Men’s Hoops Nipped by Newark

NEWARK, N.J. (1/15/14) – The Kean University men's basketball team and Rutgers-Newark fought all the way to the final shot before the Scarlet Raiders were able to seal the 66-63 NJAC victory Wednesday night. The Cougars had a chance to tie in the closing seconds but the comeback bid fell just short.

The largest lead for either squad in the game was a mere seven points in the back-and-forth battle. The second period was even tighter; both sides were within five points of each other the entire half. The matchup between the Cougars (8-5, 4-4 NJAC) and Scarlet Raiders (10-5, 6-2) featured five ties and nine lead changes in total.

Seniors Xavier Fuller and Ali Mix played well for Kean. Mix finished with 19 points and Fuller had nine points and eight boards for a well-balanced stat line.

Fuller (pictured left) played an especially integral role in the closing minutes. He assisted Mike Summerer on a jump shot that gave Kean an one-point lead with 3:30 to go, made a free throw to give the Cougars the lead again one minute later and grabbed a pair of offensive boards that culminated with a tip-in that tied the game with 42 seconds to go.

With the game knotted up, three free throws hit in the final six seconds by Christian Garcia and Chris Foreman put Newark in the driver's seat, however.

 Kean –down by three – had a chance to tie the game with four seconds remaining on the clock, but could not get the buzzer-beating shot to fall.

Foreman led all scorers with a career-high 23 points and teammate John Snow finished with 21 for Rutgers. Mix, Emmanuel Omowole (12 points) and Mike Burton (11) were all in double figures for Kean.

The Cougars will return home to Harwood Arena on Saturday to take on NJAC rival Montclair State University at 1 p.m.