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Ramapo College pulls away late in 70-56 win over Montclair State

Returning to New Jersey Athletic Conference play on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center against Montclair State University, Head Coach Chuck McBreen knew the Red Hawks would present a challenge for his Ramapo Roadrunners with their scoring and ability to knock down three-pointers.

Early on in the first half, Ramapo looked sharp jumping out to a 12-6 advantage. However, Montclair answered back with an 11-0 run to take the lead. The Roadrunners managed to weather the storm behind the combination of Christopher Mosely and Patrick Peterson, combining to score 23 of the 38 points for Ramapo. Montclair State’s offense went ice cold, not scoring a point for 9:26.

“Pat Peterson gave us a huge lift off the bench, Tommy (Bonacum) gets two fouls in the first four minutes and had to sit the rest of the first half so we needed someone to step up,” said McBreen. “Nick Stanek thick as can be with a terrible cold and it was huge getting into halftime with a lead.”

“This is our home and we had to get that W and make sure home court is undefeated,” said Moseley. “Tom (Bonacum) got into early foul trouble and I just tried to be more aggressive on the offensive end and get more shots. They’re a good offensive rebounding team but didn’t box out. We have a deep bench, in the first half tried to get a lead as much as we could and second half kicked it up because we have more guys and energy than the other team.”

The Red Hawks did show resilience with a 5-0 spurt to trim the deficit and kept in close until six minutes remaining in the game. Ramapo feasted on second chance opportunities and points in the paint winning the battle 38 to 22. After shooting 41 percent from the field in the first half, the Roadrunners held Montclair to 26 percent in the second half and 2 for 17 from three-point range after allowing six trifecta’s in the first half. Held scoreless in the first half, Thomas Bonacum heated up scoring eight points including a lay-up with less than four minutes extending the margin to 62-51.

Moseley led Ramapo in scoring with 18 points and grabbed team-high 9 rebounds while Peterson dropped in 16 points. Jordan Zagadou had a splendid all-around game off the bench chipping in with eight points, five rebounds and three blocked shots. The Roadrunners held Red Hawks Jarrett Bogus to six points on three of eight shooting.

“Our philosophy is to wear the opponent down and they had to legs in the second half and any shots they were making in the first half we’re falling short in the second half and fatigue played a major factor as we started to pull away and our defensive effort limited them to one shot because they are very punishing and physical on the backboard and we did a good winning by seven on the backboards,” McBreen said.

“I had a talk with him (Jordan Zagadou) yesterday and he is the X factor in how far we go because he brings intangibles to the table with his athleticism, ability to block shots and run the floor. He is the difference in taking us to the next level and told him to start becoming an intimidator on the defensive end and more aggressive on the offensive end. He gave me exactly what I wanted, energy off the bench and had a huge upside if he figures out god he really can be and puts forth the effort.”

Now Ramapo (4-1, 2-0 NJAC) turns its attention to a big NJAC showdown at Stockton University on Saturday at 3 p.m. So far this season the Ospreys are 4-3, average 76 points a game and 38 rebounds. Stockton has four players averaging double figures led by Kashaun Barnes at 24.5 and Zavon Johnson at 15.

“A huge match-up for us and now we have to get on the road and become road warriors and win these type of games,” said McBreen. “We have a tough one and know what we’re up against but if we play Ramapo basketball, defend and rebound the way we’re supposed to and effort is there everything will take care of itself. Get two good practices in and properly prepared for what Stockton is going to do and execute our philosophy.”

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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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