Freshmen Backcourt Duo Lead Men's Basketball Over Kean

Madison, NJ (1/20/09)Montclair State University freshman guard Ali Mix (East Orange, N.J.) scored a game-high 18 points and had three assists to lead four Red Hawks in double figures to defeat Kean University, 80-67, in New Jersey Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomore forward Jonathan Jones (Linden, N.J.) had 13 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Cougars (10-9, 3-4 NJAC), while sophomore Akinwande Oshodi (Florence, N.J.) chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.

Freshman Paul Siljee (Wayne, N.J.) added 14 points off the bench for the Red Hawks (13-4, 5-2 NJAC).

In the opening half, the MSU scored eight straight points to take an early 8-2 lead less than three minutes into the contest.  The Cougars battled back, taking a 13-10 lead on a three-pointer by junior Eugene Tolliver (East Orange, N.J.) with 12:37 remaining in the half. 

Montclair State responded with a 12-0 run, as Siljee knocked down back-to-back three-pointers to cap the run for the 22-13 lead with 8:32 remaining.  The Cougars pulled back to within six points before the Red Hawks pushed the lead out to double digits to take a 15-point advantage at halftime at 43-28.

Siljee finished with 11 first-half points, while Jones paced the Cougars with seven points, seven rebounds and four blocks in the opening half.

The Red Hawks led by double-figures throughout much of the second half, before the Cougars trimmed the lead to eight points on a lay-up by Jones with 4:43 remaining.  Both teams traded baskets on the ensuing possessions, and the Cougars could pull no closer than nine points in the final minutes, as the Red Hawks connected on 6-of-8 from the foul line in the last minute to seal the victory.

Jones established new career-highs with his 15 rebounds and five blocks, while freshman guard Michael Oglesby (Neptune, N.J.) grabbed 12 points and added seven points in 19 minutes of action off the bench.  Senior guard Yasien Beatty (Jersey City, N.J.) had a solid game, finishing with seven points, six assists, three rebounds and three steals. 

Siljee finished with 14 points in just nine minutes of action off the bench.  Also in double-figures for the Red Hawks, junior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, N.J.) had 12 points and three blocks, while sophomore guard James Williams (Englewood, N.J.) added 11 points and four steals.