The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team was on the short end of a back-and-forth affair tonight, falling to Medgar Evers College on their home floor by an 83-82 loss after faltering on a buzzer-beater at the end of the game.  The Dolphins fell to 17-6 overall and 10-4 within the CUNYAC, while the Cougars snapped a 10-game losing skid to CSI, advancing to 11-12 overall, and 8-6 within the CUNYAC.

In a game that featured 9 ties and seven lead changes throughout, MEC found themselves up by seven late, only to see storm back to cut the lead to one and have possession with just over six seconds left, but a desperation three by Frank Schettino missed its mark, and CSI didn’t get another shot off from there, despite getting awarded a jump ball with 0.2 seconds remaining.

MEC got off to a flying start, rolling to a 16-7 lead over six minutes in.  The charge was led by CUNYAC leading scorer Matthew Lee, who canned 12 points in the block.  CSI shipped away from there, and despite falling behind later by eight, the Dolphins used a 12-3 run to take a 29-28 lead with 5:55 to go in the opening stanza.  Schettino finalized the run with a two three’s and an interior bucket.  CSI extended the lead further, pulling out to a 38-33 lead on free-throws from Will Fonseca with 2:42 to go, and rode the momentum to a 45-40 halftime edge.

The Dolphins extended to an eight-point lead to start the second half, but it was short-lived, as an 11-2 MEC run in just over a two-minute spurt swung the lead back to the Cougars side with 16:56 to go.  The teams parried back-and-forth from there with CSI grabbing the lead again before MEC powered back ahead,  The Dolphins last led with over 11 minutes to play, 62-61, but another 8-0 run by MEC expanded the lead, and from there CSI tried in vain to chip away.

A three point play by Fonseca cut MEC’s lead to 79-77 with 1:46 to go.  The game marched down to inside of a minute to play with CSI still down a bucket, when MEC’s Coston missed two crucial free throws with 26 seconds left.  CSI’s Thomas Delahanty was fouled on the rebound and he was sent to the line but could only split a pair himself, making it a one-point game.  CSI then fouled with 20 ticks to go and Maurice Swaby made both shots.  On the ensuing possession, Schettino wasted little time attacking the basket and sinking a layup to make it 83-82 with 13 seconds left.

CSI fouled again and were awarded with two Pablo Segura misses, but out of timeouts CSI had just 11 seconds to work with.  Schettino ducked to the far sideline, and forced up an off-balance three that skimmed the front of the rim.  In a scrum for the rebound, CSI was awarded a jump ball with just two-tenths of a second left in the game, and a heave into traffic was knocked away by the MEC defense preserving the win.

On 12-23 shooting, Lee led all scorers with 25 points, adding seven rebounds and six assists.  Andron Thomas came off of the bench to power in 14 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.  Fonseca scored 23 points and a team-high 13 rebounds, while Schettino led all Dolphins with 25 points, despite a 3-9 clip from downtown.  CSI out-rebounded MEC, 45-37, with both teams committing 10 turnovers.  In a game featuring many free-throws, MEC hit on 73.1% (19-26) while CSI floated up 66.7% (18-27).

The Dolphins will next host Baruch College in their regular-season home finale on Friday evening at 7:30pm.