Ramapo College celebrates Senior Day with dominating win over William Paterson
Fresh off a historic win against Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday night where Head Coach Chuck McBreen registered his 400th career victory, the Ramapo College Roadrunners played their final regular season home game of the 2019-20 season at the Bradley on Saturday afternoon. More importantly the occasion marking Senior Day as seven senior players being honored before tip-off as well as the 1991 Final Four team at halftime.
Even with a late start and extended warm-up period, the Roadrunners dispelled any notions of an emotional letdown by jumping out to a double-digit lead at 11-0 not even four minutes into the contest. Ramapo amped up the defensive intensity forcing the Pioneers into committing turnovers that led to fast break and transition points. By the time the nine-minute mark rolled around the Roadrunners stretched the margin out to 30-10.
William Paterson answered back with an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to 31-18 with seven and half minutes left. However, the play of senior guard Connor Romano pouring in 16 of his game high 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field including knocking down four three-pointers sparked an emphatic response that led to a 48-24 halftime lead. Shooting 45 percent from the perimeter, Ramapo held a commanding advantage in points off turnovers 21-2, points in the paint 20-4 and second chance points 10-2.
“Our seniors came with a focus today and (William) Paterson was not ready and real important to guys like Rob (McWilliams), Connor and Jordan (Zagadou) to go out there and lead,” said Chuck McBreen. “You look at guys like Connor and Jordan who have been to three NCAA’s and a Final Four and 80 something wins and Rob came here for three years but at the end of the day have meant so much to our program and reason why I hit a milestone is because of guys like this doing what they do.”
“They left man and went zone and we started making shots. Mainly in the first half getting out and challenging shooters and making it tough for them to score and we held them to 24 points and big for us.”
In the second half, the Roadrunners continued to pour it on with the trio of Rob McWilliams, Jordan Zagadou and Marquise Kindel combining to score 23 out of the 37 Ramapo points and had victory in the bag at 85-56. Zagadou netted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, McWilliams contributed 14 points and Kindel delivered 15 points and nine rebounds. Ramapo dominated on the glass 50-35 and points in the paint 42-12.
“It’s not like we killed it from the three for the game, we started it terrible for the game and had a lot of misses but in the end we did what we had to do and came to solidify a playoff spot,” McBreen said. “In the past looking more at 11-0 or 10-1 at home.” We lost to Mount Saint Vincent by one in OT, three to Rutgers-Newark and four to Montclair (State). We were 0-3 and reeled off eight in a row and proud of them. We needed to establish our home court and how great it’s been for us. It’s back to that and had gotten away from it because we were feeling our way at the beginning of the year and didn’t know what our identity was.”
With Rutgers-Newark (14-10, 10-7 NJAC) to Rowan on Saturday night, Ramapo (15-9, 11-6 NJAC) jumped ahead into third place in the conference standings. The Roadrunners conclude the regular season schedule on Wednesday night at New Jersey City University with tip-off slated for 8:00 p.m. The last time the teams’ square off back on January 15, Ramapo won 81-71.
“I’m not looking at the playoffs and next Saturday,” said McBreen. “I’m worried about Wednesday night and going 1-0. Our main focus will be on Monday and Tuesday and we will watch film tomorrow and get into the gym on Monday and Tuesday and properly prepare for Jersey City.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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