Last second lay-up by Jordan Zagadou lifts Ramapo College to 61-60 win over Westfield State in Rick Martin Holiday Inn Express Tournament Championship Game
Advancing to the championship game of the Rick Martin Holiday Inn Express Tournament with an 82-66 win over Gordon College on Friday night, the task would not get any easier for the Ramapo College Roadrunners facing off against host Westfield State in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at the Woodward Center.
Despite the quick turnaround, the Roadrunners jumped out to an early 25-18 advantage only to see Westfield State roar back trimming the deficit to 28-27 at halftime. Kashaun Barnes(8 points) and Rob McWilliams(9 points) paced the Ramapo College offense.
In the second half, the Owls flipped the script by taking a nine-point lead at 51-42 with under 10 minutes remaining. The Roadrunners refused to throw in the towel despite shooting 32 percent in the half. Just when it seemed Westfield State had the game in the bag as Jauch Green Jr. drained a trifecta with the shot clock practically hitting zero, Barnes sank four straight free throws cutting the lead down to 59-58 with 1:30 remaining.
Down 60-58 after Ant Reynolds with 13 second left, Barnes ended up getting fouled with five seconds on the clock and sending him to the charity stripe. Only able to make one out of two free throws that set the stage for dramatic finish. With the Owls attempting to dribble out the clock, McWilliams forced a turnover and fed an open Jordan Zagadou for a lay-up with 1.9 seconds.
With one last opportunity to win the game, the Owls were unable to get off a shot due to the pressure defense. Barnes tallied a game high 18 points while Rob Lewis poured in 16 and Williams had 12.
“It was amazing, we didn’t play our best and we defended for the most part, said Head Coach Chuck McBreen. The officials were a little bit suspect in this game today, allowing a lot of stuff go, physicality and banging. It affected us and we were up by one at the half. They had control in the second half for a little while but our team didn’t quit and showed a lot of fight down the stretch”
“The team has shown a lot of resiliency so far and only thing that matters stat wise in our program is 1-0 on game day and found away to get 1-0. Shooting only 33 % and give credit to these kids for not giving up on another teams’ court and in front of their crowd”
Improving to 4-0 on the season, the Roadrunners continue their road trip opening up New Jersey Athletic Conference play at Rutgers-Newark on Tuesday night with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
“When I looked on our schedule and new guys we had and all returners not coming back I thought we could easily be 0-6 and could have easily lost three out of four and found ways to win, McBreen said. All these teams’ are improved and hopefully we are building confidence, a little momentum in order to be prepared to challenge and come out with a W”
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