The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

TCNJ men’s basketball secures victory on Senior Night

<p><em>Sophomore forward Matthew Solomon helped the College in their win (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).</em></p>

Sophomore forward Matthew Solomon helped the College in their win (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multimedia Coordinator).

By Joseph Caruso 
Staff Writer

In the finale of the 2023-2024 regular season, The College celebrated their seniors as they prepared to take on Rutgers-Newark in what could be their last home game of the year. 

The College is coming off back-to-back losses in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, losing to Stockton and Ramapo, and desperately needing a win to bolster their chances for the postseason. This is a Rutgers-Newark team that has a victory against the College this season, defeating them 71-63 in their previous matchup. 

The Scarlet Raiders of Rutgers-Newark came in with no chance to save their season, as they were multiple games out of a playoff spot with just one contest remaining, and they seemed to be playing an uninspired brand of basketball as a result. 

The Lions came out aggressive and led for the entirety of the first half, with their lead being as high as 12, and went into the halftime locker room leading 39-27 thanks in part to some stifling defense.

For the College, it was junior forward Matthew Okorie and frequent leading scorer sophomore guard Nick Koch leading the way with nine points each. Rutgers-Newark had a measly 27 points going into the half, as a result of their abysmal 31 percent shooting from the field and eight first half turnovers.

Rutgers-Newark woke up to start the second and final period, in which they went on a 14-5 run to start, cutting the College’s lead to just three. The Lions weathered the storm, but the Scarlet Raiders continued to hang around, with the difference being just four with five minutes to go. 

Thanks to the sealing buckets from sophomore Matthew Solomon, who finished with 14 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five assists, the College closed out the win with a score of 72-59. 

Okorie led the way for the Lions with 17 points, with three other players following by scoring double-digits. They shot just 5-21 from the three-point line, but Rutgers-Newark shot 3-15 themselves. The Lions led from start to finish, a true wire-to-wire win. 

With the victory, the College finished their regular season with a record of 17-8 and 11-7 in conference play. They have secured a spot in the postseason but will be doing some scoreboard-watching to determine whether they get to host a game in the conference tournament or not. Regardless, this has been an impressive turnaround for Coach Goldsmith and the Lions, bouncing back from two straight losing seasons with an impressive returning class for next year.




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