By Curtis Ashley
The unforgettable season for the City College Men’s basketball team continued Tuesday night, after they beat the College of Staten Island 81-76, in what might just be their biggest win of the season so far.
To start, City had not defeated any of the teams currently above in the conference all season. They lost to Brooklyn early on in the season, and recently lost to Lehman in a heart-breaker. Also, City had not defeated the Dolphins in over seven seasons, let alone on the road. The game on Tuesday night changes both of those stats. Now, the Beavers stand at 8-5 overall, and at the .500 mark in the conference. They have split their last six games, winning and losing three each. But this last win is truly a big one. You could even go as far as to say it was historic.
City took the lead to start the game, with a layup by Robert Dionisio, followed by a shot from beyond the arch by David Solano. CSI immediately answered back, taking the lead from the Beavers. The team tried their best to not led the game get away from them early on, holding the deficit to just four or six points. But after converting on some offensive opportunities, CSI was able to slightly pull away from City. They ended the half with a 13 point lead over City, the score at 41-28. Shooting was sluggish in the first half for the Beavers, with only a .367 average. However, they did get hot from the three-point range, shooting 4-for-7.
For a good portion of the second half, it would look as though CSI was going to hold on to the lead for the remainder of the game. A small surge by City posed a threat early on, but was thwarted by the Dolphin’s productivity on offense. That said, City still wasn’t out of the game. At about the nine-minute mark, City had dwindled the lead to just 10 points, and were in position to make a run, which is just what they did. The guys went on a 14-5 run, started by a Mark Richards layup, to put themselves just one point behind CSI. The game would tie at 73 with just under three to go. Solano would drain another three to put City ahead. They would retain the lead for the rest of the game to get the win.
Shooting picked up dramatically in the second half. The team shot .536 from the field in the second, ending the night with a .448 average. The three-ball was working, hitting 8-of-12, and they made their shots from the line count, going 75 percent. Khalil Hamer and David Solano led the team with 20 points each. Hamer was locked in at the foul line, making 9-of-12, while Solano was a huge threat from beyond the arch, making 6-of-9. Mark Richards and Will Rhodes also scored in double-digit figures, Richards with 16, Rhodes with 10.
Success is the only thing on the mind of the players as well as the coaching staff as the season progresses. Their next game will be against Medgar Evers College, currently 6-7 and one spot above City in the conference. A win against Medgar moves City back to the number five spot in the conference. Looking back, the last time these two teams met was in the last game of the 2014-2015 season, when City defeated Medgar 74-62. It was played in Nat Holman Gym, where Friday’s game will also take place. The guys will be looking to continue what has been one of their better seasons in recent history.