March 7, 2009

Courtesy of RPI

POMONA, N.J. – Senior forward Jerome Hubbard connected on nine three-point baskets and finished with 30 points, to lead Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the sixth-ranked team in the nation, to a 79-65 victory over Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament at the Stockton Sports Center.

The Ospreys improve to 26-2 and advance to play either 25th-ranked Amherst College or Gwynned-Mercy on Saturday for the right to play in the Sweet 16. Game time is 7pm. RPI finishes the season with a 15-13 record.

Hubbard (Neptune, NJ/Nepture) ignited a second half run for Stockton with three early three-pointers that helped the home team turn a 40-40 halftime score into a 58-45 lead with 13:53 remaining. He finished by making 10 of 18 shots, including 9 of 14 from behind the arc, in the game. He also had six rebounds.

The first half was even throughout as neither team could build a lead larger than five points and there were nine ties.

The Red Hawks, who shot 58.3% and held a 22-12 rebounding advantage, were led by senior forward Sam Simmons (Newburgh, NY/Newburgh Free Academy). The Liberty League Player of the Year had 13 points and four rebounds. Junior Ricky Philatre (Randolph, MA/Randolph) pulled down eight rebounds and chipped in two points before picking up his third foul of the half.

The Ospreys, who made 42.4% of their first half shots, relied heavily on Hubbard, who had 20 first half points, including six three-point baskets. He was 6 for 9 from behind the arc and 7 of 11 overall.

The second half turned in the home team’s favor early as the Ospreys went on an 18-5 run for the big lead. RPI could cut the lead to no less than 10 points for the rest of the game.

In addition to Hubbard, Stockton got 14 points from junior Santini Lancioni (Runnemede, NJ/Paul VI) and four points and 11 rebounds from sophomore guard Kai Massaquoi (Lawnside, NJ/Haddon Height) for Stockton, who has won 14 straight games.

Simmons, the third leading scorer in school history, led the Red Hawks in scoring with 25 points. He also had six rebounds in the final game of his career. Philatre finished with six points and a game-high 12 rebounds.