Kean Athletics

UNION, N.J. – In a battle of top 10 teams, sophomore Naimah Clemons scored a career-high 28 points to lead No. 6 Kean team to an 85-82 overtime win against top-ranked Amherst in a non-conference match-up Tuesday evening.

Senior forward Tiffany Patrick finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals for the Cougars (13-2), while senior guard Jaci Daigneault had a double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Lord Jeffs.

After scoring the first seven points of the game, Amherst led the entire first half, forging ahead by as many as nine points (10-1) early on. The Cougars trimmed the deficit to 23-22 on a lay-up by sophomore Nicol Biesek with 7:03 remaining in the half, before the Lord Jeffs pushed the advantage back out to seven points. Amherst took a 37-31 lead at halftime.

Junior forward Lem Atanga McCormick led the Lord Jeffs with 13 points, while Clemons scored 13 points for the Cougars.

The Cougars trimmed the lead to 37-35 with the first four points of the second half. After tying the game at 44-44 on a lay-up by junior Brittany Powell less than five minutes into the half, Clemons gave the Cougars their first lead of the game at 48-45 with a 3-pointer. Clemons' trey was part of a nine-point run for Kean, as it took a 53-45 lead with 12:29 remaining.

Amherst scored seven consecutive points of its own to pull back within one and Kean led 61-59 with just under seven minutes remaining before the Cougars extended the lead out to 67-59.

The Lord Jeffs responded with another run, scoring three buckets to climb within 67-66 with 4:04 remaining. After a Kean score, Amherst posted five unanswered points to regain the lead at 71-69 with 1:49 left.

Patrick' offensive rebound and putback tied the game, before a 3-pointer by Kim Fiorentino gave the Lord Jeffs a 74-71 advantage with 1:02 to play. A Clemons fast break lay-up pulled the Cougars within one point and her free throw in the final 30 seconds put the game into overtime. 

Kean scored the first five points of overtime with Clemons taking the tip and scoring on the lay-up before Patrick added a foul shot and lay-up for the 79-74 lead. The Lord Jeffs tied the game one final time at 79-79 on a lay-up by McCormick, before four consecutive points by the Cougars pushed the lead to 83-80. Amherst got within one just once the rest of the way.

Daigneault and senior center Sarah Leyman each scored their 1,000th career points for the Lord Jeffs, as Leyman finished the game with nine points and 10 rebounds. McCormick added 18 points, seven rebounds and three blocks.