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Thomas Bonacum scores 1000th career point in Ramapo College 80-68 win over Montclair State

Thomas Bonacum, No. 3 (Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo - Double G Media)

Thomas Bonacum, No. 3 (Photo by Jonathan Izquierdo – Double G Media)


Ramapo College junior forward Thomas Bonacum said afterwards he didn’t come into Wednesday night’s game thinking of the number and thought he wouldn’t get it before the teams’ matchup with Kean University on Saturday.

Stepping up to the free throw line with 6:28 remaining in the game, Bonacum calmly sank the first one, tallying his 1000th career point. An announcement was made as family, fans and the student section gave him a standing ovation.

Pumping in 14 of his game-high 21 points in the second half, Bonacum led the Roadrunners (18-1, 11-1 NJAC) to an 80-68 victory over a very determined and resilient Montclair State (9-9, 6-5 NJAC) squad at the Bradley Center. It was Ramapo’s fourth consecutive win. In a post-game ceremony, Bonacum was presented with a commemorative basketball recognizing the milestone achievement.

“A huge moment for me and few points shy in high school but honestly it’s over,” said Bonacum. “I’m not a big fan of personal accomplishments and just happy to be focused on winning and getting on with the season. In any sport you feel comfortable playing at home is huge and going game by game and trying to get that home court advantage throughout the playoffs.”

“I can’t say enough about Tommy and thankful he chose to come here and play for me,” head coach Chuck McBreen said. “His parents’ believed in me, the program and college. His mother and father were thanking me today and I can’t thank them enough for what the guy has done for my program. We won it three years ago and now down that path to win another one with his leadership and all the other things he provides is tremendous.”

The Red Hawks proved to be a formidable opponent on this night staking out to a 5-point advantage with less than 16 minutes left. In desperate need of some juice, senior guard Cory Soanes netted six points during a 10-0 run as the Roadrunners jumped back in front 56-51 with 12:40 on the clock.

Ramapo extended the margin to eight points on a jumper from Bonacum. Montclair State hung tough behind the play of sophomore forward Jordan Roberson (13 points) and senior forward Brandon Channer (12 points). Channer’s three-point play trimmed the margin to 60-57 with 9:41.

The Roadrunners responded knocking down clutch free throws and a lay-up by junior forward Nick Stanek (14 points) with 5:45 pushed the lead to double digits at 71-61. Montclair State clawed back narrowing the gap to 71-67 with 4:20 left. That as close as the Red Hawks would get as the Roadrunners clamped down defensively utilizing their tenacious full court press holding Montclair State to one point the rest of the way. Stanek put it away for good draining a trifecta with 2:24 remaining.

“What really bothered me is we did not come out with the energy or effort and we were very flat,” McBreen said. “The bulls eye is our back and we’re not sneaking up on anyone so teams’ are bringing their A game. We finally got going and started playing Ramapo basketball and got the result we wanted. Cory gave us some energy and turned it around, Pat Peterson does it all the little things with 8 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists and fills up the stat sheet and really a solid player.”

“Our role players stepped up and have done it every game,” said Bonacum. “We’re so deep people can have big games and others step up and pick us up. We bend but don’t break and they made a run cutting it to four and said to guys we have to keep it together and playing. It’s good sometimes to win a game like that. We’re such a mature team and all play for each other. We got the stops, buckets, in transition and got to the free throw line.”

Ramapo returns to action on Saturday at Kean University with tip-off set for 5:00 p.m. Back in December the Roadrunners easily dispatched the Cougars 96-62 at the Bradley Center.

“If we look at records and have that mentality we are going to get clipped and have to come in there and take care of business,” McBreen explained.

“We’re coming in ranked number 10 in the country and this is their one opportunity and championship game,” said Bonacum “We have to match that effort and energy and bring more.”

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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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