Graduate student Kelly Guarino set the NJIT all-time record for three-pointers (224), netting 18 points in the Highlanders 66-60 victory over visiting Kennesaw State to open ASUN Conference action Saturday afternoon at NJIT's Wellness and Events Center.
The win for the Highlanders over Kennesaw State marks the first all-time win for NJIT, since joining the ASUN Conference in 2015-16.
Guarino, surpassed the old mark (222) at the 6:08 mark in the third quarter, sinking the trey from the wing in front of the Highlander bench. The ASUN leader in three-pointers made this season (44), scored a team-high 18 points, finishing 4-of-10 from three-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.
Graduate student Tatianna Torres added eight points and became NJIT's all-time steals leader with 137.
Kennesaw State's Kamiyah Street, an ASUN all-freshmen and second-team honoree last season, netted a game-high 20 points while Amani Johnson followed with 15 points. Alexis Poole added 12 points while center Simina Avram led the game with 13 rebounds, as the Owls outrebounded NJIT, 43-38.
Forward Carlotta Gianolla posted a double-double – 10 points, 10 rebounds in 26 minutes of action off the bench for the Owls.
NJIT's Ellyn Stoll got the scoring going for the Highlanders as Kennesaw State took a 14-7 advantage after a layup by Amani Johnson but the Highlanders used a 7-0 spurt to close the gap, capped by a jumper by Danielle Tunstall for a 14-14 score with 2:14 on the clock.
After three early points by the Owls in the second quarter, scored six straight points, taking a 22-19 lead, on a layup by Milena Bajic at the 5:08 mark. Kennesaw State used a 9-2 run in the next 3:49, pushing ahead 28-24 with less than a minute to go. Tunstall scored four points in the last minute to tie the contest at 28 heading into the half.
At the half, Kamiyah Street led all scorers with 13 points on 6-of-12, shooting from the field while NJIT's Tunstall paced the Highlanders with nine point and three rebounds.
Kennesaw State scored the first four points of the third quarter but NJIT's Kelly Guarino connected on three straight three-pointers, giving the Highlanders a 37-35 lead. With Guarino's three-pointer at the 6:12 mark, the graduate student becomes NJIT's all-time leader in three-pointers made (223).
The Owls scored five straight points for a two-point advantage, 39-37, but the Highlanders regained the lead, 40-39, on a corner three-pointer by Tunstall. After alternating possessions, the Highlanders went ahead 49-45, sparked by a 7-0 run, thanks to a three-pointer by Dez Allen at the 2:55 mark.
Tied at 53 in the fourth quarter, NJIT scored seven straight, sparked by a pair of free throws by Tatianna Torres, an acrobatic layup through three defenders by Dez Allen and a wide open three-pointer from the top of the key by Guarino, giving the Highlanders a seven-point lead, 60-53.
Kennesaw State pulled within as many as four, 62-58, and the Highlanders closed out the game on a 4-2 spurt, holding on for a 66-60 victory.
NJIT will break for six days and make it first ASUN Conference road trip to North Alabama on Saturday, January 12 at 1 p.m. (CT).