UNION, N.J. (2/8/14) – The Kean University men's basketball team had four players in double figures and 10 different Cougars logged significant minutes to help the team grind out an 82-69 win over Rutgers-Camden on Saturday.
Senior Ali Mix poured in a game-high 20 points, while J.J. Hladik and Xavier Fuller had 14 each and Mike Burton was right behind with 13. Hladik knocked down three treys and was 3-for-3 from the line.
The game was closer than the final score may indicate; Camden led as late as 9:35 of the second half.
Kean mixed in some nice plays throughout the game. At the 5:25 mark of the first, a 60-foot pass from Burton to Mix set up an easy layup, and Tom Soulias hit a three-pointer at 4:19 that increased the Cougar lead to 11.
Soulias swished another three from the corner at the halftime buzzer to give Kean a 41-35 lead at the break. He was a perfect 3-for-3 from behind the arc in the game.
In the first 10 minutes of the final period, the Scarlet Raptors clawed back enough so that they were able to take the lead on a layup at the 11:45 mark.
Camden held the advantage until 9:35, when Fuller's layup tied the game and sparked a 7-0 run. Kean never trailed again, and quickly built its lead back to double digits in less than four minutes on an Ali Mix (pictured left) lay-in.
With 3:13 to go, Hladik coolly sank all three free throws he was awarded to effectively ice the game for Kean, which is now 12-9 on the year and 8-6 in the NJAC.
The Scarlet Raptors were led by Teon Russell, who finished with 20 points as Camden sank to 4-18 and 2-13 in the league.
The Cougars won the rebounding battle 40-35 and registered 24 assists on their 30 field goals. Kean shot nearly 50 percent from the field (30-61), made 11 three-pointers and shot 85 percent from the line in the win.
The Cougars will hit the road for three big NJAC games next week, beginning with a make-up date against Richard Stockton College at 8 p.m. on Monday.