UNION, N.J. (1/4/14) – Senior Xavier Fuller scored 12 points with 10 rebounds as the Kean University men's basketball team used a 24-0 run to dispatch New Jersey City University by a 71-50 final on Saturday. The Cougars are now 7-3 on the year with a 3-2 NJAC record, while the Gothic Knights fall to 6-5 and 2-3 in the league.
The teams traded long-range volleys to start; Kean and the Knights combined for nine shots from behind the arc in the first four minutes of the game. Both sides knocked down a pair, and layups by Ali Mix, Tom Soulias and Fuller gave Kean a slight advantage.
After NJCU tied the game at 15, a technical foul and a tip-in by Mike Summerer on the ensuing possession put the Cougars back on top 19-17 halfway through the first stanza.
Then with the matchup tied up again, Mix stole a pass deep in the NJCU zone, took one step back and calmed swished a three-pointer from the top of the key. Kean let the Knights tie the game five times in the first half but never let them gain the lead until a Walik Albright tip-in at 6:48 put NJCU up by one.
Kean's Mike Diamond hit both ends of a one-and-one to put the Cougars back ahead with 2:33 remaining. J.J. Hladik had a great hustle play and steal on NJCU's next trip down the floor, and Tim Steward and Diamond hit field goals to put Kean up nine.
With two seconds left in the half, Diamond stole the ball and launched a half-court shot at the horn that went clean through the net. The buzzer-beater capped a 12-0 Kean run to end the first half and the Cougars led 34-25 at the break.
As the second half opened, Soulias and Steward hit back-to-back fast break layups and Mix and Soulias knocked down a pair of transition three-pointers. Kean extended its impressive run to 24-0 on a fast-break layup by Mike Burton. Albright finally stopped the hemorrhaging with a lay-in at 16:47.
Kean kept NJCU at arm's length for the rest of the game; the closest the Knights got in the second period was 13 points. The Cougars finished shooting 42 percent from behind the arc and scored three times as many points off turnovers (33-11).
Mix (pictured left) led all scorers with 19 points, and Soulias and Fuller were also in double figures with 12 each. Fuller posted his first double-double of the season with an additional 10 rebounds.
The Cougars will return to Harwood Arena on Wednesday to host William Paterson University at 8 p.m.