Balanced Effort Lifts Drew Over FDU-Florham

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MADISON, N.J. - Six different Rangers scored in double figures and the Drew University men's basketball team pulled away late to beat cross-town rival FDU-Florham 86-72 in a non-conference tilt Tuesday evening in Baldwin Gym.

The Rangers (4-1) broke the game open with a 15-2 run that turned a tie game into a 76-63 lead following a 3-pointer from junior guard Miles Lewis with 5:15 remaining. The Devils (3-4) were unable to get closer than 10 the rest of the way.

Junior forward Lybrant Robinson led Drew with 22 points and eight rebounds while freshman forward Howard McBurnie, Jr. registered 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting to go with six rebounds. Four Rangers scored 10 points, including junior forward Malachi Walker, Jr., who also grabbed 12 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Senior guard Michael Boice added 10 points and eight rebounds while classmate Riley Collins contributed 10 points and six assists. Lewis also netted 10 points.

Oliver Ortman led all players with 26 points on 6-of-11 3-point shooting for FDU-Florham while Shawn Smith finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, and six assists.

It was a back-and-forth affair in the early going, when there were three ties and eight lead changes over the opening 10:28. Neither side led by more than five until a 10-2 Ranger run opened up a 10-point lead. Five different players scoring during the spurt, and a put-back from Robinson made it 41-31 with 3:36 on the first-half clock. The Devils edged to within 45-39 at the break.

Drew shot 58.6% from the floor in the first half and out-rebounded the Devils 24-13. 

The Rangers pushed their lead to nine with 13:21 remaining following a Boice 3-pointer, but that's when the Devils answered with a 7-0 surge to cut the gap to 59-57. The visitors came all the way back to tie the game at 61-all with 9:36 to go on a lay-up from Derrick Whitaker. However, the Rangers immediately answered on a jumper in the paint from Walker, kicking off the team's decisive 15-2 run. Robinson and McBurnie each knocked down a triple during the outburst before Lewis also connected from downtown.

Drew squashed any threat of an FDU comeback with a pair of big put-backs down the stretch, getting buckets from McBurnie with 2:31 to go and Robinson with 53 seconds left. Each basket handed the Rangers a 12-point lead.

The Rangers shot 51.6% for the game and finished with a 47-30 rebounding advantage 

The Blue and Green pick up their schedule on Wednesday, Dec. 4, when they conclude their six-game homestand to open the season by taking on King's College in a non-conference affair starting at 7 p.m.