Late Basket Lifts Kean Men Over Rowan, 50-48

UNION, N.J. (2/1/12) – Sophomore forward Kyle Latorre had a layup with nine seconds remaining to lift the Kean University men's basketball team to a 50-48 win over Rowan University in a pivotal New Jersey Athletic Conference South Division match-up on Wednesday evening.

Latorre (pictured left) finished with a team-high 11 points and had five rebounds for the Cougars (4-18, 3-7 NJAC).  For Rowan (9-12, 3-7 NJAC), junior guard Kendall White scored a game-high 15 points.

With the game tied at 48-48, Latorre scored and was fouled with nine seconds remaining in the game.  Rowan sophomore Dee Benson rebounded the missed free throw, and after a Prof timeout, Rowan had to go the length of the floor in the final 6.8 seconds of the game.  The Cougars, who only had three team fouls at the time, fouled the Profs twice as they brought the ball up the floor.  White finally inbounded the ball one final time for Rowan from just inside midcourt and got the ball right back, however his long three-point shot from the right side was off the mark and Kean senior Andrew Kirey secured the rebound to seal the win. 

The Cougars scored the first four points of the second half to build a 35-24 lead less than five minutes into the half.  Rowan answered with five straight to pull within seven points, before a Branly Cadet three-pointer would eventually give the Cougars the double-digit lead at 41-31 with 13:02 remaining.

Rowan would use another 5-0 run to cut the lead in half at 43-40, however Cadet (pictured right) again answered with a three-pointer to give Kean the 46-40 advantage with 7:44 left in the game.  The Profs eventually tied the game at 48-48 when sophomore guard Rich McNamara had a lay-up with 21 seconds remaining.

In the first half, Rowan took an early 7-3 lead on a three-pointers by sophomore guard Phil Jackson, before Kean answered with an 11-2 run, as sophomore guard Ryan Duffy knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to close out the run for the 14-9 lead with 12:40 left in the first half.

Rowan would eventually regain the lead at 17-16 on a three-pointer by White, however the Cougars closed the half on a 10-2 run to take a 32-24 lead at the break.

Kirey scored all 10 of his points in the first half, while Duffy and senior Leigh Keenan each added six points.  White led Rowan with nine first-half points.

In the victory, Keenan finished with eight points, while junior guard Mike Shaughnessy dished out eight assists, including the final pass to Latorre for the game-winning basket. 

For Rowan, Jackson finished with 11 points and McNamara chipped in with 10 points.

Kean returns to action on Saturday, February 4, when the Cougars travel to Rutgers-Camden for a NJAC South Division match-up.  Tip-off is set for 3 p.m.