NEWARK, N.J. (1/25/17) – The Kean University men's basketball program won its first game of the season by scoring a whopping 51 points in the second half to best Rutgers-Newark 68-64 for an NJAC road victory on Wednesday. The Cougars were down by as many as 19 points in the second half before completing their comeback.
Kean is now 1-18 overall and 1-11 in the NJAC. The Scarlet Raiders sink to 5-14 and 4-8 in the league.
Senior Kevin Grek finished 7-for-8 from the field - including four hits from downtown - to lead the Cougars to the victory.
The Cougar comeback began in earnest when Tré Gomez hit back-to-back threes with six minutes to go, cutting the Rutgers lead from 13 to seven in a hurry. Two free throws by Michael Summerer on the next trip down the floor and the Cougars were within five with five minutes to go.
A minute later, Micah Kerr made two free throws to make it a one-possession game, part of a 10-0 run where Kean held the Raiders scoreless for four minutes.
Trailing by six with 2:30 remaining, Summerer nailed a trey in the corner to make it a one-possession game again. On RU's ensuing offensive trip, Kerr (pictured left) stole the ball and was fouled, making it a two-point game.
After another key defensive stop, Kean turned to Grek for a long trey from the top of the key. He hit it with 1:22 to go to give the Cougars their first tie or lead of the evening.
One more defensive rebound by Kerr (he and Jodrell Thompson led the team with eight each) helped set up Summerer for a good post move to improve the lead to three with 54 seconds remaining. After another fruitless possession for the Raiders, Kerr iced the game with a free throw. RU had been held scoreless for the final 2:53 of gametime.
The Cougars scored 51 points in the second period after managing just 17 in the first half.
Newark was paced by Chase Barneys, who poured in 22 points for the Raiders.
Kean will return home to host Ramapo College in NJAC action on Saturday.