Ramapo College season ends in 73-57 D3 Final Four Semifinal loss to Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Ramapo College (25-7) Head Coach Chuck McBreen said in a postgame interview, “Listen, if you had told me before the game we were going to score 57 points I would have told you we had no shot at winning. Six minutes to go it’s 57-52 and we were right in the game and had an opportunity but couldn’t get a stop and rebound the basketball”
Wisconsin-Oshkosh (25-7) caught fire from beyond the arc in the second half knocking down six triples including three in a row down the stretch leading to a 13-0 run thus putting the game out of reach. The Roadrunners went ice cold from the perimeter not scoring a point for almost five minutes. Sophomore guard Rob McWilliams converted a three-point play with 35 seconds to go breaking the dry spell.
Titans 6’8′ sophomore forward Adam Fravert proved to be unstoppable on this night, pouring in 13 of his game-high 21 points while grabbing 13 rebounds. Bett Witchow( 18 points) and Ben Boots (13 points) combined to knock down 10 three’s with Jack Flynn contributing 11 points. Wisconsin-Oshkosh won the rebounding battle 45-34. The Titans held Christopher Moseley, Nick Stanek and Jimbo Long to a combined total of 11 points. Josh Ford contributed 10 points in the contest. Ramapo struggled from the field shooting just 33.9%.
“Rebounding was the key to the game today and winning the backboards so we could get out and play today and were not able to do that,” McBreen said. “As a result, Oshkosh was able to make it a half-court game and hold us to our lowest point total in my 20 years at Ramapo.”
“Too many seniors that didn’t show up in the biggest game of the year, the bottom line our best effort was not at a championship level in order to win this game tonight and surprises me. They have been so great and done some amazing things over the last couple of weeks. To come down here and not put forth the best effort tonight. The country did not see out best effort tonight and disappointing part of it.”
Ramapo raced out to an early 9-2 advantage in the first half, senior forward Thomas Bonacum (11 points) draining two jumpers from downtown. However, the Titans embarked on a 13-0 run taking a 15-9 lead at the 12-minute mark. The Roadrunners fell into a 6-minute drought, not scoring a point until sophomore guard Patrick Peterson’s jumper with 11:26 remaining. Peterson provided a spark off the bench netting 7 of his game-high 11 points.
The Roadrunners managed to keep within striking distance the rest of the half, when the Titans upped the lead to 29-23 with less than four minutes left Ramapo responded cutting the deficit down to two a minute later. Wisconsin-Oshkosh managed to close out the half scoring the last five points taking a 34-27 lead into the locker room.
“In the last couple minutes of the half, we cut it to 29-27 and right where we needed to be and gave up the last five points of the half, said McBreen. We had possessions where we came up empty and didn’t play on the defensive end and made us play uphill the entire second half. The bench did a great job and got some contributions.”
“I would have liked to see if we were on our game tonight and playing in front and how they would have reacted. Once they feel behind 9-2 and took the 15-9 lead and never trailed again and we didn’t put any pressure on them. It’s a totally different game when you play out in front and that’s what they did the whole game.”
McBreen on the senior starting five unit, “It’s going to hurt losing these five guys (Thomas Bonacum, Christopher Moseley, Nick Stanek, Josh Ford, Jimbo Long), not only were they good basketball players but good people and represented themselves with good class, high character guys and did things the right way on and off the court and couldn’t make me prouder to be able to coach these five guys for four years. Not only represented the state of New Jersey but Ramapo College at a national level and they did it the right way.”
In his 20th season at Ramapo College, McBreen offered his own personal thoughts on this season. “In my fifth year we lost by two to get to the Final Four, in my 7th year we went to the Sweet 16 and had both home games and thought it would be a regular occurrence and took us 15 years to get back to that point and 13 years to get out of the first weekend. In life you can never take things for granted and I don’t do that. Obviously a great accomplishment for myself and the program.”
“We’re proud of what we accomplished and bulls eye on our back from day one. One poll had us ranked fifth, Street & Smith had us second then we fell out of the rankings coming back from (Las) Vegas losing two and in January lost at The College of New Jersey making it three out of four and we fell totally out of the Top 25. For our guys to rebound with the pressure on them and expectations and to do what they did was just phenomenal and proud of them.”
McBreen remains optimistic about the future and next season. “We had a great sophomore class with Pat Peterson, Jordan Zagadou, Rob McWilliams and Matt Latka. Hopefully we can build upon that. Rob Lewis is back and hopefully add a few pieces and we’re looking forward to the opportunity and to get back into the tournament next year and make another run.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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