NEWARK, N.J. (December 9, 2015) – Senior forward Jordan McDaniel scored a career-high for the second-straight game to lead the Rutgers University-Newark men's basketball team to a 66-50 New Jersey Athletic Conference win over Kean University Wednesday night in The Golden Dome Arena.
With the win, the Scarlet Raiders improve to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference. Kean drops to 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the NJAC.
McDaniel scored 31 points on 12-of-16 shooting, going 4-for-6 from three and grabbing eight rebounds. One game after scoring a career-high 29 in a non-conference win over Centenary, McDaniel set a new mark and is now 23-for-34 from the field over his last two outings. He is now averaging 20.0 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
Joining McDaniel in double figures was senior forward David Azoroh who had 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal.
Rutgers-Newark shot 54.8 percent from the field (23-for-42), 8-for-20 (40 percent) from deep and 12-for-18 at the line. They dished out 21 assists as a team, tallying eight blocked shots and five steals.
The Scarlet Raiders came out like a well-oiled machine, scoring the first 11 points of the game and never looking back. R-N assisted on its first five made baskets, pushing its lead to double-digits thanks to three three-pointers in the first 3:15 of game-time, ending the first half with a 42-26 lead thanks in large part to McDaniel who scored 18 points and sophomore guard Tyler Ofray who dished out seven assists in 17 first-half minutes.
After Kean trimmed the Raider lead to six at 11-5, the Scarlet Raiders would extend the lead again, scoring their 20th point of the game after a ferocious offensive rebound and put-back from senior forward David Azoroh.
McDaniel hit four three's in the first, the third of which made it a 30-14 Rutgers-Newark lead and the fourth pushed the margin to 17 at 33-16 with 7:32 on the clock. Senior guard Vik Singh jumped in on the action with a three of his own late to help R-N to its largest margin of the period (19) before the hosts ended up leading by 16 at the break.
Rutgers-Newark shot a remarkable 69.6 percent from the field in the first half (16-for-23) and went 8-for-15 from deep. The Scarlet Raiders also assisted on 15 of their 16 made baskets in the game's first 20 minutes as well.
After going up by 21 early in the second after a McDaniel three-point play, Kean was able to fight back with a 9-0 run to get within 12 (49-37) with a shade under 13 minutes to play. The Cougars trimmed the lead to eight with 9:07 on the clock, but a big layup from Azoroh eventually pushed the margin back into double figures.
Kean fought throughout, forcing R-N into 14 second-half turnovers, but the Cougars could get no closer than eight. The Cougars shot 32.7 percent (18-for-55) from the field, 4-for-16 (25 percent) from the field and 10-for-15 (66.7 percent) at the line. Kean was led by 19 points from veteran Tommy Soulias who scored 19 points.
Singh finished with eight points, three assists and two boards, with Ofray tallying eight points, eight assists and five rebounds. Senior guard Morgan Dixon tallied three points, four assist and four rebounds.
Rutgers-Newark will look for its sixth consecutive win Saturday when they visit NJAC rival Stockton University.