A Late Surge in Dolphin’s Defense Smothers Cardinals
By Shane Dimaio
The College of Staten Island men’s basketball team broke open a tight game in the second half, using opportunistic defense to defeat York College by a score of 72-59 at the Sports & Recreation Center in a rematch of last year’s CUNYAC Final.
Despite the Dolphins two top-scorers, Will Fonseca, 25.5 ppg, Frankie Schettino, 18.2 ppg., who struggled to consistently make shots from the field, reserve forward Michael Tate stepped up for a team-high 16 points to help the Dolphins rally for a home victory.
The win lifted the Dolphins to 9-5 overall and 5-2 within the CUNYAC, while the Cardinals fell to 9-6, 4-3, respectively.
In the first half, the lead changed 12 times, in what was an intensely fought battle for position in the paint between CSI’s Fonseca and York’s Jaron Williams. A layup by James Wolf gave York an early, 6-2, advantage, but it would be his only points of the half.
Edin Bracic’s only points of the half for CSI came by way of a mid-range jumper, giving the Dolphins their first lead since the opening bucket, 13-12 at 12:51, setting the stage for a back and forth first period.
The Dolphins made a critical run in the middle of the first frame. Down 19-15, CSI popped off a 9-0 run to take the game’s biggest lead for either team, 24-19 at 7:40, spearheaded by a pair of buckets each from Tate and Mohamed Marie.
CSI led a majority of the way from there, until a Franklin Green lay-in gave York a modest 32-31 edge at 1:56. CSI would end the half on a 5-0 run, however, powered by two Will Fonseca drives with inside of a minute to go to give CSI a 36-32 lead heading into the lockers.
The game continued to bounce back and forth in the second frame. Held in check in the first half, York’s Wolf sprang out to 10 points in the first 7-plus minutes of the second half, giving York a 48-44 lead with 12:54.
From there, however, CSI made its move. A Tate lay-up got CSI started on a pivotal 18-5 run spanning over six minutes, and by the end, CSI had had a 62-53 lead with 6:41 to go. Seven points by Tate powered the run, as he would finish with a career-night while coming off the bench for the CSI.
Baskets by Wolf and Green tried to get the Cardinals back into it, but the Dolphins used smothering defense and shot hand from the floor to pull away in the late stages, extending to a 14-point lead on a Vincent Dacunto three before settling for a 13-point, 72-59, victory.
The Dolphins shot an effective 51.9 percent from the floor, adding a 6-12 clip from the three-point line. Tate led the way with his 16 points–Fonseca matched that total and added a career-high 19 rebounds.
Thomas Delahanty powered for 13 points and six rebounds, while Schettino settled with 11 points and seven assists. York was paced by Jaron Williams and Wolf, who both scored 18 in defeat, with Williams adding 12 boards. CSI out-rebounded York, 39-32, but committed 15 turnovers, leading to 20 York points.
The Dolphins will return to action on Saturday, when they host Medgar Evers College. It will be a feature of Alumni Day at the College of Staten Island as the men’s program will play their Alumni Game at 11am, prior to the varsity contest.