Salem, VA | In a game broken up thanks to a huge second half, the College of Staten Island men’s basketball team’s season-opening losing streak hit four games, as the Dolphins were downed by Roanoke College by an 88-57 count in the consolation game of the Dick Leftwich Tip-Off Tournament held on the Roanoke campus. CSI is now 0-4 on the season, while the Maroons lifted to 2-2.
CSI’s Krystian Kopec canned a three-pointer that put CSI ahead, 5-4, a little over three minutes into the game, but it would prove to be one of only two leads in the game for the Dolphins, who kept it close in the first half but were out-scored by 27 in the second stanza as the home team ran away with it.
Josh Freund, who led the Maroons with 18 points, converted a lay-up to grab RC the lead, 6-5, and from there, the home squad took control. An 11-4 run a little later jumped RC up to a n 18-11 edge midway into the first half, until CSI was able to wrestle back into it and take a 31-30 lead on an Andrew Kartalis three with 2:25 to go. CSI, however, would turn the ball over and hit on one free-throw in their final three first-half possessions, and RC took advantage with a Joe Mikalauskas three and a lay-up to help stake RC to a 36-32 halftime edge.
Still anyone’s game, whatever was said at halftime proved true for the home squad, as they exploded out to a 16-0 run to start the second stanza, catching fire by sinking their first six shots, four of them from long range. CSI stopped the run via the free-throw line, but a Freund three gave RC a 20-plus lead at 12:13, 57-35, and CSI just couldn’t right the ship.
CSI was able to cut the lead to 20, 65-45 with just over eight minutes to play, but a 10-0 spurt for RC was the response and from there, the rout was on. A Kiernan Turner lay-up late gave Roanoke a 33-point lead, their biggest of the game, before they settled for the 88-57 final.
Freund’s 18 points and seven rebounds led the Maroons, with Mikalauskas and C.J. Miles adding 12 points each and Tripp Greene adding 10. CSI was led by Christian Taylor’s 11 points and Kartalis’ career-high 10 points in 26 minutes. CSI shot 41.3% while Roanoke connected on 52.9%, which included a 66.7% rip (16-24) in the second half, where the Maroons also shot 6-of-8 from behind the arc.
The 0-4 start for the Dolphins is their longest losing streak to start a season since the 2008-09 campaign, when the Dolphins dropped their first eight contests. CSI’s schedule will not get any easier, as they will travel to New York University for their next game, a week from today, at 2pm, continuing non-conference play to open the season.