Furious Comeback Allows No. 14 Wooster to Survive #NJCUMBB, 81-75

More news about: New Jersey City

SOURCE: https://njcugothicknights.com/news/2018/12/30/201812-30_MBASKETBALL_at_Wooster.aspx


WOOSTER, Ohio. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Bidding for a road upset of No. 14 ranked College of Wooster in one of the most challenging environments in NCAA Division III basketball, New Jersey City University held a nine-point lead with 4:25 remaining. But in front of a crowd of 1,275 at Timken Gymnasium, Wooster (9-3) used a furious 14-0 run over the next 4:05 to wrestle control of the game away from the Gothic Knights (9-4) and survived for an 81-75 win over NJCU in the finale of the 56th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic, hosted by Wooster College on December 30.
In the first-ever meeting in a matchup of two programs with among the most illustrious histories in Division III history, Wooster (27) and NJCU (20) have combined for 47 NCAA Tournament. Down 72-63, Wooster, ranked No. 14 by D3hoops.com, used three pointers by junior guard Danyon Hempy (Waldo, Ohio) and junior forward Trenton Tipton (St. Clairsville, Ohio) at the 4:10 and 2:34 marks to draw within one (72-71) and when Tipton hit two foul shots with 1:27 left, the Scots seized their first lead (73-72) since the 6:42 mark of the first half and never trailed again.
NJCU had five straight empty possessions—four missed shots and a turnovers—and when senior guard Reece Dupler (Newark, Ohio) converted a layup with 59 seconds left, and another jumper with 20 seconds to go, the lead swelled to 77-72.
NJCU gave itself a chance when junior First-Team preseason All-American Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) buried a pull-up three with 16 seconds left before Wooster iced the comeback from the line.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for NJCU. Toney scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, finishing 8-of-13 from the field to lead four Gothic Knights in double figures. Senior shooting guard Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) added 13 points and senior forwards Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park) and James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) each had identical lines of 10 points in 24 minutes on 4-of-9 shooting.
Senior point guard Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) finished with five steals and four assists but fouled out after just 23 minutes for just the second time in 86 career games. NJCU was playing without a pair of starters in sophomore Chika Wosu (Jersey City, NJ/University Academy Charter)) and junior Jeff Haddock.
Toney and Brutus were each named to the All-Classic Team. Toney scored 20+ in both games of the tournament, finishing with 43 in two contests. Brutus had 26 points in the tournament.
Sophomore 6-foot-7 forward Dontae Williams earned tournament Most Valuable Player honors and Hempy earned Defensive MVP accolades while Tipton was also selected to the All-Classic Team.
Williams was 9-for-13 from the field and scored 20 points with eight rebounds and Hempy added 16 points (5-10 FG), eight rebounds and four assists. Tipton added 14 points (4-5 FG, 2-3 3FG) and Dupler notched 12 points (5-8 FG) and four assists.
Wooster shot a lights-out 61.5 percent in the second half (16-26) after making 56.0 percent in the opening 20 minutes (14-25) to finish at a stellar 58.8 percent for the game (30-51). The Scots were good on 8-of-18 three-point tries (.444) and converted 13-of-16 form the line (81.3 percent) including all 10 attempts in the second half.
NJCU, which trailed early in the first half by margins of 9-2 and 12-4, battled back to tie the game when Toney was fouled from three-point range and sank all three tries form the line. NJCU used a 13-2 run to seize the lead, working it to as many as eight points (40-32) on a three-point play by Julius before heading to the locker room up 42-35.
The Knights were nearly flawless at the line, shooting 88.2 percent from the stripe (15-of-17) and committed only seven turnovers. While NJCU shot 51.5 percent in the opening half (17-33) but struggled in the second half (12-33, .364) and were good on just 2-of-13 three-point shots (.154).
NJCU led the entire second half and held an 11-point margin, 70-59, with 5:55 left when freshman point guard Najuan Thomas-Cancel (Irvington, NJ/Irvington) hit a pair from the line and still were up nine when Toney sank two more free throws, before the late Wooster comeback.

  • Series: First-ever meeting.
  • Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored at least 20 points in a game for the 24th time in his career, the 21st time in his last 40 games, the fifth time in six games and the seventh time this season.
  • Toney scored in double figures for the 53rd time in 69 career games.
  • Toney remains in 22nd place in school history with 1,125 points.
  • Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park) scored in double figures for the sixth time this year, the 25th time in his career, and the second game in a row.
  • Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) scored in double figures for the 28th time in 40 games as a Gothic Knight and the seventh time this season.
  • James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) scored 10+ points for the second time this season and the 21st time in his collegiate career. He started for the first time this year with two other starters out of the lineup.


  • NJCU begins the 2019 portion of its schedule on Saturday, January 5 at 3 p.m. when it hosts Stockton University in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court).

For the latest on #NJCUMBB, follow the Gothic Knights on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and SnapChat. Preferred hashtags are #GothicFamily and #GothicGameDay.

www.NJCUGothicKnights.com | @NJCUAthletics—

 56th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic All-Classic Team






Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park)




Roselle, N.J.

Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown)




Plainfield, N.J.

Ethan Stanislawski

Ohio Wesleyan



Massillon, Ohio

Alonzo Brown




Largo, Fla.

Danyon Hempy




Waldo, Ohio

Trenton Tipton




St. Clairsville, Ohio

Dontae Williams




Girard, Pa.


Most Valuable Player: Dontae Williams, Wooster

Defensive Most Valuable Player: Danyon Hempy, Wooster