DOYLESTOWN, Pa. – Freshman Andrew Kirey scored the final five points of the game, as the Kean University men’s basketball team erased a 15-point second half deficit to defeat host Delaware Valley College, 81-78, in the season-opener on Monday evening.
Trailing 78-76 with less than two minutes remaining, Kirey made a lay-up to tie the game with just 68 seconds left. The Aggies had a chance to regain the lead, however the miss was rebounded by Kean sophomore Mike Shaughnessy and after a Kean timeout, Kirey knocked down the three-pointer with just six seconds left for the game-winner.
In the victory, senior Jonathan Jones recorded the double-double for the Cougars (1-0), with game-highs of 27 points and 16 rebounds. The Aggies (0-1) were led by senior guard James Jones with 23 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
After Kean took an early 11-6 lead in the first half, the Aggies scored 10 straight points to build a five-point lead of their own midway through the opening half. The Cougars regained the lead at 27-24, before Delaware Valley closed the half with a 20-5 run to build the double-digit lead at 44-32 at the break.
Jonathan Jones led the Cougars with 11 points and seven rebounds in the first half, while Kirey knocked down 2-of-3 three-pointers in the opening half for six points.
The Aggies extended the lead to 15 points when James Jones opened the second half with a three-pointer for the 47-32 edge. Kean answered with 11 straight points, pulling to within four points on a three-pointer by Michael Burton, and would eventually take its first lead of the second half on a lay-up by Jones with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.
From there, the game was back and forth, as the lead would change hands 13 times in the final 10 minutes, with Kirey giving the Cougars the 13th and final lead change with his game-winning three-pointer.
Kirey connected on 6-of-7 shots, including 3-of-4 from long range to score 15 points in his first career game, while Shaughnessy dished out 10 assists.
The Cougars return to action on Wednesday, November 17, when they travel to York College (N.Y.) for a non-conference game at 8 p.m.
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