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Ramapo College drops OT heartbreaker at William Paterson

Ramapo College Head Coach Chuck McBreen said after the game, you have to eliminate the things that get you beat. The Roadrunners dominated the glass as McBreen said, 47-33, but committed 21 costly turnovers that led to 21 points for William Paterson and the Pioneers won the battle in the paint 38-32.

Up by five points with less than two minutes in the second half, Ramapo was up 68-63 but unable to seal the victory as William Paterson charged back tying the contest up with Myles McLeod hitting one of two free throws 26 seconds remaining. After a timeout, the Roadrunners had an opportunity to win the game in the closing seconds but were unable to get a shot off.

“The turnovers got us beat and we gave up way too many baskets,” said McBreen. “Two starters go 1 of 6 from the free throw line in regulation, one more we win.”

In overtime, Rob Lewis continued to carry the Roadrunners tacking on five of his game-high 28 points as Ramapo twice led by three points. However, McLeod provided to be a factor down low converting back-to-back lay-ups putting William Paterson back in front 80-79 with 37 seconds remaining. Rob McWilliams managed to follow up a missed jumper with 13 seconds to go.

After a Pioneers timeout, Sam Smith hoisted up an off-balance shot that swished through the bottom of the net with 3.1 seconds left. The Roadrunners called a timeout and having to go the length of the court Kashaun Barnes heaved a shot that fell short at the buzzer as William Paterson escaped with the 82-81 victory. To go along with his game high 28 points, Lewis pulled down rebounds registering his 13thdouble-double of the season. McWilliams finished with 17 points, Kashaun Barnes added 12 points and Jordan Zagadou had 10 points. The Pioneers were led by Domenic Mignone netting 27 points on 11 of 18 shooting and canning five trifecta’s.

“We did things that get us beat and couldn’t get a stop,” McBreen said. “We needed one at the end of regulation and in OT and couldn’t do it. You have to get stops late and we couldn’t do it. I don’t think our contest on the last shot was great but he hit that shot and obviously one of the best shooters in the league.”

“I was trying to get a switch on defense but did not because our guys wanted to play that defense and went with what they said. Rob Lewis played with such tremendous effort and wanted to win so badly.”

With the defeat, Ramapo (16-8, 10-7 NJAC) is back in the three-way tie for third place in the conference with Montclair State and William Paterson. Next up for the Roadrunners is the regular season finale against New Jersey City University (19-5, 14-3) on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. The last time the teams’ both met on January 9 in Jersey City, the Gothic Knights cruised to an 86-61 win.

McBreen figured out a scenario with his assistant coaches on how the Roadrunners could still finish in third place after Wednesday night’s game. “If we win at home and TCNJ wins against William Paterson, we will be up to third and tied with Montclair and tiebreaker would be broke having both split with Jersey City and next team is Rowan where we split against them and they lost both and it would be broken there. It’s a tall order and we could fall down anywhere if TCNJ loses and they would be sixth.”

“Against Jersey City the biggest thing is our effort and can’t let ourselves be bullied because they play physical and on the glass. If we show up we will be okay and they defend and we’re going to have to do the same.”

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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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