The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team used three quarters to build up what seemed like an insurmountable, but then had to survive a feverish rush by Brooklyn College to outlast the Bulldogs, 65-56, as part of CUNYAC play at the Sports & Recreation Center this afternoon. The win catapulted CSI to a share of first place in the CUNYAC, lifting them to 13-6 overall and 9-2 within the conference, while Brooklyn dipped to 13-7, 9-3, respectively.
CSI led nearly wire-to-wire, putting distance between themselves and the visiting Bulldogs with each quarter, resulting in a 58-39 lead after three periods. The Dolphins, however, hit a wall offensively and didn’t register a field goal in a fourth quarter littered with turnovers and fouls. Still, the Dolphins weathered a Brooklyn rally to break a five game losing skid to the Bulldogs and run their win streak to five games, tied for a season-high.
CSI fell behind early, 8-7, but an 8-3 run reversed that fate late in the first quarter, powered by two Nicole Vierno interior baskets. Brooklyn had the last gasp in the quarter, however, and powered by 9 Olivia Colbert first quarter points, BC got even at 17-17 after 10 minutes. An 8-1 run for CSI to open the first 5:09 of the second, got CSI rolling as Christina Pasaturo drained a pair of buckets, including a three-pointer. The teams parried back and forth from there until ultimately, the Dolphins entered into the locker rooms with a 34-29 CSI lead.
The Dolphins then took control in the third frame. Brooklyn cut the lead to 39-35 with 7:16 to go, but then the home squad erupted for a 19-4 run to end the frame. Jacqueline Cali got things started with a lay-up and Angelique Price converted consecutive baskets off of BC turnovers. Samantha Flecker drained two three’s in the stretch, and Pasaturo added another with 2:05 left to make it 56-39. The teams did not score from there until Victoria Gallinaro drained a pair of free-throws in the closing seconds.
The quarter break did not work well for the Dolphins. CSI would not register a field goal the rest of the way, and didn’t register their first point of the quarter until 1:58 to go, when Pasaturo connected on a free throw to break a 12-0 Brooklyn run. Brooklyn also had their troubles, at times struggling to take advantage of CSI misses and turning the ball over eight times in the final frame, part of 32 on the day for the visitors. Finally with 37 seconds left, Karen Mak cut the CSI lead to 60-56, but after a prompt foul, Pasaturo buried two free-throws to lift the confidence level back up. From there, CSI hit three of four more from the line to ice the game. It was a welcomed reprise after starting the quarter out 0-6 from the field, 0-4 from the line, with 10 turnovers.
Despite the rough patch, CSI finished 42.9% from the field, hitting 35% from downtown (6-17). BC was a chillier 39.2% and connected on just four of 19 long-distance shots (21%). Both teams tallied 34 rebounds and CSI was a plus-three in the turnover column. Pasaturo led the way with 21 points, while Flecker posted 12 points and 11 rebounds, and Vierno pooped in 15 points before fouling out after 28 minutes. Brooklyn was paced by Colbert’s 14 points and 9 rebounds in 32 minutes, with Maya Ajee-Thomas adding eight points and six rebounds.
Up next for CSI will be another big test, when they travel to face CCNY in Manhattan on Tuesday at 5pm. The Dolphins defeated CCNY earlier this season, 69-57 at the Sports & Recreation Center.