Jamaica, NY |  The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team fell for the second time in their last three outings, being turned back tonight by York College in a CUNYAC test, 69-64.  The loss dipped the Dolphins to 13-8 overall and 9-3 in the CUNYAC, while the Cardinals raised their marks to 8-13, 4-8, respectively.

It was an evening where both teams struggled to find rhythm and range offensively, and play resulted as expected, with six ties and seven lead changes decorating play.  The Dolphins led in a host of categories, but a strong second stanza was able to provide the home team with the lift.

In the early stages, CSI had the upper hand, scoring the game’s first five points on two baskets by Rigaud Destime and then later taking a 13-5 lead after a little over five minutes in, aided by two baskets from Stephen Flagg.  But CSI would go cold over the next seven minutes, and York used it to make a 13-5 run of their own, tying the game at 18 apiece.  Akil Vaughn posted four points in the run while Luca Tamer capped it with a three.

CSI would continue to hold the lead until a Devine Chisolm three staked York to a 28-27 edge with 3:50 to go in the frame.  York then took their turn being chilly from the field, missing their final five shots of the half, as CSI was able to escape with a 31-30 halftime edge, helped by a last second basket by Adeola Latunji.

A three-pointer early in the second half by Forehand-Jenkins gave York back the lead at 35-33, and from there it was anyone’s game.  York, however, managed to pull away, as CSI stayed mired in poor shooting.  Over a numbing seven minute stretch, the Dolphins converted just 1-of-13 shots from the floor, turning the ball over three times as well as York went on a 15-2 bender, taking a commanding 56-43 edge with just 6:20 to go.

Latunji would crack a couple of baskets to start to chip away, and then a big basket by newcomer Joseph Zieris narrowed the deficit down to just 57-51 with 4:02 to go.  In perhaps the most critical point of the game, CSI scored on a bucket by Christian Taylor to cut the lead to 60-55 with 2:51 to go.  CSI then forced a miss, but with the ball in their hands missed a lay-up on their side, and on the fast break Herriot scored to give York a 62-55 edge again with just 1:47 left.

With time for one last gasp, Latunji canned a baseline jumper with 23 seconds to cut the lead to four, and then CSI forced a York turnover and Latunji slipped in a lay-up to cut the lead to 63-61 with 14 seconds to play.  Forced to foul, York was up to the challenge, and calmly made their final six shots at the free-throw line to finally pull away for good.

Forehand-Jenkins led the way for York with 17 points, adding a team-high five assists.  Darin Dove added 13 points, while Maliqe John scored 10 points with seven rebounds.  CSI was led by Latunji’s 18 points on 9-15 shooting, adding seven rebounds.  Destine posted 11 while Flagg finished with 10.  Zieris finished with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds.

CSI finished just 36.6% from the field and just 23.3% from beyond the arc (7-30).  York was just 34.5& from the field and shot 8-26 from three-point range (30.8%).  The difference came at the line, where York was 23-27 for 85.2%, while CSI hit just 5-9 from the stripe.  CSI led the rebounding battle, 46-41.

CSI will return to CUNYAC action on Saturday, when they face off against Brooklyn College at The Tank at 3pm.