The 15th Annual College of Staten Island Tournament of Heroes continues this evening at the Sports & Recreation Center, and the Dolphins will take center stage as they host Middlebury College in the Championship Final at 7:30pm. Both the Dolphins and the Panthers won their opening round games yesterday to clinch the Final. Meanwhile in the earlier Consolation Game, Illinois-Wesleyan will take on Bridgewater College at 5:30pm on a day that promises plenty of excitement.
CSI vs. MIDDLEBURY COLLEGE AT-A-GLANCE
Matchup: CSI (6-5 overall, 3-0 CUNYAC) vs. Middlebury College (8-1 Overall, 0-0 NESCAC)
Where: Sports & Recreation Center – 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY
Tip-Off: 7:30 pm
Ticket Info: $5 General Admission
Live Stats: http://www.sidearmstats.com/csi/mbball/
Live Video: http://www.csidolphins.com/CSISportsNet
All-Time Series: First Meeting
Players To Watch (CSI): Dolphins got big production from forward Khaleeq Baum, who paced the Dolphins with 19 points while adding 9 rebounds in the win over Bridgewater. Frank Schettino added 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds and continues to be the Dolphins’ leading scorer averaging 15.2 points per game. Junior Kevon Murphy was a foce on the boards with 10 rebounds and Edin Bracic and Vincent Dacunto added four three-point baskets last night, providing the Dolphins with the deep threat they are looking for.
Players To Watch (MC): The Panthers are led by Matt St. Amour’s 18.7 points per game and he did not disappoint, dropping 23 in the win over IWU last night. The hero of the game was Jack Daly, who net the game-winner with 1.6 seconds left last night. He is posting 11.2 points per game this season. Junior forward Adisa Majors was a focus underneath, and is averaging 12.2 points per contest this year. The Panthers were without second-leading scorer Zach Baines last night and his status for tonight’s game is questionable.
News & Notes: This is the first meeting between the two sides in program history. For Middlebury, they entered as the Tournament’s hottest team and have now run their win streak up to six games heading into this showdown with CSI. That run includes a 4-0 record away from their home court this year, including two neutral site games. The Dolphins, meanwhile are 4-0 at home this year, so something will have to give tonight at the Sports & Recreation Center. Ball control is a key statistic for Middlebury this season. They came into the tournament a tourney-best +3.4 in turnover differential and were a +7 against No. 18 Illinois-Wesleyan last night, forcing 21 Titans turnovers. Since 2013-14, the Panthers are 14-1 when posting 10+ steals in games. The visitors have also owned the month of December, sporting a 35-4 record in the month since the 2005-06 season. CSI was able to force 18 turnovers of their own last night, and despite being out-rebounded, were able to hold Bridgewater to just 33.9% shooting for their big win. CSI is now 5-0 this season when holding opponents to under 40% shooting and have won 10 straight regular season games when doing so dating back to last year. In their four home wins this season, CSI is allowing only 60 points per game (as opposed to 82 on the road), and opponents are shooting a frigid 37.1%. CSI is also looking for a back-to-back Tournament of Heroes Championship for the first time in their history, despite making their seventh-straight trip to the Championship Game. If they do defeat the Panthers tonight it will be their third TOH Championship.