UNION– Senior forward Jonathan Jones had game-highs of 31 points and 17 rebounds to rally the Kean University men’s basketball team to a 68-60 victory over Albright College in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon.
Jones had 14 points in the final 11 minutes of the game, as the Cougars (7-3) rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit.
Senior guard Zac Shaeffer finished with a team-high 22 points for the Lions (5-3), as the Cougars held Albright’s leading scorer, Matt Ashcroft, to just two points, 18 points below his scoring average of nearly 20 points per game.
The Cougars scored the first eight points of the game, with Jones netting six points, and would eventually take a nine-point lead at 22-13 following a three-point play by Jones with 9:27 remaining in the first half. Albright answered right back with 11 straight points to take their first lead of the game at 24-22 and would lead 29-27 at the half after a three-pointer by Jeff Sparrow with five seconds left in the half.
Jones had 13 points and eight rebounds in the first half, while Shaeffer hit 4-of-5 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from three-point range.
After Jones opened the second half with a dunk, the Liones used a 17-4 run to take a 46-33 lead on the lay-up by junior forward Shane Irwin with 14:37 left. Kean freshman Anthony Gibson scored the game’s next five points to cut the lead to single digits, and after a pair of foul shots by Irwin extended the Lions’ lead back out double-digits, Kean rookie J.J. Hladik ignited a 12-1 run with a three-pointer, as Jones capped the run with a pair of free throws to give the Cougars their first lead of the second half at 50-49 with 9:34 left.
Albright would regain the lead, extending it back out to four points at 57-53 with just under five minutes left, before Kean scored eight straight points to take the lead for good at 61-57 with 3:27 left. The Lions pulled to within 61-59 on a lay-up by sophomore Cornell Mickens, however the Cougars hit 3-of-4 foul shots in the final three minutes and Jones had an offensive rebound and tip-in with 14 seconds left for the eight-point victory.
Jones has recorded 10 double-doubles in as many games this season and has now recorded 21 double-doubles in the last 22 games dating back to last season. He knocked down 10-of-15 shots from the floor and 11-of-14 from the foul lines.
Kean freshman Michael Burton had 11 points, three steals and two assists, while Gibson added 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Junior center Derek Hall finished with 11 points and five rebounds for Albright.
Kean returns to action on Tuesday, December 21, when the Cougars host DeSales University in non-conference action. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.
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