CAMDEN CITY, N.J. (Dec. 14, 2019) – Senior forward Isaac Destin scored a game-high 28 points and added a game-high 13 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, as the Rutgers University-Camden men’s basketball team won its first New Jersey Athletic Conference game of the year, 68-63, over Kean University here Saturday.
Junior guard Arian Azemi added 22 points and a game-high four steals for the Scarlet Raptors, who improve to 4-5 overall and 1-3 in the NJAC by snapping a four-game losing streak. Kean falls to 2-8 overall and 1-4 in conference play.
The teams swapped leads nine times in the opening half before Rutgers-Camden took the lead for good, 30-28, on a three-pointer by forward Jake Petrik late in the opening half. Petrick’s trey sparked a 13-point Scarlet Raptor run to end the half, giving Rutgers-Camden a 40-28 lead at the break. Azemi scored nine of those points.
Rutgers-Camden opened up leads as large as 16 points in the second half (49-33 and 51-35) before the Cougars clawed their way back into the contest. Leading, 61-51, the Raptors watched Kean go on a 9-1 run late in the game, cutting the margin to 62-60 on a three-pointer by senior guard Jeff Cooper with 1:07 remaining.
Foul shots by Raptor junior guard/forward Ian McCarthy and Destin made it a 64-60 game with 34 seconds remaining, but moments later, the Cougars sliced the margin to one point on a trey by sophomore guard Jailen Jamison. Azemi hiked the margin to 66-63 with a pair of foul shots before the Cougars missed the potential game-tying trey with 12 seconds remaining. Destin grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made both of his foul shots for the final margin.
Destin finished the game shooting 10-for-11 from the foul line on his way to 28 points, five shy of his career high. He will head into the next calendar year with 979 career points, 21 shy of becoming the 14th 1,000-point scorer in program history.
In addition to Destin and Azemi, Petrik added nine points for the Scarlet Raptors, who shot 22-for-53 (41.5 percent) from the floor and 18-for-25 (72.0) from the foul line. Kean shot 25-for-62 from the floor and 5-for-10 (50.0) from the line.
The Cougars received 15 points and seven boards from Jamison, while sophomore guard Jared Latane netted 13 points and Cooper added 10.
Kean held a 40-35 edge off the boards and made two more turnovers (19-17) than the Scarlet Raptors.
The Scarlet Raptors won’t play again until Jan. 4, when they have a 3 p.m. NJAC game at The College of New Jersey.