Balanced Attack Lifts Kean Men to Key NJAC Win

Balanced Attack Lifts Kean Men to Key NJAC Win
Kean Athletics

UNION, N.J. (2/7/11) - Senior forward Jonathan Jones led a balanced scoring attack, finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds and three assists, as the Kean University men's basketball team defeated Richard Stockton College, 75-64, in a key New Jersey Athletic Conference match-up on Monday evening. Freshman forward Kyle Latorre had his first career double-double with career-highs of 13 points and 11 rebounds in support of Jones, as the Cougars (16-7, 8-3 NJAC) took sole possession of first place in the NJAC South Division. The 16 wins for the Cougars is also the most since 2004-05, when the Cougars won 17 games.

Junior DiAndre Brown had a career-high 24 points to lead the Ospreys (14-8, 6-4 NJAC).

In the opening half, the Cougars took an early 14-5 lead eight minutes into the game, as Latorre had eight points to lead the way. The Ospreys took advantage of 7-of-12 shooting from long-range to tie the game at 20-20 following a pair of three-pointers from junior guard Pat Kelly and a trey from Brown, however the Cougars regained the lead on a three-pointer by freshman Michael Burton and extended the lead back out to nine points at 31-22 on Burton's second three-pointer of the half with just under five minutes remaining.

The Ospreys again hit back-to-back three-pointers to trim the lead back to three-points and junior forward Colin Horsch would knock one down to pull Richard Stockton to within one point in the final minute of the opening half, before sophomore Mike Shaugnessy knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Cougars a three-point lead at halftime.

Jones led the Cougars with 10 points and eight rebounds and Burton added 10 points, while Brown had 17 points on the strength of 3-of-5 shooting from long range.

A three-pointer by Brown to open the second half sparked a 7-0 run that would give the Ospreys their first lead of the game at 43-39 less than two minutes into the half. The next seven minutes of the game featured five ties and five lead changes, with Richard Stockton taking the lead one final time on a free throw by sophomore forward Nnamdi Usuwa with 12:24 left in the game. Jones gave the Cougars the lead for good with a lay-up with 11:34 remaining and capped a 9-0 run with a dunk, giving the Cougars a 60-52 lead with 8:51 left in the game.

Senior guard Kai Massaquoi scored five straight points for Richard Stockton and Brown capped a 7-0 run for the Ospreys to pull back within one point at 60-59, however that was as close as they would get, as a jumper by Shaughnessy, a three-pointer by Burton and a pair of free throws by guard Rob Lewis pushed the Kean lead back to 69-61 with just 3:27 left in the game.

Jones would seal the win for the Cougars, knocking down all four of his free throw attempts in the final minute for the 11-point victory.

Jones recorded his 22nd double-double of the season and hit 9-of-10 shots from the floor for the Cougars. Burton finished with 13 points, including three three-pointers, while Shaughnessy added a season-high 11 points and seven assists. Freshman Tim Steward added eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in 15 minutes of action off the bench.

For the Ospreys, Brown hit 8-of-13 shots from the floor, including four from long range, while Kelly added four three pointers of his own en-route to scoring 15 points. Massaquoi finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.

The Cougars return to action on Saturday, February 12, when they travel to Rutgers-Camden for a NJAC doubleheader. The men tip-off at 3 p.m.