UNION, N.J. (1/22/11) – Senior Jonathan Jones had game highs of 23 points and 15 rebounds, as the Kean University men's basketball team knocked off #20 Ramapo College, 75-70, in a battle of New Jersey Athletic Conference divisional leaders on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore forward Diego Gutierrez (pictured left) added 15 points and five assists, as the Cougars (14-5, 6-1 NJAC) hand NJAC North Division leader Ramapo its first conference loss of the season. Sophomore guard Will Sanborn scored a team-high 21 points for the Roadrunners (15-4, 6-1 NJAC), who had erased a double-digit deficit and briefly took a two-point lead late in the game.
The Cougars held a pair of 10-point leads in the second half, including a 63-53 lead with 7:47 remaining when Jones knocked down 1-of-2 free throws.
Sanborn ignited a 16-4 run for Ramapo with the first of three three-pointers, as the Roadrunners took their first lead of the game at 69-67 with just over three minutes remaining on back-to-back dunks by sophomore guard Travis Conyers and junior forward Demetrius Boards.
Kean answered right back on their next possession when Gutierrez found a wide open Mike Shaughnessy in the left corner and the sophomore guard knocked down the three-pointer to give the Cougars the lead for good.
After the Roadrunners missed the front end of a one-and-one, Gutierrez had a jumper and Jones (pictured right) followed with a pair of foul shots to extend the lead to 74-69 with one minute remaining. Ramapo's Anthony LoRusso hit 1-of-2 free throws to pull the Roadrunners back to within four points and Ramapo forced a Cougar turnover with the shot clock winding down. However, the Roadrunners gave the ball right back to the Cougars with a turnover and sophomore Anthony Gibson hit 1-of-2 foul shots to seal the Cougar win.
In the first half, the Cougars opened up a 26-6 lead midway through the first half on a dunk by Jones and Kean would lead by as many as 21 points at 30-9 with 8:25 left in the half. Ramapo chipped away, pulling to within 11 points at halftime, as the Cougars took a 43-32 lead into the locker room.
Jones had 11 points and eight rebounds in the first half, while Kean freshman guard Michael Burton scored 11 of his 13 points in the opening half.
Junior forward LaQuan Peterkin led all scorers with 14 points in the first half, as he finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and four blocks for the game.
Shaughnessy (pictured left) finished the game with six points and a game-high six assists, as the Cougars had 21 assists on the team's 27 field goals and committed only 11 turnovers.
For Ramapo, junior forward Elgin Brown had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
The Cougars return to action on Wednesday, January 26, when they host Richard Stockton College at 8 p.m.