Men's Hoops Wins Triple-Overtime Thriller

Men's Basketball Defeats Rowan in Triple-Overtime

UNION, N.J. (2/15/10) - The Kean University men's basketball team won a triple-overtime thriller, defeating Rowan University, 73-70, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Monday evening and clinching a berth in the upcoming NJAC tournament.

Junior Jonathan Jones (Linden, N.J.) (pictured right) recorded his second 20-point, 20-rebound game of the season, as he finished with game-highs of 23 points and 22 rebounds, including seven points and six rebounds in the extra sessions.

With Kean leading 52-50 with four seconds remaining in regulation, Rowan senior Tyson Hartnett (Medford, N.J.) knocked down an off-balance jumper as the buzzer sounded to force the first overtime.  Hartnett nearly won the game on the shot that was initially called a three, however his foot was just on the three-point line to force the tie. 

The two teams traded baskets to open the first overtime, before the Profs took a 57-55 lead when sophomore Gary Foster (Neptune, N.J.) made the first of two foul shots.  Jones grabbed the miss on the second shot and after a time out, Kean senior forward Akinwande Oshodi (Florence, N.J.) drove into the paint and his jumper rolled around the rim as time expired before falling through the net to force the second overtime. 

The Cougars took a four-point lead in the second extra stanza, before back-to-back layups by Rowan in the final 75 seconds tied the game and forced a third overtime.

In the final overtime, Kean took control from the tip, as senior Vinnie Darpino (Colonia, N.J.)  scored on a lay-up following the opening jump before giving the Cougars a three-point lead at 71-68 with an offensive rebound and tip-in from the weak side with 40 seconds remaining.  Darpino then helped seal the win, converting 1-of-2 free throws with two seconds left.

The Cougars led by seven points on a pair of occasions in the opening minutes, building an 11-4 lead and an 18-11 edge in the first 10 minutes of the opening half.  The Profs battled back to take a two-point lead, before a tip-in by Jones at the buzzer tied the game at 27-27 at halftime. 

Jones had nine points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Foster had six points to lead Rowan. 

In a back-and-forth second half that featured six ties , both teams led by as many as five points, before Hartnett tied the game at the buzzer with the jumper from the top of the circle. 

Oshodi (pictured right) finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, including a huge block on a Rowan lay-up late in the third overtime with the Cougars ahead by two points. 

Darpino added 10 points, including five points in the final overtime, while senior forward Brian Lytle (Union, N.J.) added 10 points and six rebounds.  Senior guard Eugene Tolliver (East Orange, N.J.) hit three, three-pointers to finish with nine points off the bench. 

Foster finished with a team-high 16 points, six rebounds and five steals for Rowan, while senior guard Allen Pritchett (Camden, N.J.) added 13 points and sophomore Steve Secula (Mullica Hill, N.J.) added 11 points.  Hartnett rounded out the Profs in double-figures, finishing with 11 points.

The Cougars, who earn the third seed in the NJAC South Division, will travel to NJAC North Division second-seed Rutgers-Newark on Saturday, February 20, in the opening round of the playoffs.