Jersey City, NJ (1/23/08) – Junior All-America guard Dana John (Hillside, NJ/Pocono Mountain East (Pa.)) scored 12 of New Jersey City University’s first 19 points, and finished with a game-high 17, and junior guard Kevin Tucker (Jersey City, NJ/Ferris) had a season high seven assists, as New Jersey City University improved to 7-0 at home this season, moving past Montclair State University, 76-61, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference North Division game at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center.
NJCU, which led by as many as 22 points, improves to 12-5 and 5-1 in the NJAC. The Knights are now 15-1 in their last 16 conference games. MSU falls to 9-8 and 2-3 NJAC. NJCU has now won five straight and 6-of-7 over the Red Hawks. It was the 146th meeting between the schools. A combined 33 players logged time in the game between the clubs.
NJCU led by as many as 17 points in the first half and owned a 10-point cushion at the break (36-26), as MSU was held to .273 shooting in the opening period (9-33).John, who was limited to 13 points in a loss to William Paterson University on Saturday, had 14 alone in 13 minutes in the first half, shooting 6-of-9 in the period and 2-of-5 from three-point range. He finished with 17 points in just 18 minutes, shooting 7-of-10 overall and 3-of-6 from three point territory.
MSU received a team and career-best 16 points (5-7 FG; 2-4 3FG) from freshman guard Chris McCann (Sparta, NJ/Sparta) in 25 reserve minutes, while freshman guard Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ/Westfield) had 11 points on 9-of-10 free throw shooting, and three assists. Junior forward Carlos Pena (Clifton, NJ/Clifton) collected seven rebounds and six points, while sophomore guard Mike Hern (Hamburg, NJ/Wallkill Valley) tallied eight points (2-5 3FG), five boards and four steals.
John staked NJCU to an early 9-3 lead with seven consecutive points, and he scored 12 of his team’s first 19 points, as the Knights gained a 19-7 lead and never looked back. A pair of threes by Miller extended the first half advantage to 17, 32-15, before the schools went to the intermission separated by 10 (36-26).NJCU put the game out of reach in the first 3:34 of the second half, as the Knights uncorked a 10-2 spurt to pull ahead 46-28 after back-to-back threes by senior guard Shy Martinez (Union City, NJ/Union Hill) and John. The Red Hawks never came closer than 12 the remainder of the contest.
Overall, NJCU connected on nine three-pointers in the game (9-23, .391) and shot .394 for the night (28-71). MSU made 19-of-59 (.322). NJCU out-rebounded the Hawks, 51-43.
Montclair State returns to action on Saturday, January 26 as the Red Hawks host the Cougars of Kean University in an NJAC inter-divisional matchup at Panzer Gymnasium at 2:00 pm.