Assumption tops men's basketball at Barclays Center in Brooklyn

Kieran Hamilton drives for a first-half layup at Barclays Center on Wednesday.
Kieran Hamilton drives for a first-half layup at Barclays Center on Wednesday.

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The NYIT men's basketball team took the court at an NBA arena on Wednesday afternoon. And although the Bears proceeded to fall to Assumption, 84-75, the experience of playing at the home of the Brooklyn Nets still proved worthwhile.

Jeffrey Hayden, the lone NYIT student-athlete who also played at Barclays Center two seasons ago, led the Bears with 24 points. Kieran Hamilton had 19, followed by Tyler Ancrum with 12.

The Bears dropped to 3-13 on the season.

"I think they were very excited when they first walked into the arena," coach Kevin Hamilton said. "The allure of this big arena is something really special. It was a little bit overwhelming, probably, for some of the younger guys.

"For us, when we play with energy, we're not bad. We just didn't have the energy you need to play against a team like Assumption that's very methodical in what they do."

NYIT led 27-26 after Hayden converted a jumper with 2 minutes, 12 seconds remaining in the first half. However, Assumption built a 33-28 lead by halftime and led by as many as 18 points after intermission. NYIT didn't chisel the deficit back to single digits until Kieran Hamiton drained a three-pointer in the game's final minute.

The Bears also played at Barclays Center during the 2015-16 season against St. Thomas Aquinas.

Coach Kevin Hamilton said his goal for the program is to play in a professional arena, primarily Barclays Center and Nassau Coliseum, each season.

Wednesday's event also included the team and spectators attending the NBA game that evening between the Nets and Detroit Pistons.

"It was a great opportunity to play in a pro arena," Hayden said. "I just wanted to give all I've got. My teammates gave what we got. We came up short, but we're ready to face Roberts Wesleyan on Friday."