The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team played in their home opener tonight against non-conference opponents Stevens Institute. The Dolphins came into tonight’s game trailing the Ducks 8-4 all-time. CSI was unable to close that gap as the Ducks would go on to hold back a late Dolphins push to take a 77-67 win. The loss marks the third straight for the Dolphins, knocking them down to 1-4 overall while the Ducks even out at 3-3 on the year.
In a game with just one tie and no lead changes, the Dolphins were able to keep it close with the Ducks despite falling behind by as much as 19. Robert Rossiter made his return tonight and finished second on the team with 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting while tallying four rebounds and a team-high four blocks. Leading the squad was freshman guard Rudy Lavature with a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting while adding a pair of rebounds and a steal.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the early goings of the game as the score was stuck at 5-2 for a three-minute stretch. Jade Spencer was able to break that scoreless streak with a layup on a pass from Raymond Savage. The size of the Ducks caused issues for the Dolphins all night as they were able to generate second-chance opportunities. Although they were outsized, the Dolphins were tough and were only outrebounded 56-48 on the night.
In a packed Tank, Adeola Latunji had trouble finding his shot but as he settled into the game, he was able to bounce back and begin to convert his baskets. Just when it seemed as though the Dolphin crowd was going silent, Latunji would lay down a monster dunk which would electrify the crowd and bring them to their feet.
The Dolphins struggled to hit their open looks midway through the game which led to their large deficit, however, as the game continued into the latter stages their outside shots started to fall thanks to Rudy Lavanture who was 3-of-4 from three-point range.
With five minutes left in the first half, the Dolphins trailed by two but saw that trail extend to 15 after the Ducks went on a 13-2 run to end the half. The Ducks are known for their long-range shooting and it was on display during that stretch.
That momentum was carried over into the second half as the Ducks stretched their lead out to 19. The Dolphins would continue to chip away at the lead and were able to bring it within single digits with five minutes to go. Down eight with five minutes to go the Dolphins were able to shrink the deficit to six with 1:28 remaining but were unable to go on a run to take the lead.
The Dolphins return to action on Saturday, December 2 when they travel to the Doghouse to take on John Jay in their first CUNYAC action of the season.