Men’s Basketball Tops Swarthmore on Opening Night

SWARTHMORE, Pa. (11/19/13)Tom Soulias and Ali Mix both scored over 20 points as the Kean University men's basketball team opened its season with a 69-59 victory over Swarthmore College on Tuesday. The Cougars nearly led wire-to-wire and dominated play in the paint.

Kean got off to a fast start as Mix and Soulias combined to score the first seven points of the contest and the Cougars held their hosts without a point for the first five minutes. The Garnet battled back to tie the game at 10 and then take a 13-12 lead, however, on back-to-back three pointers by Luke McCartin.

Soulias answered with a jumper to swing the lead back to Kean, where it would remain the rest of the game as the Cougars went on a 14-2 run at that point capped by a Soulias layup. Kean coasted into halftime with a 38-25 lead.

Mix (pictured left) led off the second period with two consecutive layups to extend Kean's lead to 17. Swarthmore rallied to get the deficit back to single digits, but Xavier Fuller's lay-in at 15:13 pushed it back to 11.

Undaunted, Swarthmore again trimmed the lead back down to as little as five points with five minutes to go on a Chris Bourne layup. Tim Steward knocked down a big three-pointer for the Cougars there at 3:20 that finally seemed to deliver the knockout blow to Swarthmore.

Soulias finished with 24 points and Mix had 22. Fuller was also in double figures with 11. Kean shot nearly 50 percent from the floor (49.1%) and forced 23 turnovers that led to 27 points. Swarthmore fell to 0-3 on the season with the loss.

The Cougars (1-0) will head to Hoboken on Thursday night to take on Stevens Institute of Technology at 8 p.m. inside Canavan Arena.