Clutch Shooting from the Line Sends Men’s Hoops Past NJCU

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (2/1/14) – The Kean University men's basketball team scored its last 12 points entirely from the free-throw line as the Cougars held on to win a great back-and-forth battle with New Jersey City University on Saturday afternoon. The taught matchup between the NJAC rivals featured nine ties and nine lead changes.

It was a pivotal game, as the teams would have flipped places in the league standings if the outcome had gone the other way. With the win, Kean is now 11-8 overall and 7-5 in the NJAC, while NJCU is 10-9 and 6-7 in the conference. There are two-and-a-half weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Cougars were led by their senior class; Mike Burton (21 points), Ali Mix (19) and Xavier Fuller (16 points/8 rebounds) were the only players in double figures for the victors, and the rest of the team hit two field goals combined.

Burton was especially impressive from the line when Kean needed it. He was a perfect 9-for-9 from the charity stripe, including six in the final two minutes.

Perhaps the biggest outburst, however, came from Tom Soulias (pictured left). With seven minutes to go and the Cougars trailing by three, the sophomore knocked down a pair of free throws, and on the next possession hit a huge three-pointer to swing the lead for the ninth and final time in the game.

Mix hit a couple field goals to keep Kean ahead, and then the parade of Cougars at the free throw line began.

The Gothic Knights, spread their scoring around, with nine players filling that column for the hosts. They were led by Walik Albright and Jourdan Roberson, who finished with 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Kean will be back in action on Monday when the Cougars will travel to Richard Stockton College for a make-up date with the Ospreys at 8 p.m.