POST GAME – The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team took on No. 10 Christopher Newport in the opening round of the NCAA DIII Tournament tonight in Newport News, VA.  The Dolphins earned their way into the tournament via a CUNYAC Championship title.  The NCAA berth marks the first for Head Coach Tim Shanahan.  The Dolphins were unable to get into their groove against the high caliber Captains and an abundance of turnovers led to a lopsided 98-56 loss.  With the loss the Dolphins’ 2016-17 campaign officially comes to a close with a 22-7 overall record.

The Captains of Christopher Newport used their size against the Dolphins early and often and were able to get inside and exploit the Dolphins’ weakness.  Rosa Perone, picked up a foul early on and was forced to the bench to help preserve her for later in the game. The Dolphins fell behind early as a result as the Captains further exploited inside as the Dolphins rim protector was out of the game.  Christopher Newport was able to jump out to a 26-10 lead after just one quarter of play.  The Dolphins, not used to the NCAA spotlight, seemed a bit rattled and turned the ball over 9 times in the first quarter alone which aided the uneven first quarter score.

The Captains are known for their rotation of players as they consistently use 15 players a game.  The Dolphins, being just a squad of 12, were constantly going up against fresh legs.  Micah Maloney led the Captains with 14 points on 7-10 shooting.  Maloney was able to get inside the paint and seal off her defender which allowed her to convert easy layups to help keep the Captains ahead of the Dolphins. Staten Island lives and dies by the three-point and tonight, they fell on the latter of that statement.  In the first half the Dolphins shot just 20% from behind the arc.  Christina Pasaturo was able to knock down two of her four attempts from long range en-route to an 8-point half.  Samantha Flecker and Victoria Crea had their struggles shooting from the floor as they both shot just 2-7 in the first half. 

Crea’s normal moves that got her to the basket for easy layups in CUNYAC play were not as effective tonight against a top-10 team in the country.  Flecker stayed in the game and played 19 minutes despite having three fouls in the first half. 

At the half the Dolphins trailed the Captains 46-22.  On the boards, CNU dominated the Dolphins 27-12 and had 10 steals to the Dolphins’ three.  The turnover differential was close, with the Dolphins having 15 while forcing the Captains to turn it over 11 times as Christopher Newport was not used to being full court pressed, which is something the Dolphins excel at. 

Christopher Newport really stretched their lead in the third quarter with a 34-point outburst, which is something the Dolphins have done all year.  Coming out of the locker room has been a strong point for the Dolphins all season and tonight they were unable to keep up with the Captains.  Staten Island did improve in each quarter though as the game continued on.  The Dolphins were able to increase their point total in each quarter. 

After having a quiet first half, Angelique Price was able to find her shot and help the Dolphins.  Price tallied 10 points in the second half after scoring just two point in six minutes of action in the first half.  The women were able to better their three-point shooting in the second half to 29% with Pasaturo and Nihada Bracic cashing in on two of their attempts. Christopher Newport, playing on their home court, shot a blistering 54% from the floor in the second half. 

Despite their large deficit the Dolphins never threw in the towel and gave up, they continued to fight, much like they have all season. 

They will use tonight’s contest as a learning experience and will hope to be back next season as they graduate no seniors this season.  The Dolphins will set course for Staten Island, NY tomorrow for their 8-hour bus ride home from a much deserved trip to the NCAA DIII Tournament.

Coach Shanahan will waste no time returning to the office to break down film to help him raise the level of his team so they’re even better next season.   CSI finished with 22 wins on the year, their first 20 win season since 2013-14.

The Dolphins made it a memorable season, one where records fell and trophies were raised.  CSI will set their sights on next season and improve their skills in the offseason to make a repeat appearance in the tournament.