Amherst, MA- Kean's Jared Latane knocked down a three pointer with one minute remaining to break a tie and the Cougars held off a hard charging MCLA squad down the stretch to earn a 75-73 win in the Ken Wright Invitational hosted by Amherst College. The Cougars are now 1-2 on the season while the Trailblazers fall to 0-2.
MCLA will face Framingham State in a rare non league matchup tomorrow at 1pm while Kean will face tournament host Amherst at 3pm.
Kean held the lead for the majority of the contest and at one point opened up a double digit second half lead. MCLA came charging back however behind Mike Demartinis. Kean led 66-56 with six minutes to go before the Trailblazers came storming back. Demartinis ignited a 15-5 spurt to tie the game at 71-71.
Demartinis scored 12 of the points in the spurt while Hayden Bird knocked down a triple. The run set the stage for Latane's big shot to give the Cougars the lead back at 74-71. After the teams traded empty possessions, Demartinis drove the lane for a easy two with just 15 seconds left to pull within one at 74-73.
Forced to foul, MCLA sent Kean's Jailen Jamison to the line and he sank the first but missed the second attempt giving MCLA the ball back with under ten seconds to play. Demartinis had a great look at a game winning three pointer, but he hit back iron and Kean escaped with the win.
Kean placed four players in double figures led by Micah Kerr's 18 point night. Kendall Blount added 17 points while Jamison ended with 10 points but collected 15 rebounds. Tre Gomez ended with 10 points for the Cougars.
Kean shot 48% from the floor but struggled with the MCLA pressure all night committing 24 turnovers. They did hold a sizable 49-33 edge off the glass.
Demartinis ended with a game and career best 24 points, including 18 after halftime. He did most of his damage from the FT line going 12-12 on the night. Quran Davis was very productive adding 14 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals. Bird ended with 12 points and 7 rebounds for MCLA.
The Trailblazers struggled from the floor shooting 33% on the night.