Montclair, NJ – Sophomore Sam Toney scored posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds as New Jersey City University picked up a key NJAC victory on Wednesday evening with an 84-76 win at Montclair State's Panzer Athletic Center.
Sophomore guard Jeff Haddock registered eight of his 15 points during a pivotal 15-3 run in the second half helping the Gothic Knights (18-5) to a split of its season series with the Red Hawks. NJCU kept pace with The College of New Jersey in the race for a first-round bye in the upcoming NJAC Tournament. The Gothic Knights and TCNJ are both 12-4 in the league and tied for second place.
Freshman guard Myles Mitchell-White recorded his third consecutive 20-point game finishing with 20 points along with six rebounds and six assists for MSU (16-7), which dropped its second straight contest. The Red Hawks are two games back of NJCU and TCNJ in fourth place and two games in front of Rowan and Stockton, who are both at 8-8. The top six teams advance to the league tournament with the first and second-place finishers receiving a first-round bye.
Montclair State was able to build a seven-point lead in the first half and was up 19-12 after Jarrett Bogus hit twice from line with 10:04 left in the opening half. That advantage would fluctuate with Montclair holding on to the lead until two minutes remaining as Shaquan Worthy completed a four-point play with a three and free throw for a 30-28 NJCU lead. Worthy added another basket for a four-point advantage with a James Julius three with 24 seconds giving the Knights a 35-31 lead.
Mitchell-White cut the deficit to a point with a buzzer-beating three pointer as Montclair went into the locker room down 35-34.
A three-point play by Bogus helped Montclair forge a 45-39 lead with four minutes gone by in the second half. NJCU then embarked on a 12-point run over the next three minutes taking a 51-45 lead on a three by Lavrone Green. The Red Hawks were able to get within 55-53 on a running hook in the lane from Kaan Yilmaz.
The teams traded free throws before Haddock truly ignited the decisive run. He connected twice from the line extending the lead to 58-54 and then drilled a long straightway three with 8:03 left for a 63-56 advantage. Toney and Yuri Brutus added field goals before another three-pointer by Haddock pushed the NJCU lead to 70-56 with 5:21 to play.
Montclair State would manage to get within 80-74 with 47 seconds left on a Jovanni Chatham three however Green hit four in a row at the stripe to ice the game for NJCU.
Green finished with 13 points and Julius 11 for the Gothic Knights which put five players in double figures. After shooting just 31 percent in the first half, NJCU went 14-of-29 (48 percent) from the field over the final 20 minutes including 5-of-9 from behind the arc.
Bogus had 16 points and five rebounds for Montclair, which got eight points apiece from Chatham and Ylmaz. Jordan Roberson added seven points and five rebounds.
NJCU and Montclair have alternated wins in the last six meetings with the Red Hawks earning a 76-66 victory in Jersey City on January 3.
Montclair State will look to break its mini-skid on Saturday, February 10 when it heads to Ewing, NJ to face TCNJ at 3:00 pm. The Red Hawks will look to avenge a 92-88 loss to the Lions at the Panzer Athletic Center on January 13.