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Ramapo College fends off Stockton University 89-81

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo – Double G Media)

The Ramapo College Roadrunners knew they would find a tough, engaged and talented opponent in the 3-time defending NJAC champs, Stockton University that had recently knocked off New Jersey City University. What Ramapo did not anticipate, was the first half, full court press defense employed by the Ospreys that forced the Roadrunners into committing 15 turnovers.

Coming out of the locker room for the second half, the Roadrunners (16-1, 10-1 NJAC) regrouped, reducing the number of miscues down to nine and flourished at the free throw line, knocking down 29 of 36 for the game including 9 of 12 in the final stages to pull away for the 89-81 victory.

For a 2nd consecutive game, Ramapo had six players in double figures with junior forward Thomas Bonacum leading the way with 18 points. Junior guard Jimbo Long contributed 16 points, senior forward Sultan Aminu delivered 16, junior guard Josh Ford netted 12, junior forward Christopher Moseley finished with 10 and freshman guard Patrick Peterson came off the bench to score 10 of his own.

“Not our typical game, we lost all the categories we want to win, points off the bench and the reason that we won the game is we shot the free throws well and they (Stockton University) took too many three’s, shooting 7 of 27 and that was the difference in the game,” head coach Chuck McBreen said. “We played better in the second half, very careless with the ball in the first half with 15 turnovers and little bit better in the second half with nine and still not good but better than first half. Not the prettiest picture but the bottom line is they are three-time defending champs and we went down there and got the W so that’s the most important thing.”

“Pat (Peterson) is starting to get the rust off and each game getting better and better,” McBreen explained. “He really stepped up and started to go on the attack in the second half. Jimbo Long has been playing well of late and his confidence to shoot the ball is at its highest point since he has been at Ramapo and been a real plus for us. I was really happy with Josh Ford going 4 for 4 at the line down the stretch and important for us to able to close it out.”

In the first half, Stockton jumped to an early 16-10 only to see the Roadrunners respond with a 10-4 run tying the game up at 20-20 with 9:45 remaining. Aminu provided the scoring punch with seven points, including a three-point play putting Ramapo ahead for the first time since Moseley sank a jump shot at 19:27. The Roadrunners would go up as many by five points but the Ospreys were resilient tying the game up at 34-34 with 38.8 second left. Aminu hit 1 of 2 free throws giving Ramapo a 35-34 at halftime.

The Roadrunners will not have much time to rest with three games in six days starting at York College (NY) on Monday at 7:00 p.m. They then return to the Bradley Center on Wednesday for an NJAC battle against Montclair State, with tip-off at 7:30 p.m. before finishing up at Kean on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

“We always have two days to prepare for an opponent and have a whole routine on what we want to go through and Thursday is the NCAA mandatory day-off that is the 27th,” said McBreen. “We have to feed them two days of work into one”

“A big week with William Paterson, our biggest rival, and going to Stockton would be tough with defending champs,” McBreen continued. “We talked about starting another streak, it’s early now but we stopped the bleeding and cliché but only thing we are worried about is York right now and one day to prepare and play them Monday and one day to prepare for Montclair. I’m a little worried about York, they have a lot of athletes and size but are undisciplined. Our guys could be looking ahead to Montclair and we’ll talk about working on it and try to get ourselves prepared properly and then set our sights on Montclair.”

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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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