Men’s basketball can’t hold on as Alvernia returns to top of Gothic Knights
NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia – The University of New Jersey City men’s basketball team faced the University of Alvernia for the second time this season today, Sunday, November 28, in Game 1 of Christopher Newport University’s Day 2. / Holiday Inn Invitational. The Gothic Knights led up to seven points in the first half and up to six in the second, but couldn’t hold out and lost six points to the Golden Wolves, 70-64, in their second loss to Alvernia this year. .
NJCU (3-4) and AU (5-3) were tied at 35-35 after a tied first half of play. Unfortunately, the Gothic Knights led by seven points with 5:26 left until the break, but the Golden Wolves hit their free throws down the stretch to tie after the first 8:00 p.m. Jersey City started second in a quick 6-0 run, taking a 41-35 lead, including three from the triple senior captain Jason Battle (Jersey City, NJ / Roselle Catholic). Alvernia eventually equalized at 41-41 with 15:58 remaining, but NJCU extended it to a five-point game at 46-41 with a quick 5-0 run, capped by a senior rider. Kayton Darley (North Bergen, NJ / North Bergen).
The Gothic Knights held onto that lead – allowing AU to tie it at 50-50 with 6:53 – up to the 5:05 mark when they led 52-51. About 30 seconds later, Alvernia pulled a three to take the two-point lead with 4:37 left. senior tri-captain Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ / East Orange Campus) did a clutch bucket to pick it up at 54-54 with 4:18 remaining in settlement, unfortunately the Golden Wolves blew up for an 11-0 run to take a 65-54 lead and didn’t give in control for the rest of the day. NJCU saw some light with a late 6-1 run to make it a five-point game with 12 seconds left, but that was as close as the team would get in loss.
– Two-time New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Rookie of the Week in 2020-21, second year Hakeem Wilson (Newark, NJ / North Star Academy) came off the Gothic Knights bench for 23 minutes and scored 13 points, the team and season high, on 5 of 9 shots (55.6%). He was also a perfect 3-for-3 from the line, racked up a pair of interceptions and had five rebounds, his career best record.
– Battle (11 points) and Banks (10 points) also scored in double digits for NJCU. Battle, whose career-high points total at Jersey City, also had two assists and a rebound, while Banks had seven boards, one steal and one assist.
– Junior Michael Clement (Sicklerville, NJ / Township of Winslow) posted a season record with nine points to go with seven rebounds and two blocks. Second year Ryan Savoy (Lakewood, NJ / Lakewood) also scored eight points and caught eight boards tied with three assists, two steals and four blocks, a game-high.
Seeking to end a three-game slippage, the Gothic Knights return to the field for their first NJAC road game of the season. NJCU is scheduled to kick off at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday night, December 1, in Wayne, NJ against William Paterson University. Jersey City have won two of their last three games against the Pioneers, but the two teams did not meet in last year’s abridged campaign.