The College of Staten Island women’s basketball squad came from way behind to force a tie after regulation, but it was William Paterson University that got the better of the Dolphins, outlasting the hosts by a 76-75 count in overtime as part of non-conference play at the Sports & Recreation Center.  CSI, 6-4 overall, missed 20 free-throws in the loss, negating WPU’s tough showing from the three-point arc (1-14), as the Pioneers lifted to an even 5-5.

Despite trailing most of the way, the Dolphins jumped out to an early, 8-2, advantage, thanks to a pair of three-pointers from guards Jamie Pifalo and Victoria Gallinaro.  From there, the visitors went on an 8-0 run to grab the lead, highlighted by five Alisa Giordano points, the last bucket proving to be the Pioneers’ only three-pointer of the evening.  The teams pawed back-and-forth for the remaining 4:20 of the quarter, ultimately settling for a 16-16 tie at the end of one quarter.

After CSI scored the first two second quarter buckets, WPU then seized full control with a numbing 14-0 run spanning four minutes.  Three Tori Woetzel baskets sparked the run.  CSI committed four errors in the stretch, and missed a pair of freebies, part of just a 22-42 performance from the line tonight for the home side.  The Pioneers expanded the lead to as many as 13, 34-21, before nestling in to a 37-28 halftime edge.  

The Pioneers matched their biggest lead of 13 with seven minutes to play in the third period before CSI started to make their way back into the contest.  In a key turning point, CSI erased an eight-point deficit with an Angelique Price fast break lay-up, and after three-straight Paterson turnovers, Jamie Pifalo fell victim to an unintentional flagrant foul, spelling an ejection for WPU’s Sara Luberto.  Pifalo split the free-throws, but CSI was able to whittle the deficit down to five, 52-47, at the end of the third frame.

Mired in poor shooting, WPU would see its lead evaporate further in the fourth quarter.  The Dolphins scored the first eight points of the frame, resulting in an overall 11-0 run that saw CSI grab a 55-52 lead with 6:56 to go.  Samantha Flecker scored four points in the run.  The lead changed hands twice more from there, making for an exciting finish.  Alex Milne sank a jumper for WPU to tie the game at 60-60 with 32 seconds left.  Knowing the Dolphins’ struggles from the free-throw line, the visitors fouled CSI’s Christina Pasaturo on purpose on the ensuing possession.  Pasaturo missed both ends, but the rebound was won by the Dolphins, and after another foul with 19 ticks left, Pasaturo was able to hit two at the line.  Paterson, however, raced right down the court second later and Milne tossed in a layup to tie the game at 62-62.  Down to their last shot, Pasaturo drove in and scored a bucket with five seconds left, but the basket was waved off due to a travelling violation and the game ended at 62-62.

Ashley Palmeri gave the Pioneers the first lead of overtime, but later, Samantha Flecker put CSI ahead via a baseline three-pointer to give CSI a 68-66 edge.  From there, however, the Pioneers were sharp at the free-throw line as Jackie Rodriguez and then Brittany Harden made both ends of freebies, giving the Pioneers a 70-68 edge.  Pasaturo would tie the game with exactly a minute to go, but Milne countered with another great interior move to put WPU up for good at 72-70.  After a missed CSI shot with 23 seconds to go, WPU canned another two free-throws to go up 74-70.  Pasaturo made another lay-in, but forced to foul WPU scored another pair from the stripe with 14 seconds to go, and CSI missed a long three-by Pifalo with 9 seconds left.  CSI fouled, and this time WPU missed both ends, but a three with one second left by Pasaturo still left CSI short, as the 76-75 WPU edge held true at the buzzer.

Neither team was sharp from the floor, as WPU finished at 36% (27-75) and CSI just 34.3% (24-70).  The difference came at the line, where the Pioneers were a very sharp 21-of-27 for 77.8%, while CSI was just 22-42 from the stripe, good for a 52.4%.  CSI was led by Pasaturo’s 21 points and 10 assists.  Samantha Flecker added 19 points and 12 rebounds for her double-double, while Pifalo banked 14 points and matched a career-high with six steals.  WPU’s balanced attack was led by Harden’s 15 points.  Woetzel added 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Milne banked 11 points and 13 rebounds.  WPU out-rebounded CSI by a hefty, 62-45 count.  The game featured 55 total turnovers, while CSI banking 13 steals on 30 Paterson miscues.

CSI fell to 4-7 all-time against the Pioneers.

CSI will be back to action on Monday, December 28, when they host Yeshiva University at the Sports & Recreation Center at 8pm.