Women’s basketball ends season with tough loss to Rowan

On Saturday afternoon, the No. 6 seed Roadrunners of Ramapo College traveled to No. 3 Rowan for a New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal matchup. Rowan held on for a 69-65 win, advancing to the semifinal round on Tuesday at No. 2 Kean University. It was a tough loss for Ramapo after a closely-played game throughout the entire four quarters.

After a neck-and-neck first and second quarter where the game was tied at 28 at halftime, Ramapo found themselves down six early in the third before calling a timeout. Out of the timeout, Jackie Ventricelli and Jada Thompson scored back-to-back baskets for the Roadrunners to shrink the Rowan lead to just two.

The Profs extended the lead back to five with a three-pointer before Thompson added another layup and Carley Martin hit a jumper to come within one, 38-39, with four minutes remaining in the quarter.

Rowan answered back as they barely held the lead the remainder of the third quarter. Ventricelli sank a pair of free throws to cut it to one with 15 seconds left as the Roadrunners went into the fourth quarter trailing 43-44.

Guard Jackie Ventricelli was named this season’s NJAC Women’s Basketball Defensive Player of the Year. Photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics

With eight minutes to play, Rowan extended their lead again in the fourth quarter to six, 53-47. Ramapo responded with a 7-0 run to take a one-point lead. The run was sparked with a three-pointer by Olivia Johnstone, followed by two jumpers made by Ventricelli and Shannon Burns for a 54-53 score.

Rowan’s Kristina Johnson hit a three-pointer to give them a two-point lead, 56-54, before Johnstone hit a jumper that would tie the game again with five minutes remaining. Three Roadrunners, Johnstone, Bridget Cahill and Ventricelli, scored three three-pointers in a row to move Ramapo’s lead to 65-60.

However, it did not prove to be enough as Rowan went on a 9-0 run to close out the game. A three-pointer gave them the lead for the final time with 31 seconds on the clock, 67-65. The Profs scored their final bucket with five seconds remaining, 69-65.

Thompson posted her eighth double-double of the season and third straight game with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Ventricelli led the Roadrunners with 17 points while she added nine rebounds and a team-high five steals. Johnstone added 12 points, including two key three-pointers down the stretch for Ramapo.

Cahill contributed with 11 points while Burns recorded five points, five rebounds and one blocked shot. The Roadrunners shot 40% (25-62) from the floor, 22% (4-18) from the three-point line and 57% (11-19) from the free throw line. The Ramapo defense forced 16 Rowan turnovers which led to 16 points for the Roadrunners.

As for the Profs, they were led by Dakota Adams with 17 points and 13 rebounds while Grace Marshall posted 13 points and four assists. Kate Herlihy added nine points and Johnson posted 11 points including three three-pointers.

Similar to Ramapo, Rowan also shot 40% (28-69) from the field, 31% (5-16) from the three-point line and 61% (8-13) from the free throw line. The Rowan defense forced 15 Roadrunner turnovers which led to 16 points for the Profs.

The Roadrunners (16-10) will wait to see if they earned an ECAC Tournament bid, which will be announced on Monday, Feb. 27.



Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics