TCNJ Upsets Kean Women, 65-55
EWING, N.J. (2/8/12) – The College of New Jersey hit all eight of its free throws in the final 62 seconds of the game to pull away for a 65-55 upset win over #20/21 Kean University in New Jersey Athletic Conference women's basketball action on Wednesday evening.
Senior Jessica Imhof led TCNJ (16-8, 8-4 NJAC) with 15 points, including 9-of-9 from the foul line. The Cougars (20-4, 11-1 NJAC) suffered their first loss in conference. Senior Brittany Powell led the Cougars with 15 points.
The Cougars took an 8-2 lead to open the game and led 13-6 after a three-point play by junior Kyanne Sager (pictured left) with 12:10 left in the half, however TCNJ scored the game's next 10 points to take a 16-13 lead following the jumper by senior Kelsey Kutch with less than five minutes remaining. The Cougars regained the lead on a jumper and three-pointer by senior Erika Jones with 3:51 left, as the two teams battled in the final minutes of the opening half before TCNJ took the 26-25 lead into halftime.
Jones led the Cougars with eight points off the bench, while Kutch led the Lions with eight points.
In the second half, TCNJ forced the Cougars into seven turnovers in the first five minutes of the half, as the Lions would extend the lead to 35-27 at the 15:19 mark. A three-pointer by Jones pulled Kean back within five points (35-30), however five straight points from TCNJ would give the Lions the double-digit lead at 40-30 following a pair of free throws by Kutch with just under 12 minutes remaining.
With TCNJ leading 44-34 midway through the half, the Cougars answered with a 10-2 run to pull to within 46-44. Powell opened the run with back-to-back three-pointers, before junior guard Naimah Clemons trimmed the Lion lead to two points at 46-44 with 8:18 remaining. TCNJ answered with a 5-0 run to extend the lead back to seven points at 51-44 following a three-point play by Jessica Imhof with 6:54 left in the game.
Powell knocked down her third three-pointer of the game to spark a 7-1 run for Kean, as the Cougars pulled to within 52-51 on a layup Sager with just over five minutes remaining. However, that would be as close as the Cougars would get, as a three-pointer by Hannah Tait pushed the TCNJ lead back to five points at 56-51 with 3:55 left. A layup by Kean senior Danielle McFadden pulled Kean to within 57-55 in the final two minutes of the game, before TCNJ sealed the win by hitting eight of its free throws in the final 62 seconds to close the game with eight straight points for the 65-55 upset victory.
TCNJ limited the Cougars to just 30.8 percent shooting (20-of-65) and forced Kean into 29 turnovers. Clemons, the NJAC's leading scorer at 24.4 points per game coming into the game, was held to just 12 points. Jones (pictured right) finished with 11 points in 13 minutes of action off the bench.
In the victory, Kutch finished with 10 points off the bench, while Tait added 10 points and three assists.
The Cougars close out the regular season at home next Wednesday, February 15, when Kean hosts Richard Stockton College at 6 p.m.