Alicea, Rajoppi lead Bulldogs to season sweep of Brearley Thursday

Credits: Chip Dickson

KENILWORTH, NJ - The Dayton boys basketball team got back on the right side of the ledger Thursday night.

Sophomore guard DJ Alicea continued his hot shooting with a game-high 20 points and a game-high nine steals and senior forward Anthony Rajoppi posted his best effort of the season with 14 points, including a 3-pointer, and four rebounds to lead Dayton to a 49-42 victory over Brearley in Kenilworth.

Alicea has scored in double figures in eight games played thus far this season and has scored 20 or more points in four straight and five of his last six games for the Bulldogs (4-5), which has won two of its last three games.

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Rajoppi, who will be attending FDU-Florham to play football next fall, tied his season-high in points since a 14-point performance against Brearley in a 62-46 season opening win on December 15th.

“We played hard and needed stops on defense. We were efficient from the field, but struggled from the 3-point arc. We had too many turnovers, but we built up enough of a lead in the first half to secure the win, said Dayton head coach Robert Martin.

The Bulldogs came out of the gates with one of its better first halves of the season, leading 23-12 at halftime, highlighted by a 13-point second quarter.

Ibn McLean had a team-high 14 points with seven rebounds and five steals and Armando Merino added eight points with five steals and four rebounds for Brearley (2-8), which has lost five straight games.

Dayton looks to get to the .500 mark for the third time this season when it hosts rival New Providence on Saturday with first tip off scheduled for 1 p.m. Dayton lost to New Providence on the road in the second game of the season, 69-51, on December 19th.

“New Providence has been playing well and we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Martin. “We’ll need to defend the three-point line and eliminate second chance points.”

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