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TCNJ men’s basketball falls in NJAC action, 77-66

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By Anthony Caruso III
Posted: February 21st, 2009 at 3:45 pm EST

The College of New Jersey hosted their first New Jersey Athletic Conference playoff game today in Packer Hall. However, things did not end like they wanted.

The Lions season came to an end following a 77-66 loss to Rutgers University Newark Scarlet Raiders.

The College of New Jersey

The College of New Jersey

Rutgers-Newark improved to 15-11 on the year, while the Lions record ends with a 10-15 mark.

Following the win, RU advances to the NJAC semifinals. On Tuesday night, they will face the Montclair State Red Hawks.

The winner of the NJAC Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Division III Tournament.

Scarlet Raiders were led by James Johnson, who had 17 points, including making 3 of 5 three-pointers. David Cherry added 16 points, while Tim Smith contributed 15 points.

The Lions were led by Aaron Syvertsen, who also had 17 points. Steven Siracusa scored a career-high 15 points with 11 points in the second half.

Eric Blackmon-Hayes chipped in 10 points with seven assists. Jeff Molinelli and Adam Gonzalex had five and four points, respectively.

Rutgers-Newark trailed the Lions for much of the first half until both teams were tied at 28 each with two minutes left before halftime. The Scarlet Raiders made three straight three-point baskets to take a 34-28 lead into the break.

Both teams would exchange the lead until the 7:15 mark when the game was tied at 53. The Scarlet Raiders had a 64-61 lead at 3:40 left in the game.

Phil Barnes dunked the ball in the seal his team winning the game.

Lions junior Jay Frank had six points, and fouled out of the game with 1:10 left. He also had four rebounds and three assists.

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