The Ramapo College women’s basketball team earned the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament. With the top seed, the Roadrunners earned a first-round bye. This was Ramapo’s seventh appearance in the tournament along with the fourth appearance under head coach Mike Eineker.
On Saturday in the semi-finals, Ramapo fell to the No. 5 seed Alvernia University, 69-52. The Roadrunners wrap up the 2023 season with a 16-11 overall record.
It was a back-and-forth battle in the first three quarters, but in the fourth quarter the Golden Wolves pushed the score. They earned 24 points to pull away from the Roadrunners for the 17-point victory.
For the Roadrunners, Jackie Ventricelli led the way with 17 points while she added four steals and five rebounds. Jada Thompson posted 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals while Shannon Burns added nine points and nine rebounds.
The team shot 25% (18-71) in the game from the floor, 30% (3-10) from the three-point line and 76% (13-17) from the free throw line. The Ramapo defense forced 21 Alvernia turnovers in the game which led to nine points for the Roadrunners.
The Golden Wolves forced 14 Roadrunner turnovers,
which led to 14 points for Alvernia in the game. Alvernia also had three starters score in double figures in the game as Taliyah Malone led both teams with 18 points while she added three assists and three rebounds. Tamia Wessels posted 17 points and Jordan Karmonick posted a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Alvernia went on to win the ECAC Championship, emerging with a 57-48 victory over No. 2 New Jersey City University.
While it was not how the Roadrunners wanted their season to conclude, there is hope for another promising season with key players returning, including Ventricelli and Thompson.
Ventricelli earned New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference honors this season. This is Ventricelli’s first NJAC postseason honor while also being named NJAC First Team All-Conference. She is the second straight Roadrunner (Alie Wickersheim 2021-2022) to earn this award and just the second Roadrunner in program history under Coach Eineker to be named Defensive Player of the Year.
Ventricelli also led the Roadrunners in scoring (388 points), steals (94), three-pointers (33) and free throws (97). Against NJAC-only competition, she led the league in steals with 63 (3.7 per game) and first in field goal percentage (44%). She had two 30-plus-point games this season, both against NJAC rivals. She set her new career high in an overtime win at TCNJ on Feb. 2 with 34 points while she posted 32 points on the road at NJCU on Dec. 7 in a key NJAC victory.
Thompson, who also earned NJAC All-Conference honors, posted eight double-doubles this season. Thompson led the team in rebounding with 188 total rebounds while she finished second in scoring with 291 points, assists (70) and steals (60).
Against NJAC-only competition, Thompson finished second in the league in rebounding with 145, including the most defensive rebounds with 111. She finished third in assists (55) and fourth in steals (46).
In addition, three members of the Ramapo College women’s basketball team were named to the 2022-2023 Academic All-District Team, which was selected by College Sports Communicators.
Those named included senior Bridget Cahill and sophomores Shannon Burns, Olivia Johnstone and Allison Ahern. Each player earned above a 3.50 cumulative GPA in the classroom and played in at least 50% of the team’s games this season.
Cahill was fourth on the team in scoring with 164 points while Johnstone was third with 202 points. Cahill also posted 37 assists and 16 steals. Burns was second on the team with 145 rebounds including a team-high 54 offensive rebounds and also had 100 points and a team-high 23 blocks. Ahern contributed 80 rebounds and 90 points.
Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics