanza gave CSI a 10-point edge, but a big chunk of the frame was about the Bearcats knocking away at the lead.  A three-point play by Doyin Isaac whittled the lead to four, and later, a Jason Pretto lay-up cut CSI’s lead to 51-49 with just over 9 minutes remaining.  

That’s when CSI powered back into shape, going on a 10-0 run spanning the next 2:12.  Two drives by Thomas Delahanty and three-pointer by Dacunto accentuated the damage, giving CSI a 61-49 edge.  After both teams traded points, CSI scored another 9-2 run, ending with a Khari Rollock three to put the game out of reach, 76-57.  Both teams would add only a field goal in the final 2:50 to advance to the final score.   CSI’s defense was a key factor down the stretch, and Baruch shot just 2-12 from the floor with five turnovers in the final 9 minutes.

Leading the way for the Dolphins was Fonseca with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Dacunto added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists.  Delahanty added 13 markers, while Bracic finished with an even 10.  Baruch was led by Isaac’s 13 points, followed by a 10-point, 10-rebound performance from Chimaechi Ekekeugbor. CSI out-rebounded Baruch, 41-29, and committed only 9 turnovers to Baruch’s 13.

?CSI will be back in action on Thursday, travelling to John Jay College to continue CUNYAC play for a 7:30pm tip-off in Manhattan.

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