William Paterson Men’s Basketball Wins Fifth Straight, 75-71 in Overtime

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UNION, N.J. – Senior guard Javae King-Gilchrist (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck) and sophomore guard Bright Mensah (Hackensack, N.J./Hackensack) each scored 15 points as the William Paterson men's basketball team (10-2, 5-1 NJAC) registered its fifth straight victory, a 75-71 overtime triumph at Kean (7-4, 3-3 NJAC) Jan. 8.


King-Gilchrist added three assists, three steals and a game-best 12 rebounds, while Mensah chipped in seven boards, three assists and three blocked shots. Junior guard Sandy Burgos (Fort Lee, N.J./Fort Lee) had 14 tallies and freshman forward Nick Smith (Elmwood Park, N.J./Memorial) produced 13 points.


Neither team ever led by more than seven points during a contest that featured 14 lead changes and 10 ties. The Pioneers owned a slim 37-34 halftime advantage, but a 9-2 Cougar burst handed Kean a 51-44 edge with 11:23 left in the second half.


WP responded with a 12-3 run, staking itself to a 56-54 lead at the 7:43 mark, but three more lead changes and a tie marked the next four minutes. Burgos went 4-for-4 from the charity stripe during the final 22 seconds, but Xavier Fuller forced overtime with his three-pointer during the closing seconds.


After Fuller broke the ice during the extra session, Burgos and junior guard Jaques Conceicao (Massama-Lisboa, Portugal/Francais Charle Lepierre) converted layups and Smith drained a trey for a 73-68 William Paterson advantage with 1:40 remaining. J.J. Hladik cut it to two (73-71, 0:03) when he made the first of two free throws, but Smith rebounded the miss of the second attempt, and he provided the final margin when he sank both free throws after he was fouled.


Fuller scored a game-high 28 points for Kean, Michael Burton collected 15 tallies and Kyle Latorre pulled down 13 rebounds.


William Paterson will host New Jersey City Saturday, Jan. 11, at 1:00 p.m.


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