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Ramapo College 14-game undefeated streak ends in OT defeat to NJCU

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo – Double G Media)

Putting their 14-game undefeated streak on the line Saturday at No. 24 ranked New Jersey City, the Ramapo College Roadrunners were in for a battle that ensued. Trailing the entire second half and by as many as nine points, the Roadrunners managed to get back into the contest holding the Gothic Knights without a basket for the final 3:49. A lucky break on a three-point shot attempt by Sam Toney ended with the ball wedged into the side of the rim giving Ramapo the ball back with 26.9 seconds to go. After several missed shots, senior forward Sultan Aminu’s put back lay-in tied the game at 61-61 and eventually sending the game into overtime.

The Roadrunners got off to a terrific start in the extra session scoring the first four points taking a 65-61 advantage and first lead since 8:13 left in the first half. However, the combination of Jalen Harris (17 points) and Ata Robinson (14 points) proved to be the game-changer scoring all of the Gothic Knights points. After a jump shot by junior forward Christopher Moseley (12 points) trimmed the margin to 71-69 with less than a minute to go, Harris drained a floater in the plaint with 28.7 seconds left.

New Jersey City hit 5 of 6 free throws to help seal the 76-71 victory. Junior forward Thomas Bonacum led Ramapo (14-1, 8-1 NJAC) in scoring with 17 points while Aminu contributed 14 points. For the 1st time this season, the Roadrunners (0 for 7) did not hit a three-pointer and were held to their lowest output total of the season. Ramapo came in averaging 85.1 points per game.

“At the end of the day they played harder than us and I told them they would play hard and if we didn’t match their effort, physicality and toughness that it would be a loss and that’s what ended up happening,” Head Coach Chuck McBreen said. “In the end we were pushing the bus up all game, they played physical and we didn’t have answer. We didn’t make the plays and lost the giveaway/takeaway battle. Four of our starters had 14 turnovers.”

“I thought we had a chance when the game went into overtime despite playing the entire second half behind,” McBreen continued. “We took the lead but just didn’t take advantage of the opportunity at the end of the day.”

In the first half, the Roadrunners jumped to a 10-5 lead only to see NJCU respond with a 10-0 run. Ramapo regained the lead at 21-20 on a lay-in by Sultan Aminu. The Gothic Knights answered back with a 7-0 jumping in front 27-23. Ramapo fell into a shooting drought that lasted nearly 5 minutes. Senior guard Cory Soanes(10 points) ended the spell swooshing two free throws with 2:46 to go. At the end of the half a jump shot by sophomore guard Layrone Green and Boancum would knot the game at 31-31.

Ramapo returns to action on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center against William Paterson University with tip-off at 7:30 p.m. In the conference opener on November 22nd, the Roadrunner defeated the Pioneers 92-76.

“Now we will see what we’re made of now and we get off the deck, pick ourselves up or pout,” said McBreen

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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