Highlanders Run Away in Second Half

Senior Anthony Mottola

NEWARK, NJ -  The NYU-Poly Men's Basketball team kicked off it's 2010-11 season against the NJIT Highlanders and for the first 15 minutes went stride for stride with the Division 1 school. But, a ferocious second half shooting performance by NJIT led to a 96-49 setback for NYU-Poly.

Anthony Mottola (Brooklyn, NY) scored a game-high 17 points for the Fighting Blue Jays, followed by John Martin’s (Brooklyn, NY) 11 points and 10 points off the bench for Eric Southworth (Dutch Harbor, AK). NYU-Poly center Jason Buckner (Littleton, CO) led all rebounders with eight.

NYU-Poly, which lost to NJIT, 67-31, when the teams played last December 30, stayed close for most of the first half Monday night, competing hard on defense, while shooting well and limiting its turnovers on offense. The Fighting Blue Jays’ early effort was rewarded when they pulled ahead, 24-23, on Mottola’s jump shot with 5:54 left in the first half.

But, the Highlanders outscored the Jays, 18-4, over the rest of the half and took a 41-28 halftime lead. NJIT’s Chris Flores had 10 points to lead all scorers at the half, while NYU-Poly had eight points from Southworth and seven from Mottola.

NJIT extended its late first-half dominance into the second half, rolling up a 25-6 advantage in the opening 7:30 out of the break for a 66-34 bulge with 12:30 left on the clock. The Highlanders outscored NYU-Poly in the second half, 55-21. Their biggest lead was 48 points, at 96-48, with 1:33 left.

NJIT also asserted its superiority rebounding in the second half, pulling down 23 second-half boards to nine for the visitors after each team took down 18 rebounds in the first half.

The Highlanders shot 68 percent from the field (19-28) in the second half and 59 percent overall (36-61). Included in the total was 9-for-18 shooting on three-point tries.