JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | For the New Jersey City University women's basketball team, their top threat, Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune), once again found her groove, scoring a game-high 25 points, but the effort wasn't quite enough to top the balanced attack of New Jersey Athletic Conference leading The College of New Jersey, as the Lions defeated the Gothic Knights, 69-54 on February 6 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.
TCNJ (15-8, 13-3 NJAC) clinched a bye in the NJAC Tournament and it got 21 points from Preseason First-Team All-American Jen Byrne (Medford, N.J.), 20 points from Samantha Famulare (Freehold, N.J.), and 18 points from Shannon Devitt (Westfield, N.J.) to hold off NJCU (4-19, 1-15 NJAC) in a game that was closer than most first-place vs. last-place matchups.
The Knights had only five players score on the day, led by Bacon with 25, adding seven boards, three assists, and two steals. She was joined by Teresa Ortiz (Newark, N.J./University) in double figures, as the freshman guard scored 10 with four rebounds and two dimes. The Knights were once again hit hard on the boards, as TCNJ outrebounded NJCU 40-26. Each team had only four offensive rebounds all game.
The Knights got off to a good start, as a Bacon kick out found senior forward Christine Bizub (Fort Lee, NJ/Fort Lee) in the corner for an open look to give NJCU the early 3-2 lead. A pair of jumpers from Ortiz and Bacon pushed the lead out to 7-4, but TCNJ responded to the early Knights push with eight unanswered, taking a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. A Bacon three at the end of the first quarter sent the game into the first break at 22-13.
The Lions spent most of the second quarter with a double-digit lead, but a layup from Bizub, and yet another buzzer-beater from Bacon sent the Knights into the half down just six, 35-29. NJCU was also able to draw a pair of quick fouls on the Lions leading scorer, Devitt, holding her to just four minutes in the first half—she scored six points in those four minutes.
After the break, the Lions made sure to establish the reigning NJAC Rookie of the Year right off the bat, as Devitt got eight points in the third, pushing the Lion lead back out to 12 heading into the final quarter.
That was the closest the game would be, too, as the Lions kept NJCU at arm's length throughout the third, thanks to their dominant size and solid perimeter attack. The Lions also moved the ball exceptionally well, with 23 assists on 26 made baskets. TCNJ shot 50.0 percent for the game (26-52).
- Series: 64th meeting, TCNJ leads 61-3, and has won the last 21 meetings.
- Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) now has 2,133 career points, 32nd in Division III history. Full list: http://fs.ncaa.org/Docs/stats/w_basketball_RB/2019/D3.pdf
- Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) saw her scoring average stay right on 23.7 points per game. She still leads the NJAC in scoring and now ranks sixth in the country in points per game. Her steals per game average dropped slightly, down to 4.3 steals per game on the season, where she ranks fourth in the country.
- Teresa Ortiz (Newark, N.J./University) has now posted double-digit point totals in six of her seven career games at NJCU. This was her first career start.
- Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) has now scored in double figures 89 times in 91 career games between Kean (2015-18, 67 times in 68 games) and NJCU (22 times in 23 games). Other updated career totals for Bacon:
- 20-Point Games: 61 (44 at Kean, 17 at NJCU)
- 25-Point Games: 42 (30 at Kean, 12 at NJCU)
- 30-Point Games: 21 (16 at Kean, five at NJCU)
- 35-Point Games: 10 (eight at Kean, two at NJCU)
- 40-Point Games: 5 (four at Kean; career high, 46 at NJCU)
- Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) now needs 75 points over the final two games of the season to surpass Monique Hemingway's record of 620 points in 24 games in 1988-89. She would need to average 37.5 per game to reach the mark.
- Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) is chasing multiple single-season NJCU records. Here are all updates through game 23 of the 2018-19 season.
1. 620 Monique Hemingway (24 games) - 1988-89
2. 546 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) - 2018-19
3. 462 Chris Mosca (22 games) - 1980-81
4. 461 Doris Nicholson (27 games) - 1988-89
5. 443 Tara Mitchell (23 games) - 1997-98
Scoring average (minimum 10 games)
1. 25.8 Monique Hemingway (24 games) 1988-89
2. 23.7 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) 2018-19
3. 21.0 Chris Mosca (22 games) 1980-81
4. 20.7 Patrice Hurt (13 games) 1984-85
5. 19.3 Tara Mitchell (23 games) 1997-98
Field goals made
1. 241 Monique Hemingway (24 games) - 1988-89
2. 205 Doris Nicholson (27 games) - 1988-89
3. 199 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) - 2018-19
4. 173 Doris Nicholson (22 games) - 1987-88
5. 172 Tara Mitchell (23 games) - 1997-98
Field goals attempted
1. 558 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) - 2018-19
2. 477 Monique Hemingway (24 games) - 1988-89
3. 430 Tara Mitchell (23 games) - 1997-98
4. 404 Lashawn Overton (22 games) - 2008-09
5. 403 Ebony Cunningham (23 games) - 2009-10
Free throws made
1. 154 Chris Mosca (22 games) - 1980-81
2. 138 Monique Hemingway (24 games) - 1988-89
3. 135 Bria Smith (25 games) - 2014-15
4. 107 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) - 2018-19
5. 99 Tara Mitchell (23 games) - 1997-98
Steals average (minimum 10 games)
1. 5.4 Latrese McNair (27 games) 2004-05
2. 5.1 Latrese McNair (24 games) 2005-06
3. 4.4 Latrese McNair (25 games) 2006-07
4. 4.3 Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) (23 games) 2018-19
5. 4.0 Monique Hemingway (21 games) 1984-85
- The Knights have their Senior Day as they host Rutgers-Camden (14-9, 9-7) in their final home game of the 2018-19 season. There are four seniors: Marajiah Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune), Miesha Bacon (Neptune, NJ/Neptune), Jesenia Montalvo (Hillside, NJ/Bayonne), and Christine Bizub (Fort Lee, NJ/Fort Lee) on the team this year who will be honored in pregame ceremonies.
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