Ramapo College snaps two game losing slide at Rutgers-Camden
Locked in a three-way tie for third place in the NJAC standings and having lost two consecutive games in a row, the Ramapo College Roadrunners were looking to end that slide with the regular season schedule winding down.
The Roadrunners traveled down to Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday night, despite a 2-20 record and 2-13 in the conference, Ramapo knew the Scarlet Raptors would be no easy pushover. Early on the Roadrunners looked sharp jumping out to a 12-3 advantage. However Rutgers-Camden roared back to tie the game up at 17-17 with 11 minutes left.
Ramapo’s offense went south not scoring a point for over four minutes as the Scarlet-Raptors led 40-33 behind shooting a sizzling 9 of 14 from beyond the arc. Sensing the urgency, the Roadrunners woke up and scored the last seven points to tie the contest up at halftime. Jordan Zagadou tallied 10 of his game high 12 points as Ramapo shot 51 percent from the field.
Limited to five points in the first half, Kashaun Barnes found his rhythm erupting for 18 points. Behind Barnes hot shooting from the perimeter the Roadrunners went up 59-50 with 13 minutes remaining. Rutgers-Camden refused to fold on this night quickly trimming the deficit to four points at 61-57 a minute later and then tying the game up at 65-65 at the five-minute stage.
The back and forth action continued as Ramapo went on a 6-0 run. Barnes three-point play extended the margin to 74-67 with less than three minutes left. Down the stretch Barnes knocked down a couple of free throws to seal the 79-74 victory. The Roadrunners did a much better defensively guarding the three-point line in the second half holding the Scarlet Raptors to 4 out of 11. Ramapo shot 47 percent from the field, dominated rebound margin 36-16, points off turnovers 19-13 and second chance points 15-4. Williams notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Rob Lewis chipped in with 12 points.
Head Coach Chuck McBreen on the victory, “We’re getting out with a win but they had not won a home conference game all year and for us to struggle down there and the way we did was very disappointing but we needed a win and got it. It’s weird when you need a win in the worst way but doesn’t feel like a win. We haven’t guarded the three very well but had some bad luck as well.”
“I have been telling Rob McWilliams what he is capable of when he brings the effort and he stepped up and need that coming down the stretch.”
With Montclair State and TCNJ losing their respective games the Roadrunners (16-7) are all alone in third place at 10-6 but their next opponent on Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in William Paterson (14-9) and is one game behind game and defeated second place Rowan 94-89. Back in January at the Bradley Center Ramapo defeated the Pioneers 81-78.
“They lead the league in three-point field goal percentage and have the number one player in Sean Smith leading the conference at 45 percent so it’s going to present a challenge,” McBreen said. “They lose JC Beaubrun for the season and start a kid Nasir Fields and he plays 17 minutes because of foul trouble and ends up with 20 and 11. To go down to Rowan and drop 94 points you have to give them a lot of credit.”
“They present a challenge for and if we want to win the two things we are going to have to do are defend the three-point line but defend period and rebound the basketball if we have any chance of beating this team.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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