Defense Clamps Down As Jackson, Men's Basketball Escape Nyack

Men's basketball player in white uniform begins drive into lane.
Jay'von Jackson scored 22 points during a Feb. 4, 2020, win at Nyack. (Steven R. Smith)

NYACK, N.Y. – The Felician University men's basketball team held Nyack College without a field goal for the final nine minutes, 48 seconds, of its 62-59 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference victory over the host Warriors on Tuesday night at Bowman Gymnasium.

Felician (7-13, 5-7 CACC) moved past Nyack and into fifth place in the CACC North Division. The Golden Falcons, however, remained 1 ½ games behind fourth-place Bloomfield College for the division's final playoff spot with seven games left to play.

Sophomore forward Jay'von Jackson (Plainfield, N.J.) led Felician with 22 points and added four rebounds. Golden Falcon senior Jeff Lewis (Sicklerville, N.J.) (5-6 FG, three assists) and sophomore Dee-End McRae (Newark, N.J.) each recorded 11 points and six rebounds.

Felician survived an 8 for 18 performance (44 percent) at the foul line while watching its opponent convert all 14 of its free throw attempts. The visitors mitigated that disparity and an 18-11 turnover disadvantage with much better marksmanship. The Golden Falcons shot 52 percent from the floor and held the Warriors to a 33-percent figure (28 percent after halftime).

Tuesday's game featured 11 ties and 14 lead changes. Layups by Jackson and Nas Amos (Newark, N.J.) during the final minute of the first period left the sides deadlocked, 33-33, at halftime.

The teams remained within one possession of each other for the first six minutes of period two. Nyack surged ahead, 49-43, following a three-point field goal from Thomas Nolan (Trumbull, Conn.) and a transition layup by Kennith Ford (Forestville, Md.), the latter with 13:36 to play in regulation time. But by the 10:17 mark, the Golden Falcons were back on top, 52-51, after a successful Jaylen Colon (Paterson, N.J.) jump shot.

Both squads went cold on offense. With the game clock down to 4:10, the scoreboard had only advanced to 56-55 with Felician still ahead. But the visitors' next possession neared its end, Amos spotted Jeff Lewis in the right corner for a three-pointer. Nolan's attempted answer was off the mark, and when Amos got free in the lane for a bucket and a 61-55 Golden Falcon advantage, only 2:53 remained.

The teams traded defensive stops twice, draining the official time to 1:14 before two Jah-Meer McDuffie (Syracuse, N.Y.) free throws drew the hosts closer. Felician turned over the ensuing in-bounds pass, and two more foul shots by Joel Bailey (Saint Catherine, Jamaica) made it 61-59 at 1:04

Nyack gained a heartbeat after the Golden Falcons missed the front end of a 1-and-1 foul shooting situation. A potential go-ahead shot from distance was no good. A held ball on the rebound went back to the Warriors, but Nolan lost the ball on a drive at 0:11. It then took Nyack until 0:02.9 to commit a foul. Jackson split a pair at the charity stripe, but the extra seconds left time for only a half-court desperation heave as the final buzzer sounded.

Bailey led all players with 23 points and added six rebound and five assists. McDuffie scored 14 points with nine rebounds in 21 minutes. After McDuffie's jumper with 9:49 to play gave Nyack a brief 53-52 lead, the Warriors were 0 for 11 with three turnovers the rest of the night.

Amos finished with eight points for the Golden Falcons. Colon recorded a career-high eight rebounds and a season-high six assists.

Felician has alternated losses and wins for its last six contests. The Golden Falcons look to break that trend when they travel to northeast Philadelphia on Saturday for a 3 p.m. CACC tip-off against Holy Family University.