AMHERST, Mass. (11/16/18)- Three starters scored in double figures as the Kean University men's basketball team notched its first victory of the season and the first under Head Coach Adam Hutchinson with the 75-73 decision over the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on the opening day of the Ken Wright '52 Invitational hosted by Amherst College.
Jailen Jamison finished with 10 points, 15 rebounds and four assists for the Cougars who improve to 1-2 overall and will take on the host Mammoths of Amherst College in the championship game. Mike Demartinis finished with a game-high 24 points for the Trailblazers who fall to 0-2 overall.
The Cougars led for most of the contest after opening the game on a 17-7 run over the first 8:26. MCLA responded with a 12-2 run to take their first and only lead of the contest with 8:23 remaining in the first half.
Kean eventually opened things back up with a 16-7 run that propelled them to a 33-23 advantage with 4:09 to play in the first half. Micah Kerr, who poured in 14 of his 18 points in the opening stanza, scored 10 points during the run. The Cougars would take a 39-32 lead into the locker room on a Nate Lyles alley-oop from Tré Gomez with 52 seconds remaining.
The second half saw Kean maintain the lead and eventually stretch it to 66-56 with 6:22 remaining. The Trailblazers didn't fold up as MCLA made a 15-5 run over 4:38 to notch up everything at 71-71 with 1:25 to play.
Jared Latane proved to be clutch down the stretch scoring four of his seven points in the final 1:07. Latane knocked down a wide-open triple to give the Cougars a 74-71 lead and then made a key free throw to hold off the Trailblazers.
Kendall Blount totaled 17 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and two steals, while Gomez collected 10 points and three boards.
Coach Hutchinson and the Cougars will return to action tomorrow, Saturday, Nov. 17th, in the championship game of the Ken Wright '52 Invitational against Amherst College at 3:00 p.m.