The College of Staten Island women’s basketball team broke open what was a tight contest at halftime to score a 67-51 winner over Hunter College on the road this afternoon as part of continued CUNYAC play.  The win for CSI, their fifth in a row, extended them to 13-2 overall and a perfect 7-0 within the conference, while Hunter College fell to 12-4, 5-2, respectively.

Despite the lop-sided final, the game was plenty competitive, helped by a defensive and low-scoring first half that saw CSI take a very modest 26-24 lead into the locker room.  CSI would open on a 5-0 spurt thanks to a Jacquelyn Cali lay-up and a Christina Pasaturo three.  Hunter would knot the score with a 7-2 run, but CSI would keep Hunter off of the scoreboard for the final 5:14 of the first stanza, taking a 12-7 lead after one quarter.  Pasaturo would add another basket while Samantha Flecker added a closing lay-up as CSI held HC to 0-for-4 from the floor with four turnovers in the final five.

Defense continue to tell the story in the second quarter, as CSI built a 17-7 lead on another Flecker three and a Diana Todaro transition lay-up after another turnover.  Needing to steady play, the home Hawks did rebound, tallying a 6-0 response, helped along by two Maya Thompson inside drives.  After CSI took a 21-16 lead, Hunter rattled off another 6-0 answer, with Theresa Leung giving Hunter its first lead at 22-21 with 2:22 to go in the half.  CSI promptly took back the lead and right before the end of the frame Pasaturo sank two free-throws to give the visitors a modest, 26-24, edge at intermission.

The break proved to be a welcomed one for the Dolphins, as they came out with the better intro to the second frame.  A Todaro jumper and a Pasaturo three, quickly put CSi ahead 31-24, and after a Hunter bucket, CSI added a Cali lay-up and two Todaro freebies to go up 35-26.  Three straight points by Christine Patterson helped HC close to 37-34, but with three minutes to play in the third, CSI ended the frame on an 8-4 run to take a 45-38 lead into the final 10 minutes.  

After back-and-forth baskets, CSI finally made a big run stand, using two Victoria Crea free-throws and then a three by the senior to take a 52-42 lead with 7:32 to play and the Dolphins never looked back.  After a Hunter response, Flecker would answer with a three.  Hunter would cut the lead to single digits for a final time with just under four minutes to play, but again went cold, going just 1-3 with three turnovers in the final minutes, as CSI resumed the scoring and used Todaro’s two lay-ups to go up 63-49 with 1:45 to go before icing the game at the free-throw line.  

CSI was led by Paraturo’s 24 points, and she and Flecker scored 13 rebounds apiece to lead the team.  Flecker would finish with 16 points, while Todaro finalized with 10.  Hunter was paced by Patterson’s 16 points while Thompson tallied six points and a team-best 10 rebounds.  Neither team shot well from beyond the arc, as CSI went 5-24 (21%) to Hunter’s 4-21 (19%).  The Dolphins enjoyed a 45-39 rebounding edge and forced 28 Hunter turnovers, committing 21 of their own.  CSI enjoyed an enormous 32-9 edge in points off of turnovers.

CSI will be back in action on Wednesday, January 17, when they host Brooklyn College in another big showdown featuring two teams at the top of the table.  Game time is set for 5:30pm at the Sports & Recreation Center.