Huntington, Pa. (11/16/12) – Host Juniata College edged the Kean University men’s basketball team in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament opener by the final of 53-49, Friday evening.
Junior Michael Burton had a game-high 18 points in the loss. Kean (0-1) will now face off against Penn State Altoona in the consolation matchup at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
It was a tight contest throughout, with neither team leading by more than six in the first half. Juniata built that six point advantage with just over seven minutes to go in the period off a jumper from Lucas Mellott (16-10). Kean responded, and tied things up at 18-all as Burton nailed a trey. Juniata regained the lead with a trey near the buzzer, as they headed into the break with a 22-20 lead.
Burton (pictured left) led the way in the first half with eight points, while teammate Xavier Fuller added five first-half rebounds.
The second half played out much like the first. Brian Scholly provided three baskets that made the difference down the stretch for Juniata. The first was a three-pointer with just over five minutes to go, giving Juniata a seven point lead (47-40) with the second, another rainbow shot pushing the lead to five (51-46) with a minute and a half remaining. His final shot of the night pushed the lead back to seven with a layup with 16 seconds to go. The Cougars were able to pull within four on a trey from Burton with five seconds remaining, but that ended the matchup for the final.
Junior Kyle Latorre finished with seven points and seven rebounds, while Fuller recorded six points and nine rebounds.