Kean Opens Cougar Classic with 82-49 Win Over Husson

Kean Opens Cougar Classic with 82-49 Win

UNION, N.J. (11/21/09) - Senior guard Melissa Beyruti (Union City, N.J.) scored a game-high 16 points to lead #11 Kean University to a 82-49 victory over Husson University in the opening round of THE ROCK Cougar Classic on Saturday afternoon.

Beyruti (pictured right) knocked down three three-pointers and hit all five of her free throws as the Cougars (1-1) held the Eagles to just 26.1 percent (6-of-23) shooting in the second half to pull away in their home opener.

Junior forward Tiffany Patrick (Piscataway, N.J.) added 13 points, six rebounds and eight steals.

For the Eagles (0-1), junior guard Bethany Sevey (Skowhegan, Maine) finished with a team-high 12 points.

Kean opened up a 14-4 lead less than five minutes into the game, as Patrick scored five points in the opening run.  Husson trimmed the Cougar lead to 17-14 on back-to-back buckets by freshman guard Kelli Murray (Shawmut, Maine), before Kean answered with seven unanswered points to extend the lead back to double-digits.

The Cougars pushed the first-half lead out to as many as 15 points following a three-point play by senior forward Danielle Brown (North Brunswick, N.J.) with just under three minutes remaining.  After Husson trimmed the lead back to single digits at 38-31 on a three-pointer by freshman Erica Lyford (Legrange, Maine), senior guard Alysha Taylor (Galloway, N.J.) hit a three-pointer and Patrick converted a pair of free throws to give Kean a 43-31 lead at the break.

In the second half, the Cougars used a 15-2 run to quickly open the lead up to 25 points at 58-33 and would lead by as many as 34 points on three separate occasions en-route to the 33-point victory.

For the Cougars, 16 players scored at least one point and 10 different players recorded at least 10 minutes of playing time.

Brown finished with eight points and five rebounds, while sophomore guard Brittany Powell (Tinton Falls, N.J.) (pictured left) added eight points, two assists and two steals off the bench. 

For Husson, Lyford scored eight points and had four rebounds off the bench.

The Cougars face Ithaca College, a 55-52 winner over SUNY Cortland, in the championship game on Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m.

The Bombers were led by senior guard Katherine Bixby (Philadelphia, Pa.), who finished with a game-high 16 points.  Junior Jordan Confessore (Kendall Park, N.J.) added a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, as she broke the 51-51 tie in the final minute of the game by sinking a pair of free throws to put Ithaca ahead for good.