On a night when the College of Staten Island honored their four seniors, the Dolphins were able to topple visiting Baruch College by an 83-76 count at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening as part of CUNYAC play. The Dolphins lifted to 18-6 overall and 11-4 within the CUNYAC, while Baruch fell to 13-11, 9-6, respectively.
Prior to the game, the Dolphins honored their four seniors: Greg Civiletti, Kevin Swanberg, Thomas Delahanty, and Will Fonseca, and all four would play a role in the decisive win. It did not come easy, however, as CSI took a double-digit lead only to fall behind in a tight second half. The Dolphins rebounded in time to rally late and sealed the game at the free-throw line.
A 10-2 run by the Dolphins early on erased an early deficit, giving CSI a 10-5 lead three minutes in with the first three buckets from seniors Delahanty and Fonseca. A few minutes later, Swanberg scored his only bucket in the game on a gorgeous reverse layup from a Frank Schettino feeder, making it 15-11. Baruch battled back, and took an 18-17 lead about midway into the first half. CSI used an 8-0 response, however, powered by two Khari Rollock jumpers and a Khaleeq Baum rebound and follow.
The run continued to make it a 14-2 run, giving CSI a 31-20 lead with 5:40 to go. The lead ballooned to as much as 13, and despite a Raymond De La Cruz jumper that knocked CSI’s lead to seven, CSI ultimately settled for an 11-point edge at the break, 43-32.
Again, CSI powered up to a game-high 13 point lead to start the second half on a Fonseca drive, but the Bearcats roared to a 14-2 run, led by two Chima Ekekeugbor and Ryan Markoe baskets. Edin Bracic was able to break up the run with a three, but at 14:04 and again at 13:38, Ekekeugbor gave Baruch a one-point edge, the final time being 53-52. CSI responded, however, to the tune of a 10-0 run that spanned the next five minutes, powered by two Fonseca baskets and another pair from Baum, who added a three-point play.
The teams parried back-and-forth from there until CSI notched their lead back up by seven, 72-65, with under three minutes left. A resilient Bearcats unit cut the lead back to four, the final time with 58 seconds left, 74-70. That’s when the visitors put the Dolphins consistently at the line, and after a tough start from the stripe, making 9 of their final 10 free throws in the final minute to ice the game.
The Dolphins shot a crisp 53.4 from the floor, posting a 65.5% from the free-throw line. Baruch posted a 41.7% clip from the floor. Leading the way for CSI was Fonseca with 31 points with 10 rebounds, lifting him to 1,663 for his carry, past Head Coach Tony Petosa for fifth all-time at the school. Baum added 19 points in 23 minutes. Schettino finished with five points and a game-high 8 assists. Ekekeugbor popped in 23 points and 9 rebounds for Baruch while De La Cruz scored 16 points. The Dolphins finished a +6 in the rebounding category (39-33).
Up next for the Dolphins will be their season finale against Lehman College on Tuesday, February 16th, at 7:30pm. The winner will win the CUNYAC’s Regular Season Championship. The losing side could finish second or third in the conference.