Men's Basketball Holds Off TCNJ, 61-54

Men's Basketball Holds Off TCNJ, 61-54

UNION, N.J. (1/20/10) - Senior guard Vinnie Darpino (Colonia, N.J. ) scored a game-high 19 points and junior Jonathan Jones (Linden, N.J.) had his fourth straight double-double to lead the Kean University men's basketball team to a 61-54 win over The College of New Jersey in a key New Jersey Athletic Conference South Division match-up on Wednesday evening.

Jones had 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Cougars (6-11, 3-4 NJAC), who snapped the Lions' six-game winning streak.  Senior guard Jay Frank (Brick, N.J.) led the TCNJ (10-6, 3-3 NJAC) with 10 points.

In the first half, the Cougars used an 11-2 run to take an early 10-point lead, as Darpino (pictured right) dropped in 11 points and capped the run with a three-pointer to take the 17-7 lead with 14:05 to go.  Kean extended the lead to as many as 16 points (26-10) with eight minutes remaining, before taking the 36-21 lead at the break.

Darpino scored 15 points in the opening half for the Cougars, hitting 6-of-9 shots, while Jones grabbed 10 first-half boards.  For the Lions, senior guard William Jett (Brown Mills, N.J.) came off the bench to score six points.

The Cougars scored six straight points early in the second half to build their largest lead at 44-23 following a lay-up by Jones (pictured left) just 3:34 into the half.  After the Cougars again led by as many as 20 points on several more occasions, TCNJ closed the game on a 13-3 run to pull back within single digits. 

Senior forward Akinwande Oshodi (Florence, N.J.) grabbed 13 rebounds for the Cougars, while senior forward Brian Lytle (Union, N.J.) added eight points.

Junior forward Steve Siracusa (New Providence, N.J.) had nine points, eight rebounds and four steals for TCNJ.

The Cougars return to action on Saturday, January 23, when they host Rutgers-Newark in conference action at 3 p.m.