J&W shocks Ramapo 114-106 in OT
Thomas' 43 points helps Wildcats win first NCAA tourney game
MAHWAH, N.J. -- Behind 43 points from Lamonte Thomas, the Wildcats of Johnson & Wales defeated Ramapo 114-106 in overtime, to advance to the second round of the 2011 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament. The victory marks the first NCAA win in the school's history in any sport. The Wildcats will advance to tomorrow's second round match-up with Buffalo State at 7 p.m. ET at the Bradley Center. Johnson & Wales improves to 21-8 overall while Ramapo wraps up the year at 20-7.
The Wildcats outscored Ramapo, 16-8 in the final period of the game after quickly jumping out to a nine point advantage with a jump shot from Darren Faust with 2:29 to play. Ramapo came within four just over a minute later when Conyers sunk a basket of his own, but the Roadrunners were unable to break through falling short in the NCAA match-up. Thomas put away a team leading seven points in the overtime period and finished the night with 43, hitting five three-point goals and eight free throws. Calvin Jones added 18 points and James Folk chipped in 16, while Mike Harris and Darren Faust recorded 15 and 14 respectively.
Thomas led the way with nine assists and Jones grabbed seven steals while pulling down a team high seven rebounds. The team combined for 41-81 (51%) in the win. Ahmad Hassan led Ramapo with 33 points including four three-point baskets and 13 free throws. LaQuan Peterkin and Travis Conyers each added 19 points while Elgin Brown finished the night with a double-double which included 17 rebounds and 12 points. Hassan dished out four assists and grabbed four steals in the final game of the season. Ramapo went 38-68 (56-percent) on the night.
With 17:08 on the clock, Thomas drained a three-point basket to put Johnson and Wales up, 9-6, but Hassan responded with a triple of his own to tie the game for the third time, 9-9. Ramapo would go up two points after Anthony LoRusso sank two baskets from the charity stripe, but that would be the final time the Roadrunners would lead in the half. Over the next three minutes of play, the Wildcats built their lead to double digits as Thomas drained another basket from behind the arc to go ahead, 23-13.
A two-point goal from Faust at 12:04 gave Johnson and Wales a 15-point advantage, 32-17, their biggest lead of the half. At 6:59, Peterkin netted two points which sparked a 6-0 Ramapo run to come within seven points, but James Folk netted a jump shot of his own sparking a mini 5-0 run to again put the Wildcats ahead in double-digits, 50-38. The closest the Roadrunners would come would be at 3:06 and 2:16 when Will Sanborn and Conyers each added two points to come within eight, 50-42 and 52-44 respectively. Johnson and Wales outscored Ramapo, 6-2 in the final minutes to head into the locker room with a 58-46 edge over the Roadrunners.
Thomas drained three triples in the first half leading with 21 points while the team hit a combined 22-36 (61-percent). Jones and Thomas each dished out four assists in the half. Ramapo was led by Hassan who sank 12 points including two three-point goals and six free throws. The team went 16-28 (57-percent) from the field and committed 15 turnovers.
Hassan hit a free throw at the start of the half, and then drained a triple under a minute later, split by a basket from Stephon Treadwell, to put Ramapo within six points, 52-58. The three-point goal put Hassan in the college's record books as the 19th player in school history to reach 1,000 points in a career. The Roadrunners strung together an additional five points to come within one, 57-58 with 16:33 on the clock. The run was capped off with a jump shot from Treadwell. Over the next four minutes, the Wildcats outscored the Roadrunners, 15-6 to take a double-digit, 73-63 lead. Thomas put away two points to go ahead ten.
Ernst Ambroise sparked a 9-2 Roadrunner run to close the gap to three points, 74-77 with 10:36 to play. Ramapo worked their way back into the game over the next four minutes as Peterkin put away back-to-back baskets down low to tie the game, 83-83, and take the lead, 85-83. Brown, Conyers and Hassan strung together baskets to go up, 92-83 with 4:04 on the clock before Jones drained a triple to cut the lead to six. With 1:47 to play, and Ramapo leading by eight, 97-89, Thomas again netted a three-point goal to close the gap, 97-92. Just seconds later, Thomas grabbed the steal and threw up another three to put Johnson and Wales just two points shy of Ramapo with 1:27 to play.
The Roadrunners had a three point advantage at 1:01 after Peterkin hit the back-end of a two shot foul, before Louis Ferreras hit the front end of a two shot foul, and after a Ramapo turnover, Jones sank a jump shot to tie the game for the fifth time, 98-98, forcing overtime. Thomas added 15 points to the half while his team combined hitting 15-38 (40-percent) from the field. Thomas assisted on four baskets and Jones grabbed three steals. Hassan sunk 21 points in the second half and Peterkin added 13 as the team went 18-30 (60-percent).