Camden, N.J. (12/6/14) – The Rutgers University-Camden men's basketball team rallied from a one-point deficit in the last minute to defeat Kean University, 70-64, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup Saturday afternoon.
Rutgers-Camden improves to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the NJAC with only its second win in the last 15 games against Kean. The Cougars lead the all-time series, 54-21. Kean falls to 0-6 overall and 0-4 in the NJAC.
In a back-and-forth game which saw the Raptors leading by 30-27 at halftime, Kean built a second-half lead of nine points (55-46) before the Scarlet Raptors went on a 13-2 run to regain the lead at 59-57 with 4:22 remaining. Senior guard K.J. Brown scored the final five points in that run, while Wyatt Polk notched four of his game-high 25 points.
Kean, however, recovered and grabbed a 64-63 lead with 53 seconds remaining on a pair of free throws by sophomore forward Lincoln Holley.
Moments later, Brown missed a three-point attempt and sophomore center Matt O'Keefe won the scramble for a key rebound. The ball worked its way to Polk, who put the Raptors ahead for good with a layup. He then got fouled and tacked on a free throw with 29 seconds left for a 66-64 lead.
After a missed layup by the Cougars, Polk grabbed the board, was fouled and sank a pair of free throws to make it a 68-64 game. Brown added two foul shots in the final seconds for the 70-64 margin.
In a tight first half, the Scarlet Raptors broke a 27-27 tie with five seconds left on a free throw by junior John Tatem. His second foul shot was missed and tipped back in by freshman forward Abby Bah, giving Rutgers-Camden a 30-27 lead at the break.
The Raptors received 10 points from Tatem and nine from O'Keefe. O'Keefe and Polk grabbed nine rebounds apiece to tie for game-high honors as the Raptors held a 44-32 advantage off the boards. Polk finished 9-for-18 from the floor and 7-for-9 from the foul line.
Junior guard Tommy Soulias poured in 20 points for the Cougars, including 14 in the second half. Senior guard J.J. Hladik (pictured left) added 17 points, while Holley scored 12 and had a team-high eight rebounds.
Both teams return to NJAC action with 8 p.m. home games Wednesday. Kean faces Rutgers-Newark, while Rutgers-Camden battles Richard Stockton College.