It was a tough loss for the Ramapo College men’s basketball team on Saturday Feb. 5, as they fell to New Jersey City University (NJCU) for the second time this season. It was a back-and-forth game until the end, but NJCU was able to hold the lead for the last minute of the game, taking home the road win, defeating Ramapo, 57-55.
Ramapo started the game off strong with Mansfield Warren hitting a three-pointer and then a lay-up, building a 5-0 lead for the Roadrunners. NJCU quickly put a stop to Ramapo’s scoring with lockdown defense and responded with a 15-3 run, hitting multiple three-pointers throughout the stretch.
At the halfway mark of the first half, Ramapo came back to life. This run was sparked by Peter Gorman, along with baskets from teammates Jordan Myers, Anthony Corbo and Shane Rooney. They all were able to sink some important baskets, and Myers made the jumper that took the lead for Ramapo, 28-27.
A minute before the half, Ramapo fouled NJCU's Felix Romero, who made one free throw to tie the game, 28-28.
Gorman, Myers and Rooney continued right where they left off, all scoring a basket to start off the second half, giving Ramapo a six-point lead. NJCU was once again not phased as they made a run on Ramapo soon after. The Golden Knights had a 54-48 lead with six minutes left in the game.
Rooney hit a crucial jumper and Ramapo’s senior captain, Marquise Kindel, made a pair of free throws to get the Roadrunners within two. NJCU’s Derryen White made one free throw for NJCU before an and-one play from Rooney, tying the game, 55-55, with three minutes left.
The game-winner occurred with a minute remaining. NJCU’s senior captain Denzel Banks recorded a tip-in off a shot from his teammate and co-captain Jason Battle. Ramapo struggled to stop Banks throughout the game as he led NJCU with 23 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double, as well as having four assists, one blocked shot and two steals.
Rooney and Gorman led Ramapo with 15 points each for the night. Gorman also had five assists, two rebounds and two steals. Rooney added four rebounds, three steals and one blocked shot. Myers had ten points, six rebounds and two steals. Corbo had a team high 11 rebounds.
The attitude of the Roadrunners remains positive even after this tough loss. “Although we lost the game, we are confident that we can play with anybody in the conference,” said Gorman. “We will be looking to finish games better moving forward with the hopes of making a run in the conference tournament.”
The Roadrunners move to 4-15 overall, 3-11 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) while NJCU is now 11-11 overall and 8-7 in the conference. Ramapo returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. when they travel to Rowan University for another NJAC match-up.