For the third time this season, the College of Staten Island men’s basketball team saw a halftime lead overturned, falling to Stevens Institute of Technology tonight by a final count of 103-93. The win, the second-straight by the Ducks lifted the team to 3-1, while CSI, now 0-4 this season on the road, fell to 2-4 overall.
It was a tale of two halves for the Dolphins, who weathered through eight lead changes and seven ties to grab a 51-48 lead at intermission. This came after being down by as many as 9 in the opening stanza. The two teams played evenly through the early minutes, transitioning for baskets at both ends. Kevon Murphy was the catalyst for the Dolphins, scoring 20 of his career-high 24 points in the opening stanza, helping CSI take a 23-22 lead with just over 11 minutes to play in the first half.
Stevens responded well, as Patrick Barron nailed three of his 19 first half markers to start a 12-4 run that would give the Ducks a 40-31 edge with 5:30 to go in the frame. CSI needed an answer in the final five, and got it by way of strong inside play, as Murphy notched two lay-ups alongside others by Khaleeq Baum and Edin Bracic to tie the game up at 42-42, and then thanks to being in the double-bonus with under three minutes left, CSI scored five of their final 9 points of the half, six by Frank Schettino, to take a 51-48 lead into the locker room.
The Dolphins’ lead at the half was their fifth in six games this season, but for the third time, they would see the lead dissipate. The Ducks used a 22-7 run to open up the frame, a run that included an 11-point tear from Evan Klimchak powered by three three-pointers. Down 12, CSI punched back with an 8-2 run getting them to within 72-66 highlighted by three’s from Edin Bracic and Christian Taylor.
In the final 10 minutes, it was the Ducks, however, that made the more significant runs. Patrick Zignorski would give Stevens a double digit lead with just over eight minutes to play with a three. After back-and-forth play, the Dolphins had a chance to strike in the final minutes. A Baum tip-in cut the lead to seven, 93-86, with just over two minutes to play, but after a double-technical foul was whistled on both teams, the Dolphins went ice-cold, going 1-6 from the floor and missing two free-throws as the Ducks made an immediate 9-0 run in that span to take a commanding 102-86 lead before CSI added points in the final 30 seconds to cut the final margin to 10.
Klimchak would lead all scorers with 26 points for Stevens, while Baron added 25. Ryan Coffey tallied 16 points and 12 rebounds for the home side. Murphy added eight rebounds to his 24 points for CSI while Baum finished with 18 points and 10 boards. CSI won the final rebound margin 42-36, but shot 46% to Stevens’ 52%.
The Ducks now lead the all-time series with the Dolphins, 7-4. The Dolphins will look to reverse their road fortunes on Saturday, when they travel to Queens to take on York College to continue their CUNYAC slate of games.