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Rutgers-Newark impressive run ends in 72-60 defeat to Brandeis University in ECAC Championship Game

The Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders men’s basketball were on a roll in the ECAC(Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference) Tournament. Earning the number two seed in Pod 4, the Scarlet Raiders won their first three games including knocking off Stevenson University and Wilkes University who was the number one seed in Pod 4. Led by junior Chase Barney, reaching a milestone in scoring his 1,000thcareer point, senior Mark Isiofia-Thomas and senior Tyler Ofray tallying 19 points in a semifinal win yesterday against Grove City.


Matched against a talented Brandeis University squad in the championship game on Sunday at BB&T Arena on the campus of Hood College in Frederick, MD. Rutgers-Newark had to contend with a Judges team that breezed through the tournament and four players averaging double-figures.


In the first half, both teams’ exchanged taking the lead. Brandeis led by four points on a couple of occasions, eventually settling for a 31-29 halftime advantage. The Scarlet Raiders shot 41 percent from the perimeter, knocking down four trifecta’s, winning rebounding battle 16-10, points in the paint 12-8 and points off turnovers 12-7. Ofray led Rutgers-Newark with nine points while Mark-Isiofia Thomas added seven points. Chandler Jones scored 12 of his game-high 17 points.


Early in the second half, the Scarlet Raiders managed to take a 37-34 lead only to see the Judges counter that with a quick 6-0 spurt. The momentum continued to swing in Brandeis favor as a series of technical fouls were assessed against Rutgers-Newark bench and players bumping the margin up to 46-41. The Scarlet Raiders managed to regain their composure, going on a 7-0 including a triple by Ofray with less than 14 minutes to go regaining the lead at 49-48. Brandies then caught fire from beyond the arc, canning three treys that sparked an 11-0 run and would not look back coasting to the 72-60 victory.


Rutgers-Newark struggled from the field in the second half shooting just 20 percent and overall 31.8 for the contest and 5 of 16 from downtown. Meanwhile, the Judges shot 46.5 percent in the second half, 10 of 21 from three-point land and buried 16 of 17 free throws and overall a sizzling 22 of 23 from the charity stripe line. Brandeis had four players in double figures with Corey Sherman pouring in 16 points and Collin Sawyer and Eric D-Aguanno each adding 15 points apiece.


Barneys led the Scarlet Raiders with 16 points while Ofray netted 15 and Isiofia-Thomas in his final game delivered 13 points. Rutgers-Newark finished up the season with a record of 16-13.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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