UNION, N.J. (1/26/13) – Freshman Khalid Muhammad scored 24 points to lead New Jersey City University to a 66-55 victory over the Kean University men's basketball team on Saturday afternoon.
Junior Michael Burton scored a game-high 26 points, while classmate Xavier Fuller (pictured left) chipped in 10 points and four rebounds for the Cougars (6-14, 5-8 NJAC). Senior Josh Caver finished with nine points, and sophomore Khalid Crawford-Muhammad added 11 rebounds for the Gothic Knights (9-11, 4-9 NJAC).
The first half of contest was closely contested, as the teams combined for two ties and six lead changes, with no team leading by more than six. The Cougars opened the game on an 8-2 run, led by five points from Burton, who finished the opening stanza with eight points. The Gothic Knights then scored the next seven points, led by Muhammad who poured in five during the run. Senior Anthony Gibson connected on two free throws to give the Cougars a 25-20 advantage with 4:35 to go, but the Gothic Knights closed out the first half with an 11-3 run to give them a halftime lead of 31-28. Muhammad finished the half with nine points, while freshman Brent Burgess Jr. chipped in with six off the bench.
A Burton three-pointer tied the score at 33-all with 17:34 remaining in the second half, but that would be as close as the Cougars would get as the Gothic Knights rolled off a 14-2 run, stretching their lead to 12 (47-35) with 11:28 remaining. Sophomore Dakwan Simmons tallied six and Caver added four during this pivotal run. The Cougars battled back and cut the deficit to five (51-46) after a Burton trey with 5:14 to go, but NJCU was able to hold on to the lead to end the contest.
The Cougars return to action Wednesday, January 30th, as they travel to Rowan to battle the Profs at 8 p.m. The Gothic Knights return to action as well on Wednesday as they return home to take on Richard Stockton at the same time.