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Men's Basketball Holds Off Kean on the Road, 68-61

UNION, N.J. (January 23, 2019) – The Rutgers University-Newark men's basketball team used an early second half surge to hold off New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponent Kean University and earn a 68-61 victory on the road. The Scarlet Raiders improve to 10-8 (3-8 NJAC) while the Cougars fall to 3-15 (1-10 NJAC). Rutgers-Newark was led by senior Mark Isiofia-Thomaswho poured in 20 points on an efficient 7-for-12 shooting from the field including 2-of-4 from beyond the arc. Classmate Tyler Ofray added 19 points with the vast majority coming from a 14-for-16 night at the charity stripe and contributed a team-best three assists. Junior Chase Barneys rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points. Sophomore Dante Ralph pulled down a squad-high seven rebounds. The Raiders return to league play with a 6 p.m. matchup against NJCU in The Golden Dome on Saturday. The teams traded leads twice and had a pair of deadlocks early in the opening half. R-N jumped out to an 8-2 edge behind six points from Isiofia-Thomas but Kean battled back with 11 consecutive points to earn a five-point advantage. Isiofia-Thomas stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer before tying the contest at 13-13 on a jumper. That sparked a 16-2 surge by the visitors that build a nine-point edge with 4:38 remaining in the stanza. Four different players contributed to the run as Isiofia-Thomas featured heavily with half of the Scarlet Raiders scoring. Rutgers-Newark maintained that advantage until the break thanks to a couple of big dunks from sophomore Quincy Rutherford and a buzzer-beating shot from beyond the arc by Ofray that sent the visitors into the locker room leading 33-24. The Scarlet Raiders came out firing in the second half as they built a commanding 20-point lead over the first five and a half minutes of the stanza. The 13-2 run featured six freebies from Ofray and five points by Barneys who capped the surge with a steal and lay-in that made it 46-26. Kean would not go away, however, and responded with a lengthy 22-6 run that had the hosts trailing by just four points with 4:36 on the clock. Still, freshman BJ Honis delivered a huge 3-pointer on Newark's next offensive possession to restore a seven-point edge and the visitors held the Cougars off from there to come away with a 68-61 win.

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