Stockton's Rynell Lawrence (23) stands in a triple threat position as The College of New Jersey's Jack Vreeswyk (3) defends in the men's basketball game played at Stockton University's Sports Center in Galloway, New Jersey on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. Lukas Guerrier/D2 Sports Network
GALLOWAY - The Stockton men's basketball team surrendered a 10-point first half lead and fell to The College of New Jersey, 78-69, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference matchup on Wednesday night. The Ospreys' record fell to 6-4. TCNJ improved its record to 8-3. Both teams own a 4-2 record in NJAC play.
Stockton jumped out to a 26-16 lead in the first half. Vineland graduate D.J. Campbell scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the opening half. The Lions responded with a 24-9 run to close the half and establish a 40-35 advantage at intermission. TCNJ outscored the Ospreys 38-34 in the second half to secure the triumph and end a two-game skid.
Manasquan product Matthew Solomon led TCNJ with 18 points, 20 rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. Nick Koch added 17 points. The Don Bosco Prep graduate also charted a team-high five assists. Menlo Atherton (Ca.) graduate James Beckwith finished with 12 points, four assists and three rebounds. Clifton alum Matthew Okorie tallied 12 points and seven rebounds. Jason Larranaga, a Bergen Catholic graduate, scored eight of his 11 points in the second half.
Campbell charted 21 points, six rebounds and two steals. Former Lower Cape May and Wildwood Catholic standout Martin Anguelov finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Christian Armstrong-Thomas scored all of his 10 points in the second half. The Cherokee graduate finished with seven rebounds (five offensive). Lenape product Tayvon Gaither, the younger brother of newly-appointed Pemberton Township High School coach Taro Gaither, finished with eight points, a team-high nine rebounds, two assists and a block in 33 minutes played.
Stockton's Tayvon Gaither (1) dribbles up court as The College of New Jersey's Matthew Okorie (24) defends in the men's basketball game played at Stockton University's Sports Center in Galloway, New Jersey on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. Lukas Guerrier/D2 Sports Network
Triton graduate Jalen Collins charted nine points and three rebounds for the Ospreys. Millville native Rynell Lawrence finished with six points, four rebounds and an assist.
Stockton trailed by as much as 13 points in the second half. Coach Scott Bittner's team was behind 73-60 with 5:13 left to play. The Ospreys went on a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 73-69 with 2:01 remaining. TCNJ made five out of its last six free throw attempts to cease Stockton's comeback bid.
The Lions outscored Stockton 42-20 in the paint. The Ospreys accumulated more points off turnovers, bench points and second half points, but TCNJ outscored them 17-5 in transition. Stockton shot 35.4% from the field and finished 8-for-28 from beyond the arc.
The Ospreys will host Eastern University in the Bob Hutchings Memorial Game on Saturday at 2 pm. TCNJ will travel to Danbury, Connecticut for the Hat City Classic on December 28 and 29. The Lions will face Western Connecticut State and Vassar College.