HOBOKEN, N.J. (11/21/13) – Kean University's Mike Burton nailed a go-ahead three-pointer with seven seconds to go to complete a 28-5 run and give the men's basketball team a 70-68 road victory over Stevens Institute of Technology on Thursday night.
Kean had fell behind early in the matchup, but Kyle Latorre hit an and-1 play to bring the Cougars within one point at 13-14. Stevens scored the next eight points to quell any momentum from that, however.
Burton led the Cougars in the first half with seven points, but the Ducks outshot Kean 55 percent to 33 percent and took a 34-27 lead at the break.
Beginning the second half up by seven, Stevens pushed its lead to 15 after eight minutes of play in the final period. Phillip DeSiegnora and Patrick Sabatino led the Ducks with 27 combined points.
For the Cougars, Burton and Ali Mix (pictured left) continued to power the offense, with 20 and 17 points, respectively. Xavier Fuller had an impressive stat sheet as he reached the 10-rebound plateau early in the second period and had four blocks, three steals and two assists to go along with his seven points.
Though they trailed by 21 points with just 6:19 to go, Kean cut the lead down to six on back-to-back three-pointers by Tom Soulias and Mix that were part of a 18-3 run capped by a Soulias lay-in. That play forced the Ducks to call timeout with the score 66-62.
Mix answered a pair of Stevens free-throws with a nifty reverse layup to keep the deficit at four, and a steal by Burton led to a Mix three-pointer that cut the lead to just one for the Ducks with one minute remaining.
Stevens missed the front-end of a one-and-one to give Kean a chance to re-take the lead with 24 seconds left on the clock. Burton worked himself free of his man and pulled up for a jumper from way behind the arc. The cacophonous capacity crowd was silenced as the Burton's shot hit nothing but net to put Kean up by two with seven seconds showing on the scoreboard. It was Kean's first lead since 17:37 of the first half.
Despite calling a timeout, Stevens was held without a shot by the Cougar defense as time expired and Kean ran off the floor with an epic 70-68 comeback victory. The Cougars ended the game on a 28-5 run.
Kean will host Richard Stockton College at 1 p.m. on Saturday as NJAC play begins for both schools.