JERSEY CITY, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | A pair of unsung senior forwards in Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park) and James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) each scored 16 points to guide the first-place New Jersey City University men's basketball team to an 84-60 win over Kean University in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on January 16 at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (Coach Charlie Brown Court).
NJCU improved to 7-0 at home, 13-4 overall and 8-2 in the NJAC. The Gothic Knights have won seven of their last eight games and improve to 9-2 since December 1.
Brutus notched his first double-double since six games into his freshman campaign in 2015-16 and had a career high in rebounds, finishing with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, 13 rebounds (six offensive, seven defensive) and three blocks in only 23 minutes.
Julius was active with 16 points (5-9 FG) in 24 minutes and senior shooting guard Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) added 13 points (5-8 FG) in 21 minutes. Junior preseason First-Team All-American Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) only took six shots, finishing with seven rebounds and six points; senior point guard Shaquan Worthy (Trenton, NJ/Trenton Central) finished with four assists and four steals.
NJCU turned 19 Kean giveaways into a suffocating 25-8 advantage in points off turnovers. The Knights limited Kean (3-14, 1-9 NJAC) to just 30 points in each half. NJCU scored 29 fast-break points and had a 13-1 edge in second chance scoring.
Senior forward Micah Kerr (Neptune, N.J.) had a game-high 24 points for Kean (7-11 FG), adding six boards. Freshman guard Jailen Jamison (Bronx, N.Y.) finished with 18 points and six rebounds.
NJCU used an early 11-0 run in the first six minutes of the game to seize control, 13-4, and were never challenged the rest of the game. Back-to-back jumpers by Green capped the early outburst. The Knights worked the lead to 20-7, led by 15 (29-14) when Green putback a missed shot and as many as 17 in the opening half (37-20) before taking a 40-30 lead into the locker room.
NJCU maintained a double-digit lead the entire second half and consistently led by 20+ in the final five minutes, with a 25-point, 84-59 margin the largest.
- Series: 140th known meeting. NJCU leads the all-time series, 103-37, and has won the last 10 meetings.
- Yuri Brutus (Roselle, NJ/Roselle Park) scored in double figures for the seventh time this year and the 26th time in his career.
- Brutus previous career high and only other double-double was December 2, 2015 vs. William Paterson when he scored 15 points with 11 rebounds.
- Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck) scored in double figures for the 31st time in 44 games as a Gothic Knight and the 10th time this season.
- James Julius (Linden, NJ/Linden) scored 10+ points for the fifth time this season, the third game in a row and the 24th time in his collegiate career. The 16 points are a season high for the third consecutive game.
- NJCU plays a huge road NJAC game on Saturday, January 19 (3 p.m.) when it meets second-place Rowan University (13-4, 7-3 NJAC) in Glassboro, N.J. NJCU won the first meeting this season on December 1 in Jersey City, 76-68.
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