UNION, N.J. (2/6/14) – Seniors Mike Burton and Xavier Fuller both registered double-doubles but it was not enough to overcome a tough Rowan University squad in an 83-64 loss on Thursday. Fuller finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds, while Burton had 11 and an even 10 boards.
Rowan raised its record to 10-11 and 5-9 in the NJAC, while the Cougars moved to 11-9 and 7-6 in the conference.
Ali Mix took the opening tip from Fuller and scored the game's opening bucket just three seconds into the game. On the Cougars' next trip down, Fuller had an athletic tip-in play off a missed jumper to put Kean back in the lead after a Rowan trey.
Rowan took a momentary lead, but Mix was able to tie it up again with a pair of free throws seven minutes into the game.
Jason Rosenberg kept the Profs ahead over the next few minutes, but Fuller made it a one-possession game again on a nifty reverse layup. Rowan kept pace, but back-to-back threes by Tim Steward and Burton trimmed the deficit down to one with four minutes to go.
After Rowan scored the next two buckets, a pass was thrown away and Mix picked up the loose ball, took two big steps and laid it in to make it a four-point game again. The Profs always had an answer in the first half, however, and took that four-point lead into the locker room.
Tom Soulias had a big play to open the second-half scoring. The sophomore had a second-chance lay-in, was fouled and converted the and-1 to cut the lead down to just one.
But rather quickly, Rowan built up its biggest lead of the game at that point. With 12:22 on the second-half clock, Phil Jackson knocked down shot from behind the arc that put the Profs up 11 for the first time.
RU stayed ahead by double digits for the rest of the night. The Profs were led by Jackson, who shot 6-of-9 from three-point land and finished with a game-high 24 points.
Kean will remain at home and host Rutgers-Camden in an NJAC showdown at 1 p.m. on Saturday.