Wright, Jackson Lead Comeback, Put Men's Basketball In Win Column

Men's basketball player on wing with ball near head in one hand.
Zamir Wright scored 26 points in a Nov. 9, 2019, victory over Roberts Wesleyan. (Artur Workstus)

AMHERST, N.Y. – Felician University deleted a 14-point second-half deficit and went on to an 82-74 non-conference men's basketball victory over Roberts Wesleyan College on Saturday afternoon at Lumsden Gymnasium. The game was contested during the second and final day of the four-team East Coast Conference-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Challenge presented by WNY and Orthopedic Surgery PC, hosted by Daemen College.

Senior guard Zamir Wright (Newark, N.J.) (23) and sophomore forward Jay'von Jackson (Plainfield, N.J.) (16) combined for 39 of Felician's 51 second-half points. For the day, Wright shot 7 for 11 from the floor, including 6 for 10 from three-point range, and made all six of his free-throw attempts to total 26 points in 24 minutes. Jackson, meanwhile, finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Both men were selected to the All-Tournament Team.

Freshman guard Amari Lee (Newport News, Va.) led Roberts Wesleyan (1-1) with 20 points.

Both sides began the game sluggishly on offense. At the mid-way point of the first period, only 29 points had been scored (16-13 RWC). The Golden Falcons and Redhawks remained within two possessions of each other, with Roberts carrying a 34-31 edge into the break.

Reggie Clark (Rochester, N.Y.) scored nine points as the Redhawks began the second half on a 13-2 run to open a 47-33 edge with 16 minutes, 51 seconds left in regulation time. But Wright nailed a three-point field goal on each of Felician's next two possessions, and a putback by Jeff Lewis (Sicklerville, N.J.) followed by a Jackson three brought the Golden Falcons to within 50-45 at the 11:53 mark.   

Wright and Jackson continued the onslaught from long range during an exciting stretch. Wright cut a six-point deficit in half with a trey. Felician freshman Nas Amos (Newark, N.J.) followed with a steal before spotting Jackson for a tying three-pointer, 54-54, with 9:27 to go. The Golden Falcons obtained another defensive stop and Wright drained another long jumper to put his team ahead for the first time in the half. Lee returned the favor from distance to re-knot the score, but one more time, Jackson gave Felician the lead, this time to stay, with a three-ball assisted by Wright at the 8:08 mark.

From there, the Felician defense took over. The Golden Falcons outscored Roberts, 12-6, over the next five-plus minutes, and their nine-point lead with 2:32 remaining was too much for the Redhawks to overcome. Three different Golden Falcons combined to convert 8 of 8 foul shots in the final 30 seconds.

Felician made 9 of 14 second-half three-pointers. Overall from the floor, the Golden Falcons shot 50 percent after halftime after a 34-percent opening period. Sophomore Dee-End McRae (Newark, N.J.) scored 12 points with nine rebounds and Lewis finished with eight points and 10 boards. Clark scored 17 for RWC.

Felician travels to Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip against Mercy College.