Women’s basketball conquers second ECAC title in program history

For the first time since 1993, the Ramapo women’s basketball team are Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) champions. With a commanding 74-50 win over Baruch College on Sunday in Washington, D.C., the Roadrunners secured just their second ECAC title in program history.

Before triumphing over the Bearcats, the Roadrunners first had to overcome Gallaudet University in Saturday’s semi-final. Ramapo easily skidded past the Bison 69-51. The strong showing from Ramapo was led by senior Jada Thompson, who recorded 22 points, 14 rebounds, eight assists and five steals. 

An and-one late in the first half marked Thompson’s 1000th career point as a Roadrunner, adding another accomplishment to a successful college career. Thompson now sits in 10th place all-time in Roadrunner history with 1,028 career points.

Senior Shannon Burns was the only other Roadrunner in double figures with 10 points. The Roadrunners shot a respectable 40% from the field compared to Gallaudet’s 28%. 

Cassidy Perry led the Bison with 24 points and 16 rebounds. The detriment for the Bison was ultimately their sizable 25 turnovers, more than twice as many as the Roadrunners. The win gave Ramapo a ticket to the ECAC Championship.

With the pressure on the line in a winner-take-all game 250 miles from home, Ramapo didn’t back down. After giving up a few points to Baruch in the opening minutes, the Roadrunners opened their scoring with an 18-0 run and didn’t look back from there. A strong second quarter gave Ramapo a 16-point halftime lead, a margin which the Bearcats couldn’t crack for the rest of the game.

The Roadrunners’ offense was a joint effort, spearheaded by Thompson and senior guard Jackie Ventricelli. Ventricelli put up 20 points on 53% shooting, with Thompson logging 16 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The senior backcourt duo came up with seven steals combined, contributing to a significant 16 fast break points.

Reilly Sheeley booked nine points and six rebounds. Karley Wittenbauer and Carley Martin offered a nice push for the Roadrunners off the bench, contributing to Ramapo’s 17 bench points. 

For Baruch, Mia Castillo scored more than half of the Bearcats’ points, putting up 28 with an impressive five blocks. Besides Elissa Leung’s 12 points, the rest of the scoresheet was quiet. The Bearcats struggled with shooting all night, finishing 19-69 on field goals. Aside from Angela Bacarella’s 1-1 from the floor, no Baruch player shot above 33%.

When the final buzzer sounded, the Roadrunners were ECAC champions. Thompson and Ventricelli were both named to the ECAC All-Tournament Team, with Thompson securing Tournament MVP. Also securing spots on the team were Baruch’s Leung and Castillo, as well as Gallaudet’s Perry.

The championship win is the culmination of a hard-fought season for the Roadrunners, who finish the 2023-24 campaign at 18-11.




Featured photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics