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Blazing first-half start propels Ramapo College to 79-43 win over Kean

Fresh off an impressive 78-66 win at Rowan last Saturday, with four players scoring in double figures, the Ramapo College Roadrunners returned to action Wednesday night at the Bradley Center against Kean University. The last time the teams’ met, the Cougars emerged victorious, 89-83, due in large part to their 17 three-pointers.

This time around, Ramapo seized control of the contest early. Leading 3-2, the Roadrunners went on an emphatic 33-0 run over the course of 12 minutes. Meanwhile, the Cougars offense went ice cold from the perimeter and free throw line. Jailen Jamison ended the scoreless streak hitting one of two free throws.

Pouring in a game high 18 points against Rowan, Marquise Kindel picked up where he left off, tallying nine of his game high 17 points in the first six minutes of action and finished up with 13 points at the half. After netting 17 points in the win vs. Rowan, Jordan Zagadou displayed proficiency not only from the outside but owning the space underneath the basket in dropping 14 of his 16 points as the Roadrunners held a commanding 49-12 advantage going into the locker room.

Ramapo shot a sizzling 63 percent compared to a futile 18 percent for Kean, a sizable margin in rebounds at 28-7, bench points 14-5 and 24-4 points in the paint.

“I don’t know if there was a lid on the basket because they could not make a free throw and it was weird,” said Ramapo head coach Chuck McBreen on the first half. “We gave a good effort in the first half but they could not buy one and game got away. Marquise and Jordan came out really good tonight. We played like a team in the first half and very unselfish.”

After the break, Kean managed to get their offense on track outscoring the Roadrunners 31-30 but the lead was never in doubt as Ramapo coasted to the 79-43 victory and improved to 13-8 overall and 9-5 in the NJAC. The Roadrunners received noteworthy contributions from bench with 32 points, won the points in the paint battle by a wide margin at 40-10, points off turnovers 20-8 and second chance points 12-7.

“An overall good start, we wanted to come out aggressive as always,” said Kindel. “We knew last time they got us down there. We wanted to show we were one of the best teams’ in the league. Our defense looked great and I love being on defense, talking and communicating with everyone. Coach Pat (Gabriele) showed us the Virginia Pack Line and we watched the video and it really helps.”

“Marquise has really stepped up and as a result we have a better basketball team defensively and even rebounding,” said McBreen. “Marquise went in the stating lineup and we took off. Marquise is playing at such a high level and does all the dirty work with rebounds and we need him and hard to get him off the floor because of all the things he does for us.”

Next up for Ramapo is a road game at TCNJ (13-8, 10-4 NJAC) on Saturday with tip-off set for 3:00 p.m. Currently the Roadrunners are one game behind the Lions in the standings. The last time the teams’ faced off against each other Ramapo won 73-60.

“At the end of the day, we did what we had to do,” said McBreen. “We have four left, we’re in position and the game on Saturday is huge because they were so good at home and even our good teams’ have not been able to pull out a win down there and see what we’re able to do. The season sweep would be huge for us and give us the tiebreaker. They are one game ahead of us and if we win the game then we move into second place and hold the tiebreaker. Three games to go after that with two of them at home and in our last 10 conference games we are 9-1 and best record in the league over the last 10.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Sunil is the Rockland Boulders Beat Writer for DoubleGSports.com and also covers North Jersey High School Sports
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