Run in NJAC men’s basketball tournament ends in 96-91 loss to Rowan

GLASSBORO, NJ – The University of New Jersey City men’s basketball team, seeded No. 7 in the 2021-22 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament, hit the road tonight, Tuesday, February 22, for a quarterfinal matchup with the No. 2 seed Rowan University. The Gothic Knights stayed with the Profs throughout the game, but eventually fell five, 96-91, ending their run at the conference title defense.

Jersey City (12-15) lost up to nine points to Rowan (22-4) in the first half but managed to cut the deficit to six after 20 minutes with the score at 44-38 in favor of the profs. To start the second half, NJCU continued to close the gap and made it a three-point game, 49-46 with 17:08 to go.

Unfortunately, the Profs managed to extend their lead up to 10 points several times before coming away with the win. The Gothic Knights ended the night on an 8-3 run to make it a five-point game, but they couldn’t come close in the 2021-22 NJAC Finals.

Individually, the highlight of the evening came from the seniors Denzel Banks (Newark, NJ/East Orange Campus). He scored 22 points, giving him 1,235 career points and ranking him 18th all-time in program history on the scoring list. Also, not since February 18, 1987 – when he was now an assistant coach Del Harrison pulled down 20 rebounds against then-Glassboro State College (now Rowan) – a Gothic Knight grabbed over 20 rebounds.

That was until tonight, when Banks notched his second double-double of the season and seventh of his career grabbing 20 rebounds. The last time a player recorded 20+ points and 20+ rebounds in a single game for NJCU was on January 8, 1983 – 39 years ago – when Carl Braggs had 24 points and 20 rebounds against Montclair State College. (now University).

Four other Jersey City players also finished in double digits. Senior Kayton Darley (North Bergen, NJ/North Bergen) scored 18 points as a sophomore Ryan Savoy (Lakewood, NJ / Lakewood) also notched a double-double, as he scored 16 points to go with 12 rebounds. Both Darley and Savoy scored three blocks apiece. First-year student Ben Todd (Woodland Hills, Calif./El Camino Real Charter) scored 11 points off the bench to go with six rebounds.

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