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Khalif Meares Scores 26 Points to Lead Rowan to Win over Rochester

ROCHESTER, NY (November 10, 2023)--– Khalif Meares had a game-high 26 points, including key free throws in the final seconds, to help the Rowan men's basketball team to a 94-90 win over Maryville (TN) in the opening round of Rochester's Chuck Resler Tournament. It also marked the first win for  interim head coach Eric Brennan in his Rowan debut.
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The Profs will next  play in the tournament's championship game against either Wooster or Rochester at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Ja'Zere Noel had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Profs while Marcellus Ross had 17 and Jamar Spivey scored 15 points. In his first game as a Prof, Meares went 7-for-8 from the foul line, grabbed nine rebounds and handed out six assists.
Meares, in his first year at Rowan,  went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final 15 seconds to seal the win, with Maryville's Jackson Garner hitting a three-pointer at the buzzer to provide the final margin after the Scots had pulled within 90-87 with 16 seconds left.
Rowan led the entire second half and by as much as 12 points, 69-57, but Maryville chipped away and cut the Profs' lead to 73-69 with under nine minutes to play. The Profs built up the lead again to 79-71 after a layup by Spivey, but the Scots scored eight straight to tie the game, 79-79, with 5:08 to play.
Noel scored one in the paint to give Rowan an 83-81 lead and then Meares hit consecutive jumpers to increase the Profs' advantage to 87-81 at 1:14. From there, Rowan went 7-of-8 from the foul line to close out the victory.
The teams played a tight first half, and although Rowan led for all but two minutes, its biggest lead was 43-37 after Ross hit a three-pointer with 2:55 to go in the half. Meares knocked down a pair of free throws with :26 left as the Profs took a 45-40 lead into intermission.
Rowan shot 44.7 percent from the field in the game, and was only 5-for-19 from three-point range, while Maryville hit 11 three pointers.