Down most of the way, the College of Staten Island women’s basketball team launched a big fourth quarter comeback but ultimately fell just short, succumbing to City College of New York, 69-67, at the Nat Holman Gymnasium earlier this evening as part of CUNYAC play.  The Dolphins fell to 13-7 overall and 9-3 within the conference, while the Beavers, who fell to CSI earlier this season, improved to 13-8 and 8-4, respectively.

It was a rough game from the start for CSI as the Dolphins quickly fell behind, 7-0, powered by a CCNY three by Erika Richards who would go on to a huge outing.  The Beavers would go on to lead by as many as 9 in the first quarter, before ultimately settling into a 19-15 edge at the end of the frame.  The Dolphins suffered from the turnover, committing 9 in the opening stanza.

CSI was able to right the ship in the second frame, scoring a 16-5 that featured two buckets each from Christina Pasaturo and Samantha Flecker.  The turnaround resulted in a 26-22 CSI lead at the 3:57 mark of the second quarter.  CSI, however, went cold from the floor from there, going 1-8 from the floor with four turnovers in the closing minutes as CCNY went on a 9-2 closing run to grab a 31-28 halftime edge.

From there, the Beavers continued to expand their lead and keep CSI at bay.  Back-to-back three’s for CCNY by Richards and Liz Durchhalter started the third quarter, and from there, it was all about CSI trying to back catch up.  The Dolphins did cut into the lead, but could never come full circle, cutting the lead to a single possession on four different third quarter occasions, but each time the Beavers had a response to cushion the lead.

The Dolphins would go on to cut the lead to a single occasion again three more times, the last time at the seven-minute mark, but CCNT responded with a 13-5 run over the next three minutes to secure their biggest lead, 67-57 with 4:27 left.  CSI had time for one more run to scratch their way back into the game, and the visitors delivered.  Flecker started things off with a layup, and after a turnover CSI added a free-throw and then Pasaturo launched a jumper in the paint to cut the lead to 67-62.  After a miss, CSI then popped in two free-throws and after another CCNY turnover, Jamie Pifalo buried an open three at 1:28 to tie the game at 67-67.

In keeping with the theme of the night, however, CSI could not overtake the deficit.  After another CCNY turnover, CSI missed a jumper with 53 ticks remaining, and on the subsequent possession, CCNY’s Robin Daley buried a short jumper to put the Beavers up.  Down to their last shot, CSI asked for a timeout and then set up another open look three from Pifalo, but the ball went over the rim and Tiara Brown secured the rebound.  The Dolphins failed to foul from there and CCNY ran off with the two-point win despite the closing 10-2 run by CSI.

The loss dipped the Dolphins into a tie for third place in the CUNYAC standings with Baruch College, and it marked CCNY’s first win against CSI since 1997, ending a string of 27 straight wins by the Dolphins.  Richards paced all scorers with 22 points on 6-10 shooting from beyond the arc.  Tiara Brown added 14 points and 16 rebounds.  CSI was led by Pasaturo’s 21 points and six rebounds.  Flecker finished with 12 points, while Pifalo finished with six points and a game-high six steals.

The Dolphins will look to right the ship on Saturday when they host York College at 3pm.  The Dolphins defeated the Cardinals earlier this season, 84-62, on January 13.