Ramapo College surges past Rutgers-Camden 86-74
After a stinging defeat at Rowan last Saturday, the Ramapo College Roadrunners returned home to the Bradley Center for the final time in 2018 on Wednesday night taking on 1-9 Rutgers-Camden. However, the Scarlet Raptors certainly did not resemble their dismal record in the first half taking. Going on an 8-0 run after falling behind 14-8 six minutes into the first half. The Roadrunners managed to regain momentum taking a 24-20 lead with less than six minutes remaining only to see Rutgers-Camden go on a 6-0 run.
Rob Lewis provided the bulk of offense for Ramapo College pumping in 20 of his game high 29 points including sinking 11 of 12 free throws. Lewis had help from teammate Kashaun Barnes tallying 12 of his 14 points and Jason Battle delivering eight of his 15 points on the night as the Roadrunners led 41-33 at halftime.
“Rob has been great for us all year long and another double-double (29 points and 14 rebounds),” said Ramapo College Head Coach Chuck McBreen. “He carried us in the first half, 20 out of our 41 points. Jason Battle, this is the guy who I thought I recruited and he had 15 points, 6 of 10 from the field, three of five from the three-point line and six assists in 37 minutes.”
Rob Lewis on his performance, “I just had to bring the energy, felt we came out sluggish and slow and the game was just too close.”
Held scoreless in the first half, Rob McWilliams found the scoring touch pouring in all of his 10 points as the margin grew quickly to 11 points with 15 minutes left. Once again, the Scarlet Raptors responded, this time with a 7-0 run in a span of two minutes. Rutgers-Camden kept the pressure up trimming the deficit down to two points at 57-55 with less than 10 minutes to go. That is when Connor Romano (16 points) caught fire from beyond the arc knocking down three consecutive triples bumping up the lead to 66-57 with eight minutes remaining.
“The guy that stepped out of the box today was Connor Romano, they got it to two and he hit three three’s in a row and gave us an 11 point lead and separation,” McBreen said. “We were struggling at that point and thought we could possibly lose the game at that point.”
Despite Rutgers-Camden continuing to drain trifecta’s (14 out of 34) the Roadrunners held on to the lead due to Romano burying his fourth three with less than three minutes left on the clock and converting a three-point play.
“Battling and battling, we needed a bounce back win and Rutgers-Camden played a great game and caused us problems tonight,” said McBreen.
Lewis on the win, “A big night from Connor and expect that from him every night. He got some confidence and once he saw the first one drop it was lights out from there. We want our offense not to be one or two guys but based on everyone to play their game and do what they can do.”
The schedule does not get any easier for Ramapo College (8-2, 4-2 NJAC) with the next five games on the road starting at Farmingdale State College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. After the Christmas holiday, the Roadrunners travel out West to Las Vegas participating in the D3Hoops.com Classic. Once 2019 hits, road games at TCNJ and New Jersey City University before returning home on January 12 facing off against William Paterson.
“Our next six games are difficult and see where we’re going,” McBreen said. “We need to become better practice players and give effort to become more consistent on the floor than the rollercoaster ride we have seen. We have to figure out how to guard the three-point line.”
Sunil Sunder Raj
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