PITMAN, N.J. (NJCUGothicKnights.com) | New Jersey City University sophomore power forward Sam Toney (Plainfield, NJ/Williamstown) produced one of the greatest weeks by any player in the 85-year history of Gothic Knight men’s basketball and was an obvious choice for New Jersey Athletic Conference Player of the Week accolades, the league office announced on December 4.
The honor is for week three of the 2017-18 season with games played November 27 thru December 3. With NJCU freshman center Chika Wosu (Jersey City, NJ/University Academy Charter)) also collecting NJAC Rookie of the Week honors, the Gothic Knights swept the two weekly conference honors for the second time in the last six weeks (week 14, February 20, 2017).
It is the first career NJAC Player of the Week honor for Toney who last year was an eight-time NJAC Rookie of the Week in 16 weeks. That same season he was the clear-cut choice as the NJAC Rookie of the Year. He later was voted the D3hoops.com Atlantic Region Rookie of the Year, the ECAC Metro Rookie of the Year and was cited by D-III News as one of 10 newcomers in the entire country, named to the national All-Freshman Team.
In the third week of his sophomore season, Toney continued to emerge as one of the best players in the nation. Toney became the first player in NJCU history to score 30+ points in consecutive games or in the same week, including the most points in a single game by an NJCU player in the 24-year history of NJCU’s home court at the John J. Moore Athletics and Fitness Center. It was the first two 30-point efforts of his career.
Behind Toney, NJCU moved to 7-0 to start a season for the first time since the program’s last Final Four season—25 years ago during the 1991-92 campaign. Toney is the first sophomore to be named captain at NJCU since all-time greats Andrew Kemp and Eric Moore back in 1977-78.
Toney averaged 33.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.0 blocks, 1.0 assists and 0.5 steals while knocking down 23-of-47 shots from the field (.489), eight three pointers (8-21, .381) and shooting 12-of-16 (.750) from the line in 38.5 minutes of action per night. He produced 66 points and 26 rebounds in two conference wins.
In an 87-83 overtime win over William Paterson in the 150th meeting between the schools on November 29, Toney produced one of the greatest double-double efforts in the 85-year history of NJCU basketball with 36 points and 17 rebounds. Toney had the most points ever by a Gothic Knight player in the 24-year existence of the JMAC and the most in Jersey City in 37 seasons. Toney matched the 10th highest scoring effort in NJCU history and scored the most points at home since February 18, 1981. He shot 11-of-24 overall, including 7-of-13 from two-point range, and was 10-of-13 from the line with 17 points and two blocks in 41 minutes.
The only greater combined scoring/rebounding double-double effort in program history came on February 11, 1979 in a 136-108 win against Mercy on a neutral court in Elmira, N.Y. when Hall-of-Famer Brett Wyatt scored a school-record 52 points with 22 rebounds. Toney had a double-double by halftime (14 points, 10 rebounds, nine defensive, 19 minutes), and 17 in the second half in 17 minutes when he shot 5-of-6 from the field. Entering overtime with 31 points, he added five of NJCU’s eight points in the extra period. Both the scoring and rebounding totals were career highs and 12 more points than he has generated in the first 34 games of his career. With four players and two starters sidelined with illness or injury, NJCU needed every one of his points.
When NJCU hung on to beat Rutgers-Camden, 86-83, on the road on December 2, Toney again netted 30 and NJCU again needed nearly every one of those points to win. He scored 16 of his 30 points in the second half and finished shooting 12-of-23 and 4-of-10 from three-point distance, adding nine rebounds (eight defensive) and two blocks in 36 minutes. NJCU led by 14, 78-64, with 3:25 remaining when Toney hit a jumper for his 26th point and by 11 when his layup with 2:30 left made it 80-69. He reached the 30-point plateau for the second time this week with a layup with 1:03 to go, making the lead six (82-76) before RUC twice whittled the lead to one and NJCU hit late foul shots to ice it.
Toney, a 6-foot-4, 223-pound Professional Security Studies major and Criminal Justice minor, is the NJAC leading scorer and among the national leaders through seven games. He is averaging 21.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 blocks, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 49.1 percent from the field (54-110), 39.3 percent from three-point range (22-56) and 69.7 percent from the foul line (23-33). He has tallied 153 points and 65 rebounds (13 offensive and 52 defensive) in 215 minutes (30.71 per game).
Overall, Toney has a huge lead for the NJAC scoring title by 4.5 points over any other player in the league, even with another top-10 scorer (Lavrone Green (Teaneck, NJ/Teaneck)) on the roster. He also leads the NJAC in three-pointers per game (3.1). Toney also ranks third in defensive rebounding (7.4 per game), fourth in rebounding, fifth in blocked shots, ninth in minutes played, 12th in offensive rebounding (1.9), 14th in field goal percentage, 14th in three-point percentage, 20th in free throw percentage, 22nd in assists, and 25th in steals.
In NJAC-only action, his 24.3 points and 12.3 rebounds average is easily best in the league by a +5.3 points and +2.0 rebounds margin over any other player. He also leads NJAC play with 9.7 defensive rebounds per game.
SOURCE: NJCU Athletics Press Release