Springfield, Ohio (12/30/10) – Five key free throws down the final stretch helped seal the win for the Kean men's basketball team as they defeated Heidelberg University, 74-70, Thursday in the Zimmerman Memorial Classic at Wittenberg University.
Senior Jonathan Jones had a game-high 23 points and 15 rebounds for his 13th straight double-double this year. With a combined 46 points, 25 rebounds and six steals, Jones was named to the All-Tournament team.
The Cougars (9-4) held the lead for the entire second half, but for the final 10 minutes, Heidelberg (4-7) kept things close keeping the deficit in the single digits. The Berg pulled to within one as Nate Davis hit the backend of his free throw opportunity to put the score at 58-57 with 5:49 to go. Kean consistently kept the pace and would stretch their lead to three or four points in the final minutes but it was the final 30 seconds that sealed the win. Holding on to a 69-66 advantage, sophomore Diego Gutierrez made one of his two free throw attempts with 28 seconds on the clock. After Heidelberg made two free throw shots of their own (70-68), sophomore Mike Shaughnessy continued the trend making both of his shots at the charity stripe, 72-68. After a failed trey by the Berg, Gutierrez (pictured left) sealed the win adding another two free throws with 15 ticks on the clock. Heidelberg added a tip-in at the buzzer, but it was not enough.
Kean jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first half before Heidelberg closed the gap and took the lead with just over 13 minutes to go in the half. The Cougars slowly chipped away and took the lead for good on a layup by Jones with 5:53 remaining. KU ended the half on a 6-2 run and pushed their lead to nine as they headed into intermission with a 35-26 advantage.
The Cougars enjoy a nice break and will resume action in 2011 when they return to the conference schedule and host Montclair State University on Saturday, January 8th.