WEST HARTFORD, Connecticut – The University of New Jersey City men’s basketball team, ranked 24th in the d3hoops.com preseason poll, entered Sunday afternoon, Nov. 7 in search of their first win of the season after a hard defeat in the first round on Saturday 6 November. , in the first round of the USJ Tip-Off tournament, hosted by # 9 University of Saint Joseph (Connecticut). The Gothic Knights did just that in today’s consolation game as they ransacked the University of Maine at Augusta 77-39. NJCU was led by junior Kayton Darley’s (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) 11 points, a game-high, as the forward was named to the tournament’s all-star team.
Jersey City (1-1) dominated the entire game and shot 42.5% from the floor. The team also cracked down on defense, keeping the Moose (0-3) at just 25.9% on shots and not allowing anyone to score more than seven points. Joining Darley as the only other player to score in double digits was the second-year guard Hakeem Wilson (Newark, NJ / North Star Academy), who came off the bench and scored 10 points on 5 of 9 shots in 17 minutes from the field. A total of 16 players played for the Gothic Knights, of which 11 played at least 10 minutes and 13 scored at least three points.
As a team, the NJCU forced Maine-Augusta to make 31 turnovers, scoring 17 interceptions – including four from the rookie goalie Zaire Jefferson (Newark, NJ / Payne Tech) and three from the senior guard captain Jason Battle (Jersey City, NJ / Roselle Catholic) – who gave 31 points. Additionally (and with defense on the ball), the Gothic Knights scored 20 points at the break and didn’t allow the Moose to score a single point in transition. Jersey City also dominated at the bottom and held a 42-20 advantage in points in the paint.
With the rebound victory, the Gothic Knights are now back at 0.500 for the season and take a week to return to the drawing board before opening the game to the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center (JMAC) for the season. . when Farmingdale State College travels to the West Side from Long Island on Saturday afternoon, November 13. NJCU and the Rams are scheduled for a 2:00 p.m. departure and you can follow all the action live on GothicVision.
– Jefferson, Battle and second year guard Jayvin Irby (South Orange, NJ / The Patrick School) all finished with seven points each. Battle distributed four assists while Jefferson collected three cents.
– Before second year Ryan Savoy (Lakewood, NJ / Lakewood) and first year student Leon Lawson (Rahway, NJ / Rahway) each had six points. Savoy also had six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks, a high for the team after a strong performance yesterday. Lawson led NJCU with seven rebounds and stole.
– Rookie Guard Felix Romero (Perth Amboy, New Jersey / Perth Amboy Tech) saw eight minutes on the bench, and during that time he recorded one card, one steal and five assists.
Ever known as the hero of last year’s New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship, Darley averaged 10.5 points per game this weekend to claim tournament honors. See below for the full quintet of the winners:
- Keegan Scanlan (Maine-Augusta)
- Kayton Darley (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen) (NJCU)
- Kean Taylor (University of Alverne)
- Jaecee Martin (Saint Joseph)
- MVP – Tyree Mitchell (Saint Joseph)
Overall, the tournament was won by the USJ Blue Jays, who beat the Moose on Saturday, 104-50, then Alvernia in the title game on Sunday, 75-66.