CAMDEN, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | The New Jersey City University men's basketball team led by just three at halftime before outscoring Rutgers University-Camden by a 51-30 margin in the second half and cruised to an 81-57 New Jersey Athletic Conference road victory on January 12.
NJCU's win, coupled with Montclair State's 66-63 home loss to Stockton and TCNJ being blown out 89-69 on the road against last-place and NJAC-winless Kean, lifts the Gothic Knights into sole possession of first place in the conference at the midway point of the 18-game NJAC double round-robin schedule.
The Knights improved to 12-4 overall and 7-2 in the NJAC and have won six of their last seven games. NJCU is 8-2 since December 1. Camden dropped to 2-14 overall and 2-7 in the league. NJCU led wire-to-wire in the game and its bench outscored the Scarlet Raptor reserves, 40-13.
Senior shooting guard Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) paced NJCU with a season-high 22 points in 23 minutes, shooting 6-of-14 overall with four threes (4-9). He was 6-of-6 from the line and added six rebounds and three assists.
Junior preseason First-Team All-American Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) had a near double-double with 14 points (3-6 3FG) and eight rebounds while senior forward James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) had his second straight stellar game off the bench, hitting 5-of-8 three-point tries to finish with 15 points. Senior point guard Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) dished six assists. In all, 11 Gothic Knights scored in the win.
NJCU drilled a season-high 14 three-pointers in the game. After shooting just 10-of-32 in the first half, the Knights ignited to shoot 50 percent (16-32) in the second half including 10-of-23 three-point shots and were 90 percent (9-10) from the line.
Camden received 40 of its 57 points from three players. Sophomore guard Ian McCarthy (Cherry Hill, Jr.) had 17 points (6-12 FG), hitting 5-of-10 from long range. He added a team-high eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Kyle Goodson, Junior (Penns Grove, N.J.) added 12 points and five assists and freshman guard Adam Perry (Westampton, N.J.) finished with 11 points. The trio combined to shoot 14-of-30 from the field; the rest of the roster was just 4-for-18.
NJCU led by nine in the first half when Toney drilled back-to-back threes for an 11-2 lead, and by as many as 10 (18-8) on a jumper by senior guard James Richardson (Jersey City, NJ/Snyder) with 11:45 remaining. NJCU still led 29-21 before Camden whittled it to 30-27 at the break.
NJCU came out firing in the second half. Julius hit a three and Green buried to push the margin back to 10 (41-31). Julius and Green each added another triple to keep the cushion 10 (47-37)
The Knights held a 47-39 lead with 13:46 remaining before hitting the accelerator. A 24-6 stretch put the game away with the lead hitting 26 points after Toney finished a fast break off a steal from junior guard Jeff Haddock, Jr. (Burlington Township, NJ/Willingboro) with 5:51 left, making it 71-45. NJCU hit three more triples during the tear—two by Julius and one from Toney—and Green accounted for eight of the 24 points. The 26 points margin matched NJCU's largest of the game.
- Series: 69th meeting. NJCU leads all-time series, 64-5, and has won 26 of the last 27 meetings and 54 of the last 56 matchups.
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored in double figures for the 56th time in 72 career games.
- Toney moved into 18th place in school history with 1,181 points. He passed Bob Johnson on the all-time list (1968-91, 1178 points).
- Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) scored in double figures for the 30th time in 43 games as a Gothic Knight and the ninth time this season. The 22 points were two more than the 20 he scored against Rowan on December 1. It was his second 20-point effort of the season and fifth in two seasons at NJCU.
- James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) scored 10+ points for the fourth time this season and the 23rd time in his collegiate career. The 15 points are a season high—after scoring 14 on Wednesday in a win over Ramapo.
- Jeff Haddock, who was averaging 11.9 points per game coming in as NJCU's opening-day starting two-guard, played his first game in more than a month. After suffering an injury on December 5 at Montclair State, he played 16 minutes on Saturday after he missed the last six games.
- NJCU returns home to the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court) on Wednesday, January 16 at 8 p.m. against Kean (3-13, 1-8 NJAC).
GOTHIC KNIGHTS on SOCIAL MEDIA:
For the latest on #NJCUMBB, follow the Gothic Knights on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat. Preferred hashtags are #GothicFamily and #GothicGameDay.