Salem, VA | The College of Staten Island men’s basketball worked their way back into a second-half tie, but it was Emory University that made the critical runs inside of 10 minutes to play as they would outlast CSI, 86-68, as part of the Dick Leftwich Tournament held this evening at Roanoke College. CSI landed at 0-3 to start the season, while Emory advanced to 2-0.
In what has been a recurring theme for the Dolphins, a cold shooting night led to a first half deficit that CSI would try and scratch their way through. They would do so in the second half in this one, but it was the Eagles who caught fire in the end, extending to a win that was perhaps more contested than the final score would indicate.
After Beau Bommarito hit a three to start the game, EU extended to a 14-2 edge over the first four minutes, finished off by another three from Matt Davet. From there, CSI’s charge was simply to chip away, and an Adeola Latunji lay-up helped the cause, cutting the lead to 18-10 with 10 minutes to play in the first stanza.
With EU taking their turn to grow cols, a Chamald Martin put-back, a Christian Taylor jumper and an andrew Kartalis lay-up cut the lead to 19-17. Gebereal Baitey helped end the run and stake EU to a 26-21 lead a little later, and EU would settle for a 31-27 lead at the half, with both teams shooting under 35%.
After falling behind by six in the second, CSI resurrected itself when an Austin Mick three tied the score at 36-36. After surging forward again by six, CSI gained momentum, scoring a transition lay-in followed by another three by Mick to tie the score at 42-42 with just under 15 minutes to play.
CSI called a timeout looking to seize momentum completely, but the break seemed to ignite the Eagles. An immediate jumper by Nick Stuck was then followed by a Davet three, and after a pair of CSI misses, Davet scored three-straight at the line when he fouled shooting a three to extend EU to a 50-45 lead. After a trade of points, Romin Williams and Baitey added more three’s and with 12 minutes left, CSI was now down by a hefty, 58-49 margin.
From there EU continued to nurse the lead and CSI could not cut the deficit to anything less than 12 as EU pulled away late for the eventual 18-point win.
The Eagles were led by Davet’s 24 points and 15 rebounds coming off of the bench. Latunji and Taylor shared the CSI lead with 20 points.
CSI will now face host Roanoke tomorrow afternoon at 1pm in the consolation game of the tournament.