Staten Island, N.Y. -- Whitworth University and Bridgewater State College advanced to the championship round of the 6th Annual CSI Tournament of Heroes after opening rounds wins today. Whitworth escaped with a 60-50 win over Richard Stockton College, while Bridgewater State bested the host College of Staten Island Dolphins in overtime, 87-83.
The tournament serves to honor the memories of Terrance Aiken, Scott Davidson, and Tom Hannafin, victims of the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center.
The College of Staten Island seemed poised for their first opening-round victory in the tournament since 1994, amassing a seven-point advantage, 37-30, at intermission. A mini 5-0 run by CSI gave them an early 11-6 edge at 13:25, fueled by a Robert Mesjasz running layup in the paint. A three-point bucket by Brian Ameneiros, making his first appearance for the Dolphins this season, gave CSI a 14-7 lead shortly after. Another three-ball by Mesjasz gave CSI an 8-point lead at 35-27 with 3:05 left in the stanza, but a made three-ball from BSC's Matt McLaughlin cut the lead down again.
In the second frame, BSC made their run. Two layups by Judah Jackson bookended by a Tom Cuddihy long ball fueled a 9-0 BSC run with 13:57, giving the Bears back the lead 51-49. The game swung like a pendulum from there, with four ties and a pair of lead changes. Finally with the score knotted at 71-71, CSI's Ryan Hennessey buried a jumper at the 1:02 mark to give CSI the lead. Down to their final play, BSC's Dwayne Wilkerson collected a missed three-pointer and put home the layup with just a pair of ticks left to tie the score at the end of regulation, at 73-73.
CSI scored the first four points of overtime, but a 10-2 Bears run over the next three minutes, gave the Bears an 83-79 lead with just 39 seconds to play. Down 86-83 with 10 seconds left, CSI turned the ball over, and BSC buried a free-throw on the opposite side of the floor to put the game out of reach.
Roland Millien led the way for BSC (3-6) with 24 points as he connected on 10 of 12 field goal attempts. Cuddihy added 20 markers to increase his career total to 1,249 points as he moved past John McSharry (1971-75) into 12th place on the Bears' all-time scoring list. Jackson posted 17 points while Jim Torney pitched in with 13 points and 8 boards.
The Dolphins were led by Christian Montervino's 20 points, while senior Mesjasz added 16 and a team-high 7 rebounds.