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Bulldogs Fall to CSI in First Round of CUNYAC Tournament

 Sophomore guard Michael Tesoriero was one of the many Bulldogs who excelled in the team’s toughest loss of the season. PHOTO/ Damion Reid
Sophomore guard Michael Tesoriero was one of the many Bulldogs who excelled in the team’s toughest loss of the season. PHOTO/ Damion Reid

By Adam Zaki

Published: February 21st, 2018

In arguably its best effort of the season, the Brooklyn College men’s basketball team fell to the College of Staten Island (CSI), 74-73, on Saturday in Staten Island in the City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Quarterfinal match. The team is eliminated from the CUNYAC Tournament, and finishes the season with an overall record of 7-19 (7-9 in conference).

In a hostile road environment, the sixth-seeded Bulldogs stayed competitive in the game until the very last play against a third-seeded Dolphins team. Unlike the previous meetings between these two teams, Brooklyn was able to match Staten Island’s tempo throughout the game.

With 28 seconds left in regulation, BC’s sophomore guard Michael Tesoriero was fouled. With CSI in the penalty, Tesoriero hit both free throws to give the Bulldogs a slim 73-71 lead.

But his efforts vanished quickly, as Staten Island’s senior guard/forward Edin Bracic drilled a game-winning three-pointer with 18 seconds remaining in the game. Despite their best efforts, the Bulldogs’ Ben Batash was unable to score in the team’s final possession, and the Bulldogs ended their season in heartbreaking fashion.

The Bulldogs started the game off slow, but BC’s Alpha Bah’s contested three-point shot to beat the halftime buzzer allowed the Bulldogs to go into the break with a 40-36 advantage, led by a combined 22 points from Batash and Tesoriero.

After continuing to play extremely well to start the second half, the Bulldogs were able to build a lead as large as 11 points with 15:27 still remaining on the clock. Over the next six minutes, the Dolphins cut the deficit to just three points. Continued swings of momentum resulted in the game being determined in the final seconds.

Batash led the Bulldogs in scoring with 18 points, alongside 16 points from Tesoriero and 13 points from Bah.

Bah also fell just short of a double-double, securing nine boards, and led the Bulldogs with three blocks.

Tesoriero also added efficiency to his scoring efforts, shooting 5-of-7 from the field and drilling 2-of-4 from distance. He hit all four of his free throws, and also contributed with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

Daniel Shulman was also able to come off the bench and contribute for Brooklyn, as he finished the contest with seven points and five rebounds in just eight minutes. He also made both of his three-point attempts.

As tournament season looms, the Bulldogs may find themselves in a non-CUNYAC postseason tournament before the season come to a close. The men’s team qualified for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III tournament two years ago and the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro Championships three years ago. For the latest updates on where the team is headed next, go to the Brooklyn College athletics website.

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