New York, NY | In a game that determined the CUNYAC Regular Season Championship and the top seed in the upcoming postseason tournament, Baruch College crawled through an early hole to take an 82-78 win over the College of Staten Island in men’s hoops action at the ARC Arena. The Dolphins dropped to 16-9 overall and 12-4 in the CUNYAC, finishing as the No. 2 seed in the conference standings, while Baruch finalized their regular season campaign 20-5 overall and 14-2 in the CUNYAC.
Despite the final, it was CSI that had the better of it for most of the first half before a feverish BC comeback ultimately tied the game at the half and later, overturn the deficit and pull away by a larger margin late.
Two baskets each from Adeola Latunji and Christian Taylor helped CSI to an early 10-2 run, and after a pair of Bryler Paige free-throws made it 10-6, CSI’s Rigaud Destime buried a three and Chamald Martin added an inside scoop to make it 15-6. The Bearcats bounced back and used an Andre Harris jumper to cut the deficit to 17-12 with 12:51 to go, but a 10-0 CSI rip over the next two minutes, featuring back-to-back three’s by Taylor and Andrew Kartalis staked the Dolphins to their biggest edge, 27-14, with 8:37 to go in the frame.
From there, however, the half belonged to the Bearcats. The teams traded points before a Martin tip-in game CSI a 34-23 lead. Five-straight BC free-throws and then a three from Harris put the home team right back in the game, and after a CSI miss, Paige skied a three with four ticks to go to tie the score at 34-34 heading into the locker room.
The positive momentum was able to carry over for the Bearcats, and a three-point play at 17:05 gave BC a 41-38 edge, setting the tone for the rest of the second half. A Paige lay-up extended the BC lead to five, 45-40 at the 16-minute mark, before CSI roared back, using a Martin lay-up to take a 50-47 lead after a 10-2 run that featured three Martin baskets.
CSI would hang in with the lead until a Jack Sixsmith three took it back for Baruch at 56-54 with 8:58 left. CSI would later tie the game at 58-58, but a 9-3 BC response, ending with a Benjamin Boateng lay-up put BC up for good. CSI made things interesting at the end, cutting the BC lead to just 80-78 with 20 ticks remaining, part of a 6-1 run in the final minute, but perfect free-throw shooting by Baruch was able to cap the game, and BC was able to hold to a 82-78 final.
Baruch was led by Paige’s game-high 30 points on 9-16 shooting and a 10-13 performance from the free-throw line, while Harris added 15 points and eight rebounds. Boateng added 11 points and a Bearcats nigh nine rebounds. CSI saw a 24-point effort for Latunji, while Taylor finalized with 16 points and six assists. Martin was also a force, accounting for 12 points, nine rebounds, and a pair of blocks in an abbreviated 18 minutes.
The Dolphins finished with a better shooting night, connecting on 50% of their shots to Baruch’s 40.3%, and the Dolphins enjoyed a 46-36 edge on the glass. The difference was in the slanted foul numbers, as CSI was whistled for six more fouls overall, resulting in Baruch having a 21-of-26 shooting night from the foul line, while CSI was just 4-of-9.
With the CUNYAC regular season in the books, CSI will finish as the No. 2 seed in the six-team Postseason Tournament. The seeding gives CSi a first-round quarterfinal bye on Saturday. As the No. 2 seed, CSi will host a CUNYAC Semifinal game on Wednesday, February 20, at 7pm at The Tank, against the winner of the No. 3 vs. No. 6 game. The official draw will be announced tomorrow.