JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | New Jersey City University jumped out to a 9-0 lead and was never seriously threatened while producing its most complete basketball effort this season, as the Gothic Knights defeated Stockton University, 81-67, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on January 10 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center ('Coach Charlie Brown Court').
NJCU improved to 12-2 overall and 6-1 in the NJAC while limiting Stockton (9-6, 3-5 NJAC) to just 30.4 percent shooting (17-56) and 6-of-27 from three-point range (.222). The 67 points were the third fewest by an NJCU opponent this year.
The Gothic Knights, listed 26th nationally, just one point outside the D3hoops.com Top 25, had four players in double figures, led by sophomore power forward Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown)'s third consecutive 20+ point game and fifth double-double of the season. Overall, all 10 Gothic Knights who played at least five minutes scored three or more points.
Toney had an off-shooting night, failing to hit a three for the first time this year, which snapped a 19-game streak of making at least one triple. But he was 6-of-10 inside the perimeter and lights out from the line (8-9), to finish with 20 points, 11 rebounds (nine defensive) and two blocks. Junior shooting guard Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) added 15 points, including 3-6 three-point shooting, and was also 6-of-10 overall.
Junior small forward James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) and junior center Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park), both starters most of the season, came off the bench to contribute 10 points apiece as NJCU received 33 points from its reserves in the win.
Julius had 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-5 3FG), four assists and three steals and Brutus was 5-of-8 for 10 points with six boards. Junior point guard Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) added six points (3-7 FG), six rebounds and five assists and senior point guard Ruben Acosta (Waterbury, CT/Bogota) had a nice spark off the bench with five points and three assists.
Stockton senior guard Zavon Johnson (Trenton, N.J.) led the Ospreys with 18 points (4-13 3FG) while senior forward Kevin Tull (Millville, N.J.) tallied 14 points (4-9 FG), eight rebounds and four steals. Leading scorer and junior guard Kashaun Barnes (Toms River, N.J.) had 15 points and three assists, primarily from the line where he was a perfect 13-of-13 after shooting 1-of-8 from the floor.
HOW IT HAPPENED
NJCU jumped out to a 9-0 lead in the first five minutes behind five points from Green including a three that forced a timeout, and four points from Toney. Stockton did not score until the 13:51 mark. A three by Julius and offensive rebound and putback by Brutus pushed the lead into double figures, which expanded to 21-9 when Acosta hit a three from the left sideline on a third-chance shot. An offensive rebound and putback by freshman center Chika Wosu (Jersey City, NJ/University Academy Charter)) pushed the margin to 14 (23-9), NJCU's largest of the opening period.
The highlight of the first half came with 2:50 left. Stockton gave Toney space on the baseline and he took it, throwing down a monstrous dunk. The Knights led by 11 at halftime, 36-25.
NJCU used 54.5 percent shooting in the second half (18-33) to finish what was a complete team effort. NJCU led by as much as 17 (52-35) early in the half and Stockton never came closer than seven (61-54, 8:06) the rest of the night. A 13-2 outburst helped seal it. A long straightaway three by Julius started the streak with 5:20 left. Toney would power to the rim for a layup (71-58) and Worthy scored on a backdoor play (73-58) before Toney's 20th points and a running floater by Worthy to beat the shot clock, made it 79-60. The 19 points matched NJCU's largest advantage of the night.
- Series: 83rd meeting in a series NJCU leads, 48-35.
- NJCU ranked No. 26 in NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, one point outside the Top 25, after being ranked No. 20 last week.
- Stockton held under 70 points for only the fifth time this year.
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored in double figures for the 30th time in 43 career games.
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored at least 20 points in a game for the 12th time in his career and the ninth time in 14 games this season.
- Toney reached double figures in rebounds for the 11th time in his career.
- Toney produced his 10th career double-double and fifth of the season.
- The last time Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) didn't make a three in a game was February 8, 2017 vs. Montclair State (0-5).
- Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) reached double figures in scoring for the 11th time in 14 games as a Gothic Knight. For Green, it was the 28th double digit scoring effort of his collegiate career.
- James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) scored in double figures for the fourth time this season and first time since December 6 against Kean. Juliusreached double figures in scoring for the 15th time in his career.
- Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park) reached double figures in scoring for the fourth time this season and the 18th time in his career.
- In the first meeting between the rivals and formerly nationally ranked clubs since the 2017 NJAC championship game, won by Ramapo on a half court buzzer beater, NJCU faces the Roadrunners in Mahwah, N.J. on Saturday, January 13 (3 p.m.) in one of the top games in the country this weekend. Ramapo is 11-4 overall and 7-1 in the NJAC. The Roadrunners are 5-0 at home this year and 18-1 at home in the last two seasons, with its only loss coming in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. RCNJ has won the last four home meetings with NJCU. Overall, it will be the 92nd meeting. NJCU leads all-time, 66-25.
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