UNION, N.J. (1/3/18)- DeAndre Thomas led all scorers with 19 points as Rowan closed the contest on an 8-0 run to squeak out the 81-79 victory over the Kean University men's basketball team on Wednesday evening.
Nick DePersia finished with 17 points and made the go ahead three pointer with 23 seconds remaining for the Profs who improve to 8-5 overall and 4-2 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Justin Watson finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars who fall to 3-9 and 1-5 in the NJAC.
It was an extremely hard fought contest that saw 12 ties and 11 lead changes. Kean battled back from a nine point first half deficit behind the play of Watson, who knocked down four triples and totaled 14 points in the opening stanza. Watson connected on a three pointer with 1:50 remaining to give the Cougars a 42-41 advantage. Keenan Williams Jr. increased Kean's lead to four at 45-41 with 1:12 to play. After Rowan scored five straight points, Stephen Strom connected on a triple with 20 seconds remaining and allowed Kean to hold the 48-46 halftime advantage.
In the second half, Kean attempted to pull away at 70-60 with a 10-0 run capped off by a Williams Jr. three pointer with 10:10 remaining. Rowan answered with a 13-4 run over the next 6:47 to cut the Cougars advantage to 74-73 with 3:23 to play. Kean pushed their advantage back to 79-73 after a Thomas layup and two free throws from Williams Jr. with 1:58 to play.
Rowan would score the final eight points of the contest, including DePersia's three pointer and a dunk from Ramon Wright with 1:07 to play.
Wright finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while TJ Booth added 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Profs. Williams Jr. added with 15 points and nine rebounds for the Cougars
Head Coach Rob Kurzinsky and the Cougars will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 6th, hosting the Scarlet Raptors of Rutgers-Camden at 1:00 p.m.