New York, NY | The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team is officially on a win streak once again, this time pushing past Hunter College by a 79-52 count at the Hunter College Sportsplex as part of CUNYAC play to win their second-straight. The Dolphins, who completed the sweep of the Hawks this season, advanced to 15-8 overall and 11-3 within the CUNYAC, while the Hawks fell to 5-17, 3-10, respectively.
Up by a wide margin at the half, CSI was able to weather a heavy comeback by the Hawks in the second half, and stayed up by double-digits for the better part of the second half to take the win and secure a little more playoff positioning as well.
The early stages of the game featured both teams making early runs. CSI started with inside baskets from Chamald Martin, Christian Taylor and Stephen Flagg, to race out to a 6-0 lead, but a pair of Abraham Rosow lay-ups helped HC get even at 6-6, at the 15:55 mark.
From there, however, CSI dominated play for a healthy stretch. It started with a 13-0 CSI run that spanned the following four-plus minutes, as Taylor powered in for three-baskets, one resulting in a three-point play, and Adeola Latunju capped the drive with an emphatic dunk to give CSI a 19-6 edge. Nolan Bruesehoff stopped the bleeding for Hunter with a three, but CSI punched back again with an 11-0 bender, with Taylor adding another pair of buckets and Krystian Kopec adding a three.
For the remainder of the first half, HC tried to chip away, and were able to cut the lead to 14 before CSI surged ahead again and used five-straight Flagg points to go into halftime with a sizable, 42-23, advantage.
As hot as the Dolphins were going into the break, they hit a cold spell to start the second half, connecting on just one of their first 11 second half shots, committing four turnovers as well over an almost eight-minute span. That allowed Hunter to put a dent in the Dolphins lead, and at 12:11, Melvin Collins cut the deficit to 47-37. As play dipped inside of 10 minutes to go, Hunter was able to cut the lead to single digits when Gio Gabbidon completed a three-point play to make it 51-42. CSI was able to respond, however, with a Rigaud Destime driving lay-up to go back up double-digits.
Hunter would ultimately close to within seven, 53-46, but CSI slowed the play down from there and used strong half-court offense to power back in front, thanks to Taylor’s first basket of the half and a Mick baseline three to stake the Dolphins to a 12-point lead.
As play cut to inside of five minutes to play, Hunter could not sustain the pressure, and could only cut CSI’s lead to as few as 11. Doing a lot of damage from the free-throw line in the waning moments while Hunter could not find the bottom of the net, CSI used a 12-0 run to end the game, settling for the 79-52 win.
CSI was led by Taylor’s 24 points on 9-15 shooting, adding 10 rebounds and just missing a triple-double with eight assists. Latunji just missed a double-double of his own, finalizing with 15 points and nine rebounds, while Destime finished with 12 markers. The Hawks were paced by George Keener’s 18 points. Rosow posted a double-double with 11 points and rebounds in the contest. CSI shot a healthy 45.2% from the field and were 15-24 from the line (62.5%), while Hunter suffered with a 31.3% shooting clip (15-48) while going 21-29 from the stripe (72.4%). CSI out-rebounded Hunter, 40-37, and the Dolphins forced 18 Hawks turnovers, next to just nine of their own.
The win also helped the Dolphins with playoff positioning. The win guaranteed that the Dolphins can finish in no less than in a tie for second place in the CUNYAC standings. The Dolphins can clinch a second-seed, which carries a first-round playoff bye, with a win on Saturday over Lehman College, CSI’s next contest. Tip-off time is scheduled for 3pm.