The Ramapo College Men’s Basketball Team is making a repeat trip to the NJAC Championship after a stunning win against #4 seed Montclair.
Despite being down by 19 points at one point in the game, the team locked the Redhawks down in the second half to pull off an insane overtime win. Much of the thanks has to be attributed to shooting guard Patrick Peterson who was able to put up 24 points in the win, but a huge part of the win was also fueled by the Ramapo College crowd.
To start the game, the #1 seed Roadrunners looked completely off their game. Montclair started off the game 6-0 when star-player Daniel Ramis hit two three-point buckets. It didn’t help that the Roadrunners looked plain lazy in the first half when they left players open on defense and when they were getting outrebounded on most drives. The Redhawks pretty much owned the first half, especially with Ramis putting up 24 points in the first half alone.
The situation continued to look bleak for The Roadrunners in the second half. The Red Hawks came out on fire when they went on a 12-0 run to go up by 19, leading the Roadrunners 48-29. After a critical timeout, the Roadrunners finally got the spark they needed. Peterson hit a crucial three that led to a 12-0 run for the Roadrunners. As the points began to roll in, so did the defense. The Roadrunners were finally crashing the boards and began to lock down on defense.
After the run, the Roadrunners were able to bring the score to 54-56 and this finally caused the crowd to get into the game. Shouts of “defense!” and “let’s go Ramapo!” were heard throughout the rest of the game. It was obvious that the noise affected the Redhawks as one player on their team ripped off his headband in frustration when the team gave up a technical foul in the second half.
Following the technical foul, Peterson was able to hit a go ahead shot to tie up the game at 68 and force overtime. While both teams looked tired, it was obvious that Ramapo still had the momentum going into overtime and the crowd support.
The Roadrunners completely dominated overtime, going up 79-72. While the game looked to be finished at this point, it was clear the Redhawks weren’t going down without a fight after they were able to close the gap to 79-76 following a crucial steal. However, it wasn’t enough to stop Peterson and this Roadrunners team, as the Roadrunners were able to go onto win the game 80-76.
The Redhawks put up a great performance despite the loss, with players like Ramis putting up 30 points and player Jordan Roberson recording a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
The Roadrunners are now set to play the #6 seed William Paterson Pioneers for the NJAC Championship crown on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Bradley Center. The winner of the game will receive the New Jersey Athletic Conference automatic bid to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
Hopefully the Roadrunners will receive even greater support from fans on Saturday and the team gives another spectacular performance to put them into the NCAA Tournament.