NJCU Tops Rutgers-Newark in League Opener

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NEWARK, N.J. (November 21, 2017) – The Rutgers University-Newark men's basketball team suffered a 68-54 loss at the hands of New Jersey City University Tuesday night in the New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for both schools.
Rutgers-Newark drops to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the NJAC, while NJCU moves to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in league play.
Sophomore guard Chase Barneys finished with a team-high 17 points and three rebounds for the Scarlet Raiders, while junior forward Mark Thomas posted 12 points and eight boards. Junior guard Tyler Ofray had seven points, five rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Erick Loften-Harris notched four assists, five rebounds, three steals and two points. Senior big-man Dave Lunsford poured in nine points off the bench in another solid showing, adding six rebounds, one block and one steal to his line.
NJCU was led by junior guard Lavrone Green who scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half. Junior guard Shaquan Worthy had 10 points, seven rebounds and a team-high four assists, while sophomore forward Sam Toney pocketed seven points and 11 rebounds.
The Gothic Knights raced out to an early 9-2 advantage, but Ofray buried a long three 3:35 into the action to pull Newark within four (9-5), giving a great early-season crowd something to get loud for. NJCU pushed the edge to eight points with 9:36 to go in the first, but a tough Scarlet Raider group continued to battle, getting a jumper from Thomas and a three-pointer from Barneys to get within three (6:53).
Three would be as close as Rutgers-Newark would get the rest of the first as NJCU answered with five-straight to go back up eight (27-19) with a shade under five minutes on the clock.
Barneys netted another three-pointer to open the second-half scoring, pulling his team within four points at 35-31 with 18:11 left in regulation time.
NJCU would answer, extending its lead into double figures (45-33) 6:05 into the second half, but Rutgers-Newark would not go away, scoring 6-of-8 to get back within six following a tip-in from Lunsford and a fastbreak bucket for Thomas.
The two sides would go shot-for-shot over the next several minutes, but the Scarlet Raiders could get no closer than six down the stretch and NJCU eventually pulled away behind Green.
Rutgers-Newark shot 38.6 percent from the field (22-for-57), 28.6 percent from deep (6-for-21) and 4-for-6 at the line. The Raiders totaled 31 rebounds, 11 assists and eight steals, scoring 32 points in the paint and 12 off turnovers.
NJCU converted at a 44.6 percent clip from the floor (25-for-56), hitting on 7-of-24 from long range and 11-of-17 at the stripe. The Gothic Knicks grabbed 38 rebounds and dished out 10 assists, scoring 14 second-chance points and 17 off turnovers.
The Scarlet Raiders – who played three games in five days to start the season, including a pair out in Oregon – will take a few days off for Thanksgiving before returning to the hardwood with a Sunday matinee against Stevens Institute of Technology. Tip-off for the Scarlet Raiders and Ducks is slated for 3 p.m. from The Golden Dome.