Staten Island, NY | The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team celebrated their final regular season home game by honoring lone senior Stephen Flagg, and he would lead the way in a 72-55 romp over visiting Lehman College at The Tank. The win insured the Dolphins of no less than second place in the CUNYAC final standings, which carries with it a bye in the CUNYAC Postseason Quarterfinal round. CSI lifted to 16-8 overall and 12-3 in the CUNYAC with the win, while Lehman fell to 8-15, 5-9, respectively. CSI has a lone game left in regular season play which will determine the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship.
CSI led from start to finish in this one, felling confident after a rousing pre-game honoring of four year senior Stephen Flagg. The senior scored the opening points of the game, and later added a three-pointer as CSI raced out to a 14-0 lead over the first 4:33 of the game. Lehman responded with a bucket, but Flagg hit another three, setting the tone for a big first half, as the Dolphins raced out in front by as many as 18 points in the first half on four-straight points, but Lehman was able to make the game interesting by going out on a 13-6 run, fueled by buckets from Mo Idrissou and Tommy Batista, and Will Feldmen, all three-pointers to cut the CSI lead to 36-24 with 3:27 to go in the first half.
CSI did not blink, however, and was able to end the frame on a 9-1 run, helped along by a Krystian Kopec three, a Flagg three, and a buzzer-beating lay-up by Christian Taylor, given the Dolphins their biggest lead right at the buzzer, 45-25.
Flagg was a part of another opening run, this time 10-4 to start the second half, as CSI started to put heavy distance between the two sides. CSI’s biggest lead of the frame would come at 14:10, as Chamald Martin put in a lay-up off of an offensive rebound to give CSI a big 61-32 advantage. From there, CSI started to mix in their reserve players and started giving the Lightning a series of different looks with their lineup. Lehman was able to push the deficit down to 18 points at 4:42 on a Isaiah Geathers lay-up, but the Dolphins would quickly score the next six points to put a cap on the game.
Up by 24, Lehman would score the final seven points of regulation, ultimately leading to the final score of 72-55, in a game that perhaps wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
Fittingly, CSI was led by Flagg’s 16 points, just missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Zieris was next in line with 14 points and six rebounds, while Martin was 5-6 from the floor, good for 10 points and nine rebounds of his own. Lehman was paced by Idrissou’s 14 points, adding a team-high seven rebounds. Batista came off of the bench to put up 12 points and three steals. CSI shot a healthy 47.5% (29-61), while LC struggled all night, shooting 28.1% (18-64). CSI held a huge edge in rebounding, 50-33, but committed 14 turnovers to Lehman’s nine.
CSI, sitting one-half game back of Baruch College in the standings, will see the regular season championship on the line in their finale when they face Baruch College on Wednesday evening. Both teams will finish one and two in the final standings, but the winner will claim the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the CUNYAC Postseason playoffs. The top two seeds get quarterfinal playoff byes and will host semifinal contests on Wednesday, February 20.