HARRISONBURG, Va. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | No. 16 ranked New Jersey City University trailed by eight with 4:29 left in regulation before mounting another comeback, punctuated by a game-tying three-pointer by junior shooting guard Jeff Haddock, Jr. (Burlington Township, NJ/Willingboro) with 29 seconds remaining before the Gothic Knights held off Bridgewater College (Va.) in overtime, 73-70, in the second round of the EMU Tip-Off Invitational on November 17 at Eastern Mennonite University.
NJCU (2-1) won the tournament championship by virtue of its 2-0 record as Haddock, sophomore shooting guard Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ/(East Orange Campus) and First-Team preseason All-American junior forward Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) took over in OT, scoring all 11 points in the final period to close out the win. Bridgewater fell to 1-1 with the loss.
NJCU destroyed Bridgewater on the boards—a colossal 64-37 advantage. The Knights outrebounded BC 27-15 on the offensive glass and 37-22 on the defensive end. BC stayed in the game due to 25 NJCU turnovers and inconsistent three-point shooting (.167, 3-18).
Banks and Toney each registered double doubles—NJCU's first two of the season—and Haddock scored in double figures. Banks, who scored just 15 total points in his first two games in an NJCU uniform, went off for 22 points (8-22 FG) in 22 minutes off the bench, while adding 12 rebounds—nine on the offensive glass.
Toney produced the 19th double-double of his career, scoring 16 points (9-14 FT) with 15 rebounds (12 defensive) and three assists in 37 minutes. Haddock added 12 points, senior point guard James Richardson (Jersey City, NJ/Snyder) collected nine points and sophomore center Chika Wosu (Jersey City, NJ/University Academy Charter)) grabbed nine rebounds.
Down 58-50 after a three by freshman guard Liam Caswell (Ocracoke Island, N.C.), Toney immediately answered nine seconds later when he buried a three and Richardson converted a jumper for a three-point play with 3:21 to go to make it a one-possession game (58-56). When sophomore guard Josh Cammon (Covington, Ga.) pushed the lead back to four (60-56) with 1:57 to go, a foul shot by Toney (1:43) and a steal and fast break basket by Banks cut the deficit to one, 60-59, with 1:06 to play.
BC freshman guard Jimmie Sanders (Mansfield, Texas) hit a jumper with 46 seconds remaining to make it 62-59 before Haddock drilled a three to tie it at 62-62 and the Eagles missed a potential winning three at the buzzer.
In OT, Haddock had a three-point play on the opening possession to put NJCU in front (65-62) and after Bridgewater went back in front, 67-65, Banks tied it with a pair of foul shots After a pair of defensive stops, NJCU had the ball back with under a minute to play.
After a pair of offensive rebounds by Banks gave NJCU a third opportunity, he scored inside with 38 seconds left and NJCU forced a turnover, sending Toney to the line where he sank two free throws (17 seconds left) to make it a four-point lead (71-67). Bridgewater gave itself a chance when sophomore guard Dimetri Chambers (Savannah, Ga.) hit a three with 10 seconds left to cut it to one (71-70) before Toney iced the win with two more free throws and a three by Chambers to tie the game was off the mark.
In the first half, NJCU jumped out to an early 8-1 lead which matched its largest lead of the game in the first half before BC claimed a one-point lead (33-32) at halftime.
The Eagles put four players in double figures. Cammon finished with 14 rebounds and 11 points, Chambers tallied 13, junior guard Chandler Murray (Charlotte, N.C.) added 12 (3-6 3FG) and Sanders collected 11 points and five assists.
- Series: Second meeting and first in 20 years. NJCU leads, 2-0. NJCU defeated Bridgewater on November 21, 1998, 67-53, on a neutral court in Frostburg (Md.).
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored in double figures for the 46th time in 59 career games. He has scored 965 career points.
- Toney reached double figures in rebounds for the 20th time in his career.
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) is now fourth in school history in career three-pointers, passing current assistant coach Jeff Jordan
- Jeff Haddock scored in double figures for the seventh time in 15 appearances for NJCU. He has scored in double figures 26 times in 54 career games between NJCU and Rowan (2016-18).
- NJCU, the preseason No. 1 team in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, will open league play on Tuesday, November 20 when it meets Kean University at 8 p.m. at Harwood Arena in Union, N.J.
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