JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | Senior point guard Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) matched his career high with 12 assists and junior preseason First-Team All-American Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored 25 points as the New Jersey City University men's basketball team won for the 10th time, knocking off Stockton University, 79-67, in the return to New Jersey Athletic Conference play for both schools on January 5 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court).
NJCU, now 10-4 overall and 5-2 in the NJAC, won for the fourth time in five games and trailed just 18 seconds in the entire game. That happened with 5:45 left in the game, after Stockton (6-8, 4-3 NJAC) whittled a 13-point Gothic Knight lead down and took a 65-63 lead when sophomore forward Tariq Baker (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit a corner three.
But the Ospreys would score just once more in the game as the NJCU defense clamped down and the Knights unleashed a 16-2 run to nail down the win. NJCU forced three turnovers down the stretch and limited Stockton to 1-of-6 shooting.
NJCU regained the lead for good on six foul shots by senior power forward Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park), Toney and sophomore shooting guard Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ/(East Orange Campus), and with it still a two-point game senior shooting guard James Richardson (Jersey City, NJ/Snyder) popped a three-pointer to push the lead to 72-67 to spark a 10-0 streak to end the game. Stockton did not score in the final 4:05 of action.
With Stockton still within competitive reach, Worthy picked the right moment for his only field goal of the game, drilling a triple from the far sideline to elevated the cushion to 76-67.
In the first half, NJCU never trailed and used a huge run to grab a double-digit lead. Up by one, 14-13, with 10:33 to go, NJCU manufactured a 17-1 outburst to seize a 17-point, 31-14 lead when senior shooting guard Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) sank a jumper. Banks and Toney each scored five during the stretch.
Toney scored 25+ points in a game for the 10th time in his All-American career and buried five or more three-pointers for the fourth time this season and seventh time as a collegian. He produced 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 5-of-8 three-point success while grabbing seven rebounds in 31 minutes.
Worthy, who previously had 12 assists in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament against Union (March 2, 2018), matched his career best and had nine dimes at halftime. Behind his playmaking, NJCU achieved an assist on 19 of its 23 made shots.
Banks came off the bench to notch 18 points, hitting on 3-of-6 three-point shots and 7-of-7 from the line, to go with six rebounds. Richardson finished with eight points.
NJCU shot 48.0 percent from three-point range, knocking down 12 three-point shots (12-25). The 12 triples were a season high and the first time the Knights hit 10+ threes in a game this year.
Senior guard Keenan Williams, Jr. (Paulsboro, N.J.) led the guests with 18 points (6-11 FG, 3-5 3FG) and Baker added 16 (4-9 FG, 4-7 3FG).
- Series: 85th meeting. NJCU leads all-time series, 49-36.
- Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) scored at least 20 points in a game for the 25th time in his career, the 22nd time in his last 41 games, the fourth game in a row, the sixth time in his last seven games and the eighth time this season.
- Toney exploded for the 10th 25+ point performance of his career and his first since scoring 27 against Albertus Magnus on December 3. It was his third 25+ point game of the season.
- Toney scored in double figures for the 54th time in 70 career games.
- Toney moved into a share of 21st place in NJCU history with 1,150 points, matching three-year standout Omar Cooper, who had 1,150 points from 1994-96 and 1999-00.
- Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) had five or more assists in a game for the 16th time in his career and dished eight or more assists for the eighth time. The 12 assists are his first double-digit assists mark this season and the fourth of his career. He has 239 career assists.
- Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ/(East Orange Campus) scored in double figures for the seventh time in 14 games in his first year as a Gothic Knight.
- NJCU plays archrival Ramapo College (10-4, 4-3 NJAC, Lost 2), the two-time defending NJAC champions, in a home conference game on Wednesday, January 9 at 8 p.m. Live coverage is available at www.NJCUGothicKnights.com/GothicVision.
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