Late Rally Sends Rutgers-Newark Past Kean, 74-71

Newark, N.J. (1/15/11) – Rutgers-Newark's Al'Don Muhammad scored 16 points during a decisive run late in the action to send the Scarlet Raiders past Kean University, 74-71, Saturday night in NJAC competition.

Senior Jonathan Jones fell one rebound shy of a double-double, breaking his 15 game streak.  Jones finished with a team-high 21 points and nine rebounds.

With just over 10 minutes to go in the second half the Cougars (11-5, 4-1 NJAC) held a nine point advantage (57-48) thanks to a dunk by Jones (pictured left).  Junior Pedro Burgos then started a Scarlet Raider (14-3, 4-2 NJAC) rally and rolled off eight consecutive points for Newark to trim the KU lead to just five (59-54).

After Jones completed one of two free throws, Newark's Muhammad scored 16 of their next 18 points to give Rutgers-Newark a 73-68 lead with just eight seconds to go.

Rookie J.J. Hladik tossed in a running 36 footer from the right side with 2.6 ticks left on the clock to pull Kean within two (73-71), but the Cougars were forced to foul and with one second to go, Greg Moore completed one of his two free throw opportunities to pull ahead 74-71.  Kean was unable to get off a desperation shot before the buzzer.

Jones had 10 points and freshman Michael Burton added nine as the Cougars took a 39-32 lead into halftime.  A 3-point jumper by freshman Leigh Keenan capped a 9-1 spurt which gave Kean an 18-8 lead with 13:23 left in the first period.

The Raiders clawed back to knot the score at 26-26 on a jumper by Moore with 5:16 left only to see Kean answer with an 11-0 rally. A trey by Diego Gutierrez ended the spree with 2:11 left in the half, giving the Cougars a 37-26 lead.

Burton had 11 points for Kean while Gutierrez (pictured right) recorded ten.

Kean returns to action with a non-conference matchup against The College of Staten Island on Monday at 1 p.m.