Union, N.J. (1/9/13) – Rookie David Azoroh scored the final 11 points for the Rutgers-Newark men's basketball team as he helped them push past Kean University by the final of 62-59 Wednesday evening in NJAC action.
Azoroh finished with 15 points as the Scarlet Raiders improved to 11-3 this season and 6-2 in conference play. Junior Xavier Fuller (pictured left) led the Cougars with 14 points off the bench as Kean fell to 5-9 overall and 4-4 in the NJAC.
It was a classic see-saw battle for the two local foes as the matchup featured 17 lead changes and eight ties.
The visitors raced out to what would be their largest lead of the game using three treys. Trailing 4-0, Rutgers-Newark received five points from sophomore Christian Garcia and six points from sophomore Doze Ikwuegbu to go ahead, 11-4. Kean responded and went ahead (16-15) with a jumper from junior Michael Burton with just over nine minutes to go in the first half. Sophomore J.J. Hladik provided four points in the run. After their fifth tie of the first half, Garcia nailed a trey with time expiring to put Rutgers-Newark ahead at the intermission, 35-32.
Junior Kyle Latorre provided 11 points in the first 20 minutes of action while Garcia tallied 10.
The second half played out much like the first with neither team able to push the lead into double-digits. Azoroh started his run of 11 consecutive points with a bucket with 7:47 remaining to give Rutgers-Newark a 50-47 advantage. Both teams then swapped leads over the next four minutes before the Cougars took their final lead of the night as Latorre hit a layup with just under four minutes to go (57-56). Kean had a chance to tie in the waning seconds of the contest, but were unable to convert in the loss.
Latorre finished with 13 points and five rebounds while Burton added 11 points. Garcia recorded a game-high 16 points while Ikwuegbu finished the night with 13.
Kean returns to action on Saturday when they travel to Montclair State University for a 1 p.m. matchup. Rutgers-Newark hosts Rowan University on the same day at 8 p.m.