UNION, N.J. (1/21/12) – The Kean University men's basketball team dropped a 73-55 decision to Rutgers-Newark in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The Scarlet Raiders (11-7, 4-3 NJAC) placed four players in double-figures, led by junior guard Al'Don Muhammad, who finished with 15 points and five assists. Sophomore guard Kenny Pace led Kean (3-16, 2-5 NJAC) with 11 points.
Rutgers-Newark scored nine straight points in the first half to take an 11-5 lead with 8:38 remaining following a layup by freshman guard Kevin Philemon. After the Scarlet Raiders extended the lead to 14 points at 26-12 on a three-pointer by Muhammed, Kean would pull back to within single digits as junior Branly Cadet and senior Andrew Kirey knocked down back-to-back three-pointers. Rutgers-Newark pushed the lead back to double-digits at the break, as freshman Christian Garcia had a tip-in to close out the first-half scoring for the 28-18 advantage.
Senior guard Greg Moore led the Scarlet Raiders with eight points, while Kean sophomore Michael Burton had five points for the Cougars.
In the second half, Rutgers-Newark opened up a 47-30 on a lay-up by Garcia, before the Cougars answered back with an 11-3 run, as junior Anthony Gibson knocked down a pair of three-pointers to open the run. A layup by sophomore Kyle Latorre capped the run with 6:19 remaining to pull Kean to within 50-41, however that would be as close as the Cougars could get, as Rutgers-Newark responded with nine straight points to pull away.
For Rutgers-Newark, Hussein Abdelmaksoud finished with 14 points and seven rebounds, while seniors Jeremiah Rivers and Pedro Burgos added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Latorre and junior Mike Shaughnessy had nine points apiece for Kean, and Gibson (pictured left) and Burton each finished with eight points.
The Cougars return to action on Wednesday, January 25, when they travel to Richard Stockton College for a NJAC South Division match-up. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.