Flashback Friday is looking back at the top moments from the 2017-18 athletic year at the College of Staten Island. This week, we continue with the countdown and we stay with the men’s basketball program.  In March, the Dolphins traveled to Cabrini University for the NCAA Tournament, where Christian Taylor put up career numbers in what was a back-and-forth game that ended at the buzzer

#10 – Taylor records career-high in NCAA loss to Cabrini
Date:  March 2, 2018
Who:  CSI Men’s Basketball
Where: Nerney Field House – Radnor, PA
What Happened:  Madness truly was the theme for Men’s Basketball in the month of March, as CSI followed their CUNYAC Championship with a trip to Cabrini University for the opening round of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.  Set against the backdrop of a Nor’easter outdoors, CSI and Cabrini got underway after a blackout in the gym, and when play started, both teams stormed their way up and down the court.  CSI sophomore Christian Taylor had a career night, canning 38 points to go with six rebounds and four assists in a full 40 minutes of action.  In the feverish end to the game, Edin Bracic hit on a three-pointer from well beyond 25 feet to improbably tie the game at 86-86 with just six seconds to play.  But down to their last effort, Deryl Bagwell hit on a shot at the buzzer to ultimately give the home side the win in what was one of the most entertaining games of the 2017-18 athletic year. one of the most entertaining basketball games of the year.

13552Q&A…with Christian Taylor

Christian, it’s always hard to speak positively about a game that ends in a loss, but looking back on it now, are there positives that can be taken away from games like that?  Although it was a very tough, I’ve come to the conclusion that it has made me better for two reasons. The first being I am now comfortable on big stages and important situations and the second being the loss motivated me so much for next year. To lose like that makes you want to just come back next season ten times stronger.

You guys faced Cabrini during the regular season and played them incredibly tough.  Did that give you confidence going in to this game? To be honest, going into this tournament game I was very confident. We had only lost by a few points the first time and I felt we were much better as a whole team.

Getting off to a good start was important and you did that and led most of the way in the first half.  What were some of the things you were doing well to start the game?  From the tip we were extremely focused both offensively and defensively. Communicating with each other definitely was the major difference.

Never coming off of the floor you touched the ball on just about every possession and a lot of the play was funneling through you.  How did it make you feel knowing that you had that responsibility?  I take a lot of pride in this responsibility because it shows how much my coach and teammates believe in me to make big plays over and over throughout the entire game.

You went 10-for-10 at the line that night and as a team they really struggled from the foul line.  Was that a surprise for you?  As a team we knew how much free throw shooting means to us, it really became a main focus to us in practices as the year progressed so I felt more confident at the line.

They came back very strong in the second half and took a good lead on you guys.  They just couldn’t close the door on you.  Can you remember some of what was going on in the huddle during timeouts during those moments?  During the timeouts we talked about how the game isn’t over till the very end and just to keep on fighting and taking one possession at a time and we would be fine.
Late in the game you grabbed a five-point lead.  Is there a moment of the game where you think to yourself that winning this game could really happen, and you felt really confident about it?  Yes with how hard we play and how locked in our coaching staff is I always feel like we can win any game against any team we play on a given night. I always feel confident in our team especially when things aren’t always going our way.

All night long the team struggled to shoot the three, but then late Edin hit those two huge three’s and Ray hit one as well.  You have to have a lot of confidence to keep shooting when you’re cold like that.  How much confidence did you have in those guys down the stretch?  I have all the confidence in the world in them. Even though we struggled most of the night I kept telling them to keep shooting and make the next one. Then at the end of the game we hit two crucial threes to bring us back.

For you personally, 14-of-20 from the floor, 38 points, a career high.  After the game in the press conference, their coach and two of their senior players spoke so highly of how you played and how impressed they were of you.  How does that make you feel, knowing you made that type of impression?  On a personal note I was glad to be recognized, it shows all the hard work and dedication I put into every single day and it finally paid off.

Always tough to walk off the court after a loss, but what did an experience like that do for you and the team?  How does it help you moving forward?  With such a tough way to end our season, this game just shows how capable we are to competing with the top ranked teams in any conference and how much more work and intensity we have to put in practice every day to reach that stage.

Other Highlights
CSI Story
Cabrini Story
Game Film
CSI Post Game Interviews
Cabrini Post Game Interviews

FF 2018 - 9-1
CSI’s Adeola Latunji was next in line with 22 points in 37 minutes.

FF 2018 - 9-2
Senior Edin Bracic drained a huge three-pointer to tie the score late.

FF 2018 - 9-3
After starting 0-15 from the arc, Ray Savage helped CSI with a three late.