MONTCLAIR, NJ (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Montclair State University and New Jersey City University were tied for the 11th time in the game with 90 seconds left before MSU used a three-point play, three free throws and two defensive stops in the next 30 seconds and held off a near final moment rally from the first place Gothic Knight men's basketball team in a 72-71 New Jersey Athletic Conference upset on January 16 at Panzer Gymnasium.
After starting the season at 7-2 and the NJAC schedule 6-0, NJCU (9-6, 7-2 NJAC), dropped its fourth game in six outings and a conference game on consecutive Saturdays. NJCU had its five-game winning streak snapped against Montclair, which improved to 7-8 (4-5 NJAC).
The loss dropped NJCU into a first place tie with Rutgers-Newark although the Knights did beat the Scarlet Raiders, their next opponent on January 20, in the first meeting this season.
NJCU, which led by seven with 9:50 remaining after trailing by a deuce at halftime, saw that lead dissipate over the next four minutes in what would become a see-saw finish. Montclair shot 52.0 percent in the second half (13-25).
Erick Loften-Harris scored 11 of his game-high 17 points in the second half for MSU, shooting 5-of-11 overall and 6-for-8 from the line with seven assists. Also for Montclair, Shaun Russell scored 13 points and Brandon Channer added 11 points and six rebounds.
Three players scored in double figures for NJCU. Freshman center Yuri Brutus (Roselle Park, NJ/Roselle Park) led NJCU with 15 points in 30 reserve minutes, shooting 6-of-13.
Senior power forward Chinwe Wosu (Jersey City, NJ/University Academy Charter), the NJAC's leader in rebounding and field goal percentage, scored 13 points (3-6 FG) and was 7-of-7 from the foul line with seven rebounds. Junior shooting guard Jalen Harris (Brandywine, MD/Gwynn Park (Md.)) also netted 13 points.
Junior point guard Ata Robinson (Newark, NJ/East Side) had five assists and six points while freshman small forwardJames Frazier (Elizabeth, NJ/Elizabeth), the two-time reigning NJAC and ECAC Metro Rookie of the Week, finished with eight points (2-4 3FG).
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