New York, NY | A great first quarter and then a tremendous night from the free-throw line helped Hunter College to a season-sweep over the College of Staten Island in women’s basketball this evening, as the Hawks downed the Dolphins, 71-62. The Hawks improved to 13-9 overall and sit atop the CUNYAC standings at 12-1, while the Dolphins fell into third place in the standings, falling overall to 17-6 amd 11-3 in conference play.
A hot start for Hunter put distance between the two sides that would ultimately hold up for the entire game, as CSI struggled in vain to chip away at the lead on a night where they struggled with turnovers and shooting.
CSI’s Diana Todaro made the opening basket of the game, but a 7-0 response by the home Hawks put Hunter up for good. Janine Conway scored the first two baskets in the run with another coming from Ashley Arias. Todaro would answer for CSI, but then an 8-2 run by Hunter, with all points scored by Jade Aponte, gave the home side a 15-6 lead with 3:15 to go in the quarter. Five of those points came at the free-throw line, setting the stage for a monster night by the Hawks at the charity stripe.
Hunter took their first double-digit lead on another Aponte bucket to make it 18-8, and later, a Christine Patterson inside drive gave the Hawks a 22-11 lead at the end of the first stanza.
Hunter would add to the lead, going up by 14 on two occasions, before CSI was able to muster a 9-0 run to cut the lead to just 28-23 with 4:46 to go in the half. Megan McEwan recorded a pair of baskets in the run along with a three from Cristina Camerlengo. CSI, however, hit a snag from there only attempting one shot over the next three minutes while tuning the ball over three times as HC ran out to another big lead before settling for a 39-29 lead at the half.
It was more of the same in the second half, as Hunter powered up by as many as 15 in the frame as the Dolphins started to commit a host of fouls trying to press the Hawks into turnovers. A resilient CSI was able to cut the lead down to 10 points late in the third quarter, but HC continued to do damage at the line, shooting 18-of-22 from the stripe through three quarters.
Forced to press the entire fourth quarter, Hunter took another 16 free-throws in the final stanza, sinking 12 more to finish the game connecting on 30-of-38 from the line. CSI, however, did have success forcing turnovers, and used it to cut the HC lead down to as few as eight, 63-55, on a Rosa Perone layup following a steal. What followed, however, was a critical stretch that did not go CSI’s way. The Dolphins forced a miss, but with the ball in their hands, CSI committed an unforced error, turning the ball over. Hunter gave the ball back via a turnover of their own, but again, CSI couldn’t make it hurt as the Dolphins missed a three. Two more Hunter misses followed and CSI again turned the ball over. Hunter turned it over again, and CSI followed with another three-point miss, and after yet another Hunter turnover, CSI responded by turning the ball over again, and finally, after leaving the door open for the Dolphins, Hunter slammed it shut with a Selima Lim three to make it 66-55 with 2:14 to play. From there, Hunter was able to lock up the game at the line to put the game away.
Hunter was led by the huge night from Aponte, who scored 30 points with five steals to lead the Hawks. Conway added 16 in the win, with three rebounts, while Arias led all with 13 rebounds to go with five points. CSI was led by Kayla Schmitter’s 16 points, adding four rebounds in 25 minutes. McEwan finished with 14 with a team-high five steals. Todaro scored 10 points before fouling out.
CSI registered more field goals than Hunter (21-18) but CSI shot just 53.6% from the line (15-28), while Hunter nailed 30-38 for 78.9%. CSI won the rebounding war, 41-36, but the Dolphins committed 25 turnovers, compared to just 18 for the Hawks.
Now having lost two-straight, the Dolphins will look to get right against Lehman College on Saturday as part of Senior Day at CSI on Saturday, February 9, at 1:00pm.