QUEENS, N.Y. – Senior forward Jonathan Jones led three players in double-figures, opening the season with his second straight double-double in Kean’s 69-57 win over York College (N.Y.) in non-conference action on Wednesday evening.
Jones finished with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds for the Cougars (2-0), while the Cardinals (0-2) were led by William Holley, who finished with a game-high 24 points.
The opening minutes of the game had a pair of lead changes and five lead changes before the Cougars took the lead for good when rookie Michael Burton sparked an 11-0 run with a three-pointer and the Cougars extended the lead to nine points when junior Rob Lewis capped the run with a lay-up for the 21-12 lead midway through the first half.
After York answered with eight straight points to pull within one point, the Cougars closed out the half with five unanswered points, taking the 37-26 lead on a lay-up by Jones heading into the break.
A 16-5 run by the Cougars early in the second half pushed the lead out to 54-38 following two free throws by rookie Andrew Kirey, however the Cardinals trimmed the Kean lead back to single-digits, pulling to within six points at 59-53 with just 4:20 remaining.
Back-to-back jumpers by freshman guard J.J. Hladik extended the lead back to double-digits for the Cougars, before a dunk by Jones gave Kean the 65-53 lead with 3:25 left. The Cougars sealed the win, knocking down all four of their free throws in the final three minutes for the 12-point win.
Burton finished with 14 points and three steals, while sophomore Diego Gutierrez added 11 points.
For the Cardinals, Holley knocked down all 10 of his free-throw attempts, while senior center Marcel Esonwune added 19 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
The Cougars travel to Division I University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday, November 20, at 2 p.m.
Connect with NJTODAY.NET
Join NJTODAY.NET's free Email List to receive occasional updates delivered right to your email address!