GLASSBORO – Freshman Michael Burton knocked down back-to-back three-pointers in the final 90 seconds of the game, as the Kean University men’s basketball team closed the game on a 7-0 run to defeat host Rowan University, 71-66, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Wednesday evening.
Senior Jonathan Jones recorded his seventh straight double-double to open the season, finishing with game-highs of 26 points and 17 rebounds for the Cougars (5-2, 3-0 NJAC). For Rowan (3-5, 0-2 NJAC), Sean Hughes scored a team-high 25 points.
With the game tied at 64-64, Rowan took a two point lead at 66-64 with 2:19 left on a jumper by Steve Secula. Burton gave the Cougars the lead for good with a three-pointer with 1:22 left for the one-point lead and after a steal by Jones, Burton extended the lead out to four points with 18 seconds left at 70-66. The Cougars forced another turnover on Rowan’s next possession, with junior Rob Lewis making the steal, before freshman Andrew Kirey knocked down 1-of-2 foul shots to seal the five-point victory.
After the Cougars took a four-point lead early in the game, Rowan scored six straight points to take an 11-9 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining in the opening half. The Profs would extend the lead out to double-digits at 28-18 with 9:28 left following another 6-0 run, before Kean answered with an 11-0 run, taking a 29-28 lead with 5:40 left after a three-point play by Jones.
Rowan regained the lead on a three-pointer by Hughes and led by four points following a pair of free throws by Kendall White, but Kean again answered back to tie the game at 33-33 with exactly a minute remaining in the first half on a pair of foul shots by Kirey and a lay-up by junior Ali Mix. The Profs took a two-point lead into the half at 35-33 following a jumper by Laud Anderson.
The Profs led for much of the second half, extending their lead to as many as six points on a pair of occasions, the last time at 62-56 with 5:35 left in the game. Jones scored the game’s next six points to tie the game at 62-62 with 3:42 and would again tie the game one-final time at 64-64 with just under three minutes remaining, before Burton put the Cougars ahead for good with his back-to-back treys.
Burton finished with 14 points in just 15 minutes of action, while Jones added five steals in the win.
Secula and White each had 10 points for Rowan.
The Cougars return to action on Monday, December 13, when they host University of Scranton. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
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