The Ramapo College Men’s basketball is continuing their dominance into the Sweet 16 of the DIII NCAA College tournament after beating No. 5 Williams. Now after two tremendous victories over nationally-ranked teams Moravian and Williams, the Roadrunners will look to host the Sweet 16 at Ramapo College.
The Roadrunners started off their tournament against Moravian College where the team demonstrated complete dominance over The Greyhounds. The Greyhounds were the first to get on the board with a layup from Oneil Holder. But once the Roadrunners got into their groove they rallied back with a 9-0 run and didn’t let up in the first half leading the Greyhounds 45-28.. Patrick Peterson led the Roadrunners with eight points and center Rob Lewis aided the team with seven.
Ramapo continued to push the pedal to the floor in the second half by shutting them down defensively and keeping the Greyhounds to a season-low 61 points. "I thought the difference in the game was that we were able to slow them down and hold them to a season-low 61 points," head coach Chuck McBreen said.
But the straw that broke the Greyhounds back was the 41 free throws that Roadrunners took throughout the entire game. Peterson finished with his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, following the game Peterson stated "I was just playing hard. I mean, I came here to win. I'm not trying to lose especially with these guys senior years. I don't want it to be over yet."
As The Roadrunners advanced into the second round of the NCAA DIII National Tournament they found themselves faced greatest challenge of the year, nationally ranked No. 5 seed Williams College. In a back and forth battle, it was the captain of the Roadrunners, Thomas Bonacum who was the edge in giving Ramapo the victory.
Starting forward Christopher Moseley kicked off the game scoring a layup and igniting the battle with the Ephs. The Ephs took an early 13-6 lead following two deep balls from Bobby Casey. However, Bonacum ignited an 8-0 run for the Roadrunners to fight back against Williams. The first half ended with the Roadrunners leading 35-33 with Bonacum leading the team at 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting.
Both teams were off to a sluggish start in the second half until Bonacum hit an open three after three minutes of the half. Following the three, the second half quickly became a back and forth battle between the Roadrunners and the Ephs. Casey of the Ephs hit another three, and James Heskett hit back-to-back layups to bring Williams within one. The Roadrunners held the lead for much of the second half and iced off the game when Bonacum dished a precise pass to Nick Stanek to hit an easy layup with 27 seconds left.
Williams attempted to hit some desperation threes to bring them back but even with Casey hitting one, it wasn’t enough for the Ephs. Bonacum ended playing one of his best games at one of the most important moments in his career. He ended up tying his career-high in points with 33 and ended up recording a double-double with 13 rebounds.
Following the game, the elated Bonacum stated "Speechless right now, I mean I made shots. I try to play the same way every day and luckily I had the game of my life. I'm just so happy."
In a post-game interview Bonacum added: "The five seniors, we couldn't be any closer. All of us would do anything for the other one, and we don't want to see the other person lose and end their career. I go out every night and play for the four of them and the rest of my team and coaches and they do the same for me. That's what is going to keep us going."
The Roadrunners have found a way to strike fire at the right moment of their season, now after winning their fifth game in a row. With the win over Williams College, the Roadrunners will advance to the Sweet 16 for the fourth time in team history. The sweet 16 will be hosted by Ramapo College which only means one thing: It’s time to get loud for our boys in Maroon!