Staten Island, NY | Staten Island picked up their seventh straight win over Brooklyn College tonight in a hard fought 66-62 victory at The Tank. Adeola Latunji scored a game-high 20 points on 60% shooting to lift the Dolphins to 14-8, 10-3 while bumping the Bulldogs down to 12-9, 7-5.
Christian Taylor flirted with a double-double with 15 points and 9 assists while causing havoc for the Bulldog defense. Austin Mick added eight points on 3-of-5 shooting for the Dolphins who shot 43% while finding their way back into the win column.
Jade Spencer led the Bulldogs with 19 points, six rebounds, five blocks and three steals in the loss. Anthony McClean backed up Spencer with 11 points and four rebounds.
The Bulldogs came out on fire, jumping out to an 11-2 lead. Staten Island would settle in and make adjustments to Brooklyn’s quick play and knot the game up at 13 halfway through the first half. Over the next seven minutes, the Dolphins would go on a 20-2 run to take a 10 point lead.
“We can’t panic, basketball is a game of runs, we know that can happen at times but coach always puts us in a position to win,” Latunji said.
The Dolphins used a team effort during that run that saw points coming from all angles. Latunji got the crowd on their feet with a two-handed jam when Taylor found him on the baseline. Staten Island would score just three more points over the final three-minute span which allowed Brooklyn to cut the lead down to three headed into the half.
Latunji wasted no time coming out of the locker room as he converted a jumper to push CSI’s lead out to five. With 13:56 remaining in the game, Mick gave the Dolphins their largest lead of the game with a 3-pointer to put the Dolphins up, 43-32.
Brooklyn refused to be pushed aside so easily and cut the lead down to three with 9:35 left after McClean cashed in on back-to-back three’s. Momentum had switched over to Brooklyn which allowed them to take the lead for the first time since early in the first half. Michael Tesoriero broke the deadlock with a deep three before Andrew Kartalis answered back with a three of his own.
Neither team could hold onto the lead for a five-minute span, however, the Dolphins were to take control with a Taylor jumper, giving the Dolphins the lead for good. Staten Island was unable to stretch their lead out to double-digits again but they were able to stay ahead of the Bulldogs for the final five minutes to secure a crucial CUNYAC victory.
The Dolphins travel to New York, NY on Tuesday, for another CUNYAC contest against Hunter College. Earlier in the season, the Dolphins cruised to a 13-point win over the Hawks but with CUNYAC Playoff looming both teams will be playing with extra energy as they try to gain steam.