Women’s basketball maintain undefeated season with twin wins

The Ramapo College women’s basketball team improved to an undefeated 7-0 overall record in non-conference action with a 72-68 win over Kean University on Wednesday, Nov. 30 and a 68-65 overtime win over Stockton University on Saturday afternoon. 

It was a meaningful win for Ramapo as they snapped a 17-game losing streak to the Cougars, dating back to the 2012-13 season. 

The game went back and forth down to the final minutes. The Roadrunners’ biggest lead came in the third quarter when they led, 40-25, with 9:51 on the clock as Jackie Ventricelli stole the ball and scored a fastbreak layup. 

However, the Cougars cut the lead to just five in the third quarter with just over four minutes left before, once again, Ventricelli hit a big shot, nailing a three-pointer for the Roadrunners to stretch the lead back to eight, 47-39. 

In the final minute of the third quarter, the Roadrunners went on a mini 7-3 run to take a 10-point lead, 56-46. A pair of free throws from Kean’s Shannon McCoy with four minutes on the clock cut the lead to three, 63-60, before Ramapo’s Jada Thompson converted an and-one play.

In the final minute of action, the Roadrunners scored five points at the free throw line as they held onto the four point New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) win. The Roadrunners shot 40% from the floor and forced 18 Kean turnovers which led to 18 points for Ramapo. 

Ventricelli led the Roadrunners on the court with a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds while she added a team-high five steals. Bridget Cahill posted 15 points, Thompson posted 12 points and Alison Ahern added a career-high 10 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double. 

“The win against Kean was a huge one for us. It not only showed the progress that we made from last year, but also showed the strength of our team as a whole,” Thompson said. “Last year we tended to play only 30-35 minutes of games instead of the full 40. This year we haven’t been giving up.”  

On Saturday, Ramapo once again found themselves in a close NJAC match-up against Stockton, but pulled away with a win.  

“The game against Stockton was a tough one,” shared Thompson. “I feel as though the thing that motivated us most as a team was the fact that we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

“Being seeded at No. 8 for preseason polls, no one expected us to be able to compete and put up a fight against the top competitors in the NJAC. Having that chip on our shoulder only made us want it more and our toughness to fight showed throughout that game,” said Thompson.  

The Ospreys took a 17-14 lead into the locker room at halftime before the Roadrunners outscored them in the third quarter 20-12 to take a 34-30 lead. The teams continued to trade buckets as time expired, tied at 49. Ramapo did have a shot as time expired but could not convert, sending the game into overtime. 

In overtime, Ramapo edged Stockton out of the lead. With a minute left Ramapo was up one. Ventricelli stepped up to the free throw line and converted on both free throws. She would go on to score at the free throw line on three more trips down the court as Ramapo led 67-62 with less than three seconds left in the game. 

Madison LaRosa sank a three-pointer for Stockton before Thompson scored the final point of the game for either team at the free throw line for the 68-65 win.

Olivia Johnstone tied a career-high four made three-pointers in the game while gathering 14 points for the Roadrunners. Ventricelli posted 14 points including 12-14 from the free throw line and Thompson contributed with 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. 

As for the undefeated record, the Roadrunners are proud of it, but know they have a long way to go.  

“Being undefeated is such a great start to the season, but there is still a lot of season left to play. I think the key to the hot-start of our season stems back to the work that everyone put in throughout the summer individually,” Thompson said. 

“Coming into this season, you can tell the difference between us as a team last year versus this year. Starting from our defense to our offense, we have been able to show our improvement on both ends of the court. Between that and learning how to play a full 40 minutes, I think those have been the keys to our great start and we will only continue to improve.”  

The Roadrunners move to 3-0 in the NJAC with their next match-up on Saturday Dec. 10 against Rowan at 3 p.m.



Photo courtesy of RCNJ Athletics.