SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Senior guard DJ Alicea gives his all in every game he plays and Tuesday night, he achieved a milestone that will be in the record books for quite some time.
Alicea scored a season-high 30 points, hitting three 3-pointers and converting 13 free throws, to become Dayton’s all-time leading men's scorer in a 71-57 loss to UCC-Skyland Division leader Hillside in Springfield on Tuesday.
“It’s an honor and a great accomplishment. I’m really excited to see my name in the rafters,” said Alicea, who broke the mark converting a free throw in the third quarter.
Alicea has now scored in double figures in 57 straight games played and sits at 1,259 career points, surpassing Kevin Doty’s 1,246 points from 1974-78.
“DJ’s accomplishment is well earned. He’s the guy in the gym all summer putting in hours of work on his game,” said Dayton head coach Bobby Martin. “He arrives long before our scheduled practice times and stays late. He’s a leader by example.”
Sophomore Cameron Campbell-Miller scored nine points and junior Mahki Cromartie added eight for the Bulldogs (3-7), which has lost three straight and four of its last five games.
With the game tied at 16-16 after the first quarter, Hillside outscored Dayton, 21-12 in the second quarter to take control with a 37-28 halftime lead. Hillside then extended its lead with a 19-9 third quarter.
“We were ready to play, no question about that. I thought our preparation for the game was what it needed to be. Hillside is tough, because they come at you in different ways,” said Martin. “You can’t give them points off of their defense. You limit that and they put a lot of pressure on your defense with their ability to hit 3’s and finish plays off the dribble.”
Senior Kalleem Lambert bested Alicea, scoring a game-high 34 points, draining five 3-pointers, and Senior Kamaal Cox added 12 for Hillside (13-1), which has won nine straight games.
“We just need to get one win under our belts and the momentum from that will keep us going,” said Alicea. “We also need to minimize turnovers. That is what has killed us the most this season and tonight especially.”
The Bulldogs visit rival Brearley in Kenilworth on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and comes home to face another rival New Providence on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.