UNION, N.J. – Elms College junior guard Andre French (Torrington, Conn.) scored a team-best 15 points, while junior guard Charles Bason (Riverdale, Md.) swished 4 of 7 from three-point range to help lift the Blazers to a 62-56 victory over Kean University in Saturday afternoon's non-conference men's basketball game.
With the win Elms improves to 4-4 on the season, while Kean falls to 2-7 overall.
After playing to a 23-23 deadlock during the first 20 minutes of action as both teams made eight field goals, swished five three-pointers and swished two free throws, Kean scored eight of the first 10 points to start the second stanza behind a pair of Andrew Kirey (Millville, N.J.) treys to give the Cougars a 31-25 lead with 18:10 remaining in the game.
Elms clawed back to even the contest twice more over the next six minutes before Kean extended its lead by to five (39-34) on a jumper in the key by Mike Shaughnessy (Linwood, N.J.).
The Blazers rallied when junior guard James Black (Baltimore, Md.) delivered a layup and converted the and-one free throw to pull Elms to within two before senior guard Daniel Gonzalez (East Windsor, Conn.) canned a three-pointer to give the Blazers a 40-39 lead. Gonzalez followed with another triple on Elms' next possession to increase the lead to 43-39 with 11:15 on the clock.
The sides battled to two tie scores and six lead changes over the next seven minutes before Bason put Elms ahead for good when he struck for a three-pointer to set the score at 55-54 with 3:46 to play. A layup by junior forward Jamal Hulum (Norfolk, Va.) and a jumper by Gonzalez gave the Blazers a five-point cushion until a Michael Burton (Irvington, N.J.) narrowed the Cougars' deficit to 59-56 with 1:43 remaining.
Kean missed its next four shots and French hit on 3 of 4 from the free throw line to propel Elms to its six-point victory.
Elms shot 38.2-percent from the field and scored 24 points off 18 Kean turnovers.
French was 4 of 10 from the field including 5 of 6 from the stripe and added five steals, while Bason and Gonzalez combined for seven of the Blazers' nine three-pointers en route to 14 points apiece. Hulum added 10 points and was one of four Elms players to secure a team-high four rebounds, joining French, Bason and junior forward David McDaniel (Plainfield, N.J.).
McDaniel added three blocks and three assists, while Bason totaled three assists. Elms also shot 78.6-percent from the foul line (11 of 14).
Despite the loss, Burton led all scorers, converting 7 of 12 from the floor on his way to 16 points. Kirey added 15 points on 4 of 7 shooting which included four strikes from beyond the arc, while Kyle Latorre (Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.) added 11 points and grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
The Cougars shot 43.2-percent from the field for the game including 61.1-percent in the second half.
Elms concludes its 2011 slate on Monday, Dec. 19 when it travels to Arlington, Va. for a 7:00 p.m. tilt against Marymount University.