Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team picked up their sixth straight win this season after caging the Bloodhounds, 76-67. Staten Island improved to 10-7, 8-1 in the CUNYAC while John Jay stumbled to 6-10, 3-5. The win over John Jay marks the twelfth consecutive, a streak that dates back to the 2013 season.
Up five with 3:51 remaining in the game, Adeola Latunji drained a mid-range jumper to put the Dolphins up seven. A brief period would go by without anyone scoring which caused John Jay to intentionally foul to send the Dolphins to the line to stop them from wasting time. The tactic would prove to be unsuccessful as the Dolphins would go 5-for-8 down the stretch and play stout defense to earn their sixth straight win.
Freshman forward Adeola Latunji scored 22 points in the win, his third-highest point total of the year. The 22-point outing also extends his games with 20+ points to five in a row. Aiding Latunji in the scoring category was sophomore guard Christian Taylor who scored 16 points while adding six rebounds and three assists. For the second game in the last three, junior forward Stephen Flagg led the team in assists with six while adding 14 points.
Smothering defense helped the Dolphins score 23 points off of turnovers. Outside of hitting the first basket of the game, the Bloodhounds never led in this game as the Dolphins were able to keep the Bloodhounds in check throughout the contest.
Staten Island’s largest lead of the contest came in the middle of the first half when Taylor created his own space in the paint and bounced his shot off the glass to give CSI a 14-point lead. The Bloodhounds were able to drop it down to 10 with a pair of layups from Eric Sandoval Jr. and Essien Epps but a three-pointer by Flagg brought that lead back up to 13, deflating John Jay’s momentum.
As the first quarter began to come to a close the Bloodhounds went on a surge, cutting the lead down to six, however, Edin Bracic sunk a deep three to put the Dolphins up 9 right before the half.
John Jay went on a 9-4 run to start the second half which cut the lead down to four, the closest they came to regaining the lead since the first five minutes of the game. Just as CSI did all game, they were able to knock down a three and a layup by Jade Spencer which brought the lead back up to 9.
Anytime the Bloodhounds would go on a run the Dolphins would answer with a big play and play tight defense which led to a Dolphins rebound or turnover. The Dolphin’s defense averages 18 turnovers a game which is second in the CUNYAC.
The Dolphins will return to action on Monday, January 22 when they travel to take on City College of NY in another CUNYAC battle. CSI leads 58-8 all-time against CCNY and has won the last five meetings which includes the 77-66 CUNYAC Championship from last season.