First Place Knights Dominate First Half, Rout Kean, 79-52

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JERSEY CITY, NJ ( | With a New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament berth wrapped up before the month began, the New Jersey City University men's basketball team began setting its sights on its next goal during the month of February—capturing a regular season championship and the No. 1 seed. NJCU scored a season-high 52 points in the first half and led by 29 at the break en route to a 27-point blowout of Kean University, 79-52, on February 1 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court).
Up four (16-12) just 6:32 into the game, NJCU used a 20-4 run to build a substantial lead midway through the first half and was never challenged. The Knights led 52-23 at halftime and by as many as 36 points in the second half before taking their foot off the accelerator.
NJCU improved to 13-6 and 11-2 in the NJAC with its fourth straight win. It sweeps its fourth NJAC opponent so far this season—Rutgers-Newark, William Paterson, Rowan and Kean—with five NJAC games remaining. The Knights are a game ahead of Stockton and two in front of Rutgers-Newark and Ramapo with a 4-0 record against those three clubs. Kean dropped to 3-16 (3-10 NJAC).
What made the lopsided score even more notable was NJCU was without it leading scorer (16.7 points), junior shooting guard Jalen Harris (Brandywine, MD/Gwynn Park (Md.)), who did not play for the Gothic Knights for the first time this year.
On a day where the game was decided early, the Gothic Knight reserves saw ample playing time with 12 players seeing double digit minutes. NJCU bench outscored the Kean reserves, 50-12. NJCU hit 10 three-pointers, blocked 12 shots and had an assist on 20 of 25 made baskets. NJCU also out-rebounded the Cougars, 60-37, including a dominant 23-6 on the offensive glass. The hosts scored 22 second chance points (22-4).
Freshman center Yuri Brutus (Roselle Park, NJ/Roselle Park) came off the bench to score a game-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in 13 minutes of action. He added eight rebounds. Senior small forward Khalid Muhammad(Orange, NJ/Orange) vaulted over two players on the all-time scoring list to move into 18th place in school history. He scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half and finished with 13 points (6-6 FT), six rebounds (five offensive), four blocks and two steals in 18 minutes.
Junior guard Andrew Tomlin (Newark, NJ/Central), in his sixth game since joining the team on January 12, chipped in a career-high 14 points (3 3-pointers) with three assists in a team-high 26 minutes. Freshman guard Tyler Caldwell (Jersey City, NJ/Snyder) came off the bench and matched his career high with 12 points (2 3's) and five rebounds in 22 minutes.