Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team picked up their fourth straight win this afternoon with an 89-77 victory over Kean University. The win marks the eighth straight win against the Cougars, a streak that dates back to the 2012 season. Staten Island improved to 8-7 on the year while dropping the Cougars to 5-11 overall.
Career-highs in assists by Stephen Flagg and Raymond Savage, eight and seven respectively, aided the Dolphins’ blistering 50% three-point shooting in the game. Beneficiaries of the passing was Adeola Latunji, who tied his career-high with 27 points on 79% shooting from the floor. Christian Taylor also found success from the floor, tying his career-high with 24 points on 77% shooting from the field.
Robert Rossiter finished the game shooting 50% from three-point range while nearly missing a double-double with 19 points and 9 rebounds (eight defensive). Savage tallied 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting from three-point land.
The game got off to an electric start when Jade Spencer won the tip which found its way to Latunji. Latunji drove right to the basket and slammed one down for the first basket of the game. Staten Island took a four-point lead when Taylor found room in the paint to lay one in. Kean would take the lead away from the Dolphins two minutes later. A layup by Carry Saturne followed by a three by Adrian Baucum put the Cougars up by four.
The human highlight reel, Latunji, crept behind the defense near the end line and launched over a Cougar defender to slam home the alley-oop which broke the sixth tie of the first half.
With six minutes remaining in the first half and both teams shooting lights out from three-point range, Savage would sink a shot from downtown to give the Dolphins their lead back. After an and-one by Micah Kerr gave the Cougars the lead once again with 4:21 to go in the first, the Dolphins played lockdown defense and only allowed two baskets over that four-minute span. Staten Island headed into the locker room with a 50-48 lead and momentum on their side.
Up four with 9:39 to go, Savage once again drained a crucial three to give his team a seven-point lead, the largest of the game up to that point. The Cougars tried to keep up with the fast-paced Dolphin attack but their lights out shooting from the first half diminished as the game grew older. In the waning moments of the game, the Dolphins kept the Cougars at bay with a seven-point lead. Down the stretch, free-throws would extend the Dolphins’ lead to 12 after the Cougars were unable to convert their three-point opportunities to claw back into the game.
Up next for the Dolphins will be a tough CUNYAC test when they host Brooklyn College on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 pm at The Tank. The Dolphins hold a 41-16 all-time series lead over the Bulldogs, however, as of late, the teams have split, with the Dolphins holding a slight 4-3 edge. Staten Island has won six straight at home against the Bulldogs with their last loss at home coming on February 11, 2011, 62-67.