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Ramapo College drops 2nd in a row at Classic, 74-69 to Central College

After watching a nine game winning halted in a 98-69 drubbing at the hands of 14th ranked Ohio Wesleyan University in the opening round of the 8th annual Classic Tournament at the South Point Hotel & Casino Arena in Las Vegas, the Ramapo College Roadrunners had a quick turnaround game against Central College on Friday afternoon.

Head Coach Chuck McBreen said afterwards adversity reveals character and will see what the team is made of and which team comes to play. The Roadrunners certainly got McBreen’s message loud and clear, roaring out to a 20-2 advantage 10 minutes into the first half and employing a tenacious defense that held the Dutch without a field goal until the 9:41 mark.

However, Central College started to find its offensive rhythm narrowing the gap to 28-16 with seven minutes left. Ramapo managed to regroup going on an 8-0 run. Once again the Dutch responded with a spurt of their own, a 10-0 spark that sliced the lead to single digits. Despite the run, the Roadrunners held a 40-33 lead at halftime. Held to 15 total points against Ohio Wesleyan, senior forward Thomas Bonacum matched that total in the first half as Ramapo shot a scalding 51 percent from the perimeter.

“They did their scoring in the last eight or nine minutes and the game was lost in the first half not putting this team away, you get up by 19 points and have to put them away” said McBreen. “The effort was great for the first 10 to 12 minutes and rest of the game terrible” “Tommy (Bonacum) had an All-American game and some of these other guys don’t show up and very disappointing” “In the second half we couldn’t even score” “First time we come out here and lost both games” “We left out about 15 points from the free throw line”

In the second half, Central College came out blazing going on a 7-0 run and eventually tying up the contest at 45-45 on a three-pointer by Jacob Hay at the 11:46 mark. The Dutch took their first lead of the game at 50-49 on a trifecta by Seth Wood with 9:30 remaining. Ramapo’s outside shooting went ice cold, only managing to connect on 10 of 27 field goals while making just 8 of 14 free throws and 12 of 23 for the game.

After the Dutch went up 67-61 with less than three minutes left, the Roadrunners displayed plenty of fight trimming the deficit to two with 33.2 seconds remaining on an off balance lay-up by Patrick Peterson. However, Central College hit their free throws down the stretch for the 74-69 victory. Bonacum finished with a game-high 21 points while Nick Stanek added 11 points and Josh Ford contributed 11. For the Dutch, Kyle Smith dropped in 20 points while Seth Wood chalked up 15 points.

“There are 40 minutes to a game and we stopped playing defense” McBreen said. “At the end of the day it’s two losses and have to go home and regroup and figure this out and turn around and make this a positive or headed in the wrong direction and how our character handles this”

“We get on a flight at 8 a.m. and head back to New Jersey and back in the gym on the 1st” After Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday, we have TCNJ, Rowan and New Jersey City University” “We need to guard the three-point line and be able to block out on long rebounds on the three’s” “We need to get back into the gym and learn how to contest and challenge three’s” “We have player and offensive system where there is no reason we should be in the 60’s after averaging 86 points last season”

Ramapo (9-3) returns to action on Wednesday January 3rd against Rutgers-Camden (2-8, 0-5) at the Bradley Center with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.

Sunil Sunder Raj

Sunil Sunder Raj

Sunil is the Rockland Boulders Beat Writer for and also covers North Jersey High School Sports
Sunil Sunder Raj

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