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Ramapo College grinds out 68-63 win over Rutgers-Newark

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo - Double G Media)

(Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo – Double G Media)

Registering win number 20 on Wednesday night against Rutgers-Newark at the Bradley Center would not come easy for the Ramapo College Roadrunners with the Scarlet Raiders employing a slowdown tempo style and knocking down three-pointers. However, clutch free throw shooting and tenacious defense down the stretch propelled the Roadrunners (20-1, 13-1 NJAC) to a 68-63 victory, their sixth win in a row.

“We told our guys nothing was going to be easy and they’re fighting for a playoff spot and only one game out so at the end of the day we have to play,” head coach Chuck McBreen said. “Even though we beat them by 22 last time we knew they we’re coming for us and key is we found a way to win and overcame adversity.”

“Chris (Moseley) came up big with 19 points and Pat (Peterson) is a gamer and unbelievable,” McBreen continued. “He is still recovering from wrist surgery and sat out from October 13th to December 15th and had not played in four years.”

“20 is big and always the barometer for all programs and to do it in 21 games,” said McBreen. “The best we have been is 20-2 back in 2003, won 17 in a row, lost two games in the first semester and finished 23-2. This is the first team to 20 games ever.”

The Roadrunners appeared to have taken control of the game with four minutes remaining, leading 60-52. However, the Scarlet-Raiders clawed back thanks to freshman guard Chase Barneys (23 points) draining back-to-back three-pointers closing the gap to 60-58 with 2:43 on the clock.

That was as close as Rutgers-Newark would get the rest of the way as Ramapo flourished at the free throw line sinking 6 of 6. After Barneys connected on his 5th three-pointer of the game with 39.6 seconds, junior forward Christopher Moseley buried two free throws to seal the win. Moseley led the Roadrunners in scoring with 19 points while freshman guard Patrick Peterson poured in 13 points off the bench and junior forward Thomas Bonacum added 12 points.

(Photo by Sunil Sunder Raj - Double G Media)

(Photo by Sunil Sunder Raj – Double G Media)

“We just tried to close out the game the best we can, played defense and executed our plays,” said Moseley. “This game we were able to make free throws. They played more physical than other teams’ do but we just have to adapt the best we can and play more physical. We needed the bounce back after the loss at New Jersey City and more like a wake up call. We came to practice, worked harder, had a team meeting not too long ago and after that uphill from there.”

In the first half, Ramapo fell in an early hole as Rutgers-Newark went on 9-0 run in a span of 2:13 taking a 12-4 advantage. The Roadrunners responded with a 9-0 spurt of their own in just 43 seconds. Peterson came into the game and buried a trifecta from the top of the key sparking the run. Both teams’ ended up trading baskets the rest of the half with the lead no greater than two points. Two free throws and lay-up by Bonacum gave Ramapo a 30-28 lead at halftime.

“Whatever the team needs when I’m coming off the bench by scoring a few points, getting rebounds and giving the spark they need,” said Peterson. “We just came together as a team with the five on the court, got the stops for the win and going to come down to if we want to be champions. Tommy and Chris have led us all year and Chris stepped up big time. 20-1 is great but we still have a lot of goal ahead of us and trying to achieve.”
Ramapo faces another stiff test on Saturday at The College of New Jersey with tip-off slated for 3 p.m. Currently the Roadrunners lead TCNJ by two games in the NJAC standings. Back on January 7, Ramapo outlasted the Lions in a high scoring affair 98-90 at the Bradley Center.

“The game is huge for us and they are undefeated at home,” said Chuck McBreen. “We still have to go to Rowan and have New Jersey City at home so it’s not going to be easy and focus is on TCNJ.”

“TCNJ has been marked on our calendar because they knocked us out of the playoffs last year,” said Moseley.

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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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