#24 Kean Women Cruise Past NJCU, 93-45

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UNION, N.J. (1/28/12) – The Kean University women's basketball team placed five players in double-figures, as the Cougars cruised past New Jersey City University, 93-45, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Naimah Clemons led the #21/24 Cougars (18-3, 9-0 NJAC) with a game-high 25 points, while junior guard Gabrielle Rivera led NJCU (3-16, 0-9 NJAC) with 18 points.

The Gothic Knights were able to take an early 7-1 lead against the Cougars and would lead 14-12, before Kean scored 21 straight points to take a 33-14 lead following a lay-up by senior forward Danielle McFadden with 6:32 remaining in the half.  Clemons opened the run with a three-pointer, giving the Cougars the lead for good, and scored 11 of the team's points in the spurt, as Kean forced the Gothic Knights into 10 turnovers and made six steals in the five minute run.

Kean led by as many as 26 points in the opening half, taking a 43-17 lead with just under four minutes remaining, and would lead 47-22 at the break.

Clemons led all scored with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting in the first half.  Junior forward Kyanne Sager came off the bench to score seven points.  Rivera led the Gothic Knights with 10 points.  Kean forced NJCU into 24 first-half turnovers, as the Cougars scored 27 points off of them.

The Cougars scored the first 11 points of the second half and opened the half on a 17-2 run to take a 64-24 lead following a lay-up by Clemons just 3:39 into the half.  Kean would lead by as many as 50 points on three separate occasions en-route to the 48-point victory. 

The Cougar defense forced NJCU into 33 turnovers for the game, as Kean made 24 steals and scored 34 points off of the turnovers.  As a team, the Cougars shot 52.3 percent (34-of-65) for the game, including 62.1 percent shooting (18-of-29) for the second half. 

Clemons hit 11-of-16 from the floor and finished with three assists and three steals.  Senior guard Brittney Powell added 13 points, five assists and five steals, while rookie Njera Hunter scored a career-high 13 points off the bench.  Sager chipped in with 11 points and junior Simone Smith finished with 10 points, four blocks and four steals. 

Junior guard Brittanie Payne finished just shy of the triple-double with 10 rebounds, 10 assists and eight points. 

For NJCU, freshman guard Luisa Montalvo had 12 points and three steals.

Kean returns to action on Wednesday, February 1, when the Cougars host Rowan University.  Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.