The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team picked a great time to snap their season-long three-game slide, scoring an impressive, 77-63, win over John Jay College in Manhattan in what was the CUNYAC opener for both teams. CSI improved to 2-4 overall and 1-0 in the conference, while the Bloodhounds fell to 2-3, 0-1, respectively.
The Dolphins raced out to a quick, 9-2, advantage, powered by two Robert Rossiter baskets and a three-pointer from senior Edin Bracic. Seven minutes into the frame, CSI went up by double-digits for the first time with a Jade Spencer lay-in to make it 20-10, but from there the home team came alive.
A Hakeem Animashaun jumper started a 7-0 JJC run, and the Bloodhounds finally got even and then took the lead on a Luciano Cruz-Fernand three to make it 27-24, completing a 17-4 run. The Dolphins responded well, however, immediately answering with a Stephen Flagg lay-up and then a Christian Taylor free-throw, and then another Flagg lay-up to take a 29-27 lead, and unbeknownst to them, the Dolphins would never trail again.
A three by Taylor followed by an Adeola Letunji jumper helped CSI go up at half, 38-33.
After back-and-forth play, CSI used two crucial three’s from Bracic to open up a 50-37 lead, just three minutes into the second half. From there, the theme was for the Bloodhounds to try and chop the lead down, and the home side got it down to six, 56-50, with 11 minutes to play, guided by six Matt Hudzik points.
Four-straight misses at the line and another two from the field for the Bloodhounds saw CSI build a 15-point lead, 73-58, with under four minutes to play. The lead would ultimately hit 16 before CSI settled into the 77-63 final.
CSI was led by Taylor’s 14 points and seven rebounds, while Adeola put in 11 and Flagg and Bracic 10 points, respectively. JJC was paced by Animashaun’s 11 points while Miking Richardson and Cruz-Fernand had 10. CSI enjoyed a huge, 48-24, edge in points in the paint, posting a 43-27 edge in rebounds as well. CSI committed 24 turnovers to John Jay’s 22.
The win for CSI broke up a three-game losing skid for the Dolphins, and marked their first win since November 18. It was also CSI’s 11th-straight win over John Jay College.
The Dolphins will next be in action on Tuesday, when they continue CUNYAC play with a date at York College.