Brooklyn, NY | After seeing their modest halftime lead become a major deficit after three quarters, the Dolphins used a strong close to get past CUNYAC defending-champion by a final score of 58-55 as part of conference play this evening.  CSI lifted to 11-4 overall and 5-1 within the conference, while the Bulldogs fell to 6-6, 3-1, respectively.

With offense at a premium thanks to strong defense both ways, CSI was able to score 12 points in the game’s final four-plus minutes, helping to overturn a deficit that had hit 11 in the waning stages of the third stanza.

Before all that, the two sides set the stage for how the game would go with a first quarter that featured six lead changes.  CSI took their first lead on a Diana Todaro lay-up to make it 4-3 in the early-going, but later an Alexandra Moogan three gave the home side an 8-6 lead that they would see through to a 15-14 lead at the end of one stanza.

CSI then started the second period with back-to-back three’s from Cristina Camerlengo, helping CSI advance to a 20-15 edge.  BC would kick back with a 6-0 run, finished off by a Taylor George lay-in that gave the Bulldogs a 21-20 edge.  CSI retaliated with a 7-0 run that featured five-straight points from Jacquelyn Cali that gave the Dolphins their biggest lead of the half at 27-21.  CSI would match the lead with a pair of late Nicole Imbesi free-throws before a three by Grace Martinez-Espina cut the halftime lead for CSI to 32-29.

CSI’s impressive half was wiped away, however, by a very strong third quarter by the defending champs.  Brooklyn would plug up the inside, and CSi missed their first three shots and committed a pair of turnovers just minutes in to the second half.  Meanwhile, A George lay-up cut CSI’s lead before a Moogan three-point play tied the score at 34-34 with 6:55 to go in the third.  That started what would ultimately result in a 15-1 run by the Bulldogs, helping them to a 46-35 lead with 1:53 to play in the third.

Needing some momentum, CSI got it from Diana Todaro, who twisted inside for two lay-ups late in the quarter that got CSI down to 48-40 by the end of the third.  

CSI started the fourth with the first five points of the quarter, the last three by Todaro, but CSi hit a snag from there and only scored a single point over the next three minutes, and with under four minutes to play BC had a 52-46 lead.

A Todaro lay-up did the trick to get CSI started yet again, and after a three-point miss, Rosa Perone knocked in a foul-line jumper to make it 52-50 with 3:26 to go.  The teams then traded a pair of inside baskets, before the most crucial shift in the game.  

Up by a basket, BC missed a pair of open looks, but got the ball back after a CSI turnover.  With possession, the Bulldogs again missed two shots, the first a wide-open three to keep CSI within a possession.  Todaro made it hurt by converting a lay-up with 1:40 to go, tying the game at 54-54.

With 1:15 to play, Moogan would connect on one of two freebies to give BC back the lead, but it would be their last, as Brianna Robisky was able to drive baseline on the ensuing possession to give CSI a 56-55 lead.  Brooklyn again had their chances, missing another open look and then another three after an offensive rebound.  Forced to then foul, Kayla Schmitter converted two for the Dolphins to make it a three point game with 25 ticks to go.  Down to a final possession, Brooklyn missed two open-look three’s and then turned the ball over to end the game.  Over the final three minutes, BC went 0-9 from the floor.

CSI was led by Todaro, who was the only player who finished in double-figures for the Dolphins with 17 points, adding 11 rebounds for the double-double.  Schmitter was next in line with 9  points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes, followed by Cali and Perone’s eight points each.  BC saw 13 points for Moogan and 12 for George with Moogan adding a team-high eight rebounds with Jasmine Hansgen’s eight as well.  

CSI shot just 36.1% and committed 22 turnovers, while Brooklyn shot a colder 31.7% and committed 25 turnovers.  CSI led the edge in rebounds, 42-39.

CSI will continue their CUNYAC run on Wednesday, when they visit Lehman College hoping to turn their win into a winning streak.