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Ramapo College second half rally falls short at Rowan

Looking to build off an 80-67 win over Kean on Wednesday night at the Bradley Center, the Ramapo College Roadrunners traveled down to Rowan University on Saturday afternoon. Early on the Roadrunners had difficulty handling the Profs full court press defense leading to bunch of turnovers and Rowan jumping out to a double-digit lead. However, the combination of Rob Lewis and Kashaun Barnes scoring a combined 20 points and sizzling free throw shooting by Ramapo knocking down 17 of 19 free throws trimmed the deficit to 45-41 at halftime.


In the second half, Ramapo managed to tie the game up at 47-47 with less than 18 minutes remaining. On this day the Roadrunners were unable to contain the barrage of three-pointers as Rowan knocked down 12 out of 31. Led by Nick DePersia’s game high 22 points and canning 5 of 11 triples the lead grew to six points at 59-53 with under 14 minutes to go. The surge continued as Ramon Wright(16 points) and Jonathan Hevalow threw down back-to-back monstrous dunks widening the margin to 63-53 with 13 minutes remaining.


Just when it seemed the Profs would run away with the game, Barnes sparked a run including converting a lay-up that cut the lead to 67-65 with nine minutes on the clock. Once again Rowan found its mojo bumping the lead back up to 10 at 80-70 with five minutes left. The Roadrunners refused to throw in the white towel going on a 9-0 in a span of two minutes. DePersia drained another trifecta and Wright sank two free throws extending the advantage to 85-79 with two minutes left.


With 56 seconds left a lay-up by Rob McWilliams sliced the lead down to 85-84 but the Profs came back down with a dunk by Wright. Lewis kept the Roadrunners in the game with a lay-up with 21 seconds on the clock. Having to foul with the shot clock turned off, Rowan freshman guard Connor Dickerson stepped up and made both free throws with 17 seconds making it 89-86. Looking to tie the game up Barnes missed an open three-pointer. After Rob DePersia missed a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds, Jason Battle dribbled down court and hoisted a shot that clanged off the rim at the buzzer. Rob Lewis paced Ramapo with 28 points and 12 rebounds while Barnes poured in 17 of his 25 points in the second half.


“We didn’t guard anybody, if we’re not going to commit to the defensive end it’s going to be rough, said Ramapo College Head Coach Chuck McBreen. This was a winnable game, at the end of the day all we did was push the bus up the hill the whole game. We got behind early in the game turning the ball over against their pressure and having to catch up. Every time we made a run our defense would break down and give up a lay-up, dunk and three”


“If we held them to one or two less three’s in that game we win the game. 12 for 31 is terrible defense and most of them were clean looks with their feet set. We were terrible at containing the dribbler and not challenging on the shots”


Ramapo(7-2, 3-2 NJAC) returns to the Bradley Center on Wednesday night facing off against Rutgers-Camden(1-8, 1-4 NJAC) with tip-off set for 7:30 p.m.


“They are going to play hard, shoot the ball and we have to give an effort, McBreen said. If we give the same defensive effort against Kean and today it’s going to be a struggle. It comes down to our practice habits and become a better practice team than game team and make practices more competitive and become more successful and consistent”

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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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