Montclair State University came away with their fifth win of the season behind a strong play from guard Jovanni Chatham and forward Jarrett Bogus on Monday.
It had been six years since the last win against the Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders, dating back to their 75-69 win in 2011. They earned their 63rd win all time versus the Scarlet Raiders, 73-66.
The Red Hawks, however, would get off to a slow start struggling from the field and behind the arc but would turn it around soon after the first five minutes of the first half. Chatham’s game-high 21 points and three assists led a strong showing for the offense of Montclair State while Jarrett Bogus, who’s been averaging 11.2 points per game, racked up 19 points along with his two assists in a 73-66 win over Rutgers-Newark.
Other key contributors were Daniel Ramis who had 12 points off the bench and Turkish native Kaan Yilamz with his two big-time blocks, which sealed the deal for Montclair State.
Both teams began the game with very strong interior defenses, with the score remaining close throughout the entire first half. Only 46 of the total 139 points came in the paint, 24 for Rutgers-Newark and 22 for Montclair State. Each team was itching to go off on a run, but it never happened. Kenya Brown gave Rutgers some momentum at the end of the first half when he scored a layup right before the buzzer sending the game into halftime only down by one, 32-31.
Assistant coach Will Bishop knew the defensive intensity to start the game had to change.
“I think in the beginning our guys were a little nervy,” Bishop said. “We settled down in the second half and took care of the basketball a little more.”
Montclair State did make the proper adjustments to come away with this gritty victory. As the second half began they turned up the defense and started to pull away toward the end with timely free throws and great individual play on both sides of the ball. To begin the second half, Ramis nailed a big-time three-pointer. Chatham’s driving ability to the hole kept Rutgers-Newark on their heels as well.
“We told our guys at half time what was really hurting us,” Bishop said. “If we could move the ball side to side and run our offense [with] no unforced turnovers, we would be successful in the second half.”
Coach Bishop liked Chatham’s play during the game.
“He was big,” Bishop said. “He’s been locked in all season and has had good practices. That’s the type of performance we expect out of him all season.”
He seemed to be pleased with the play of the team, which was clear by the emotions shown by the bench all day. The coach’s intensity kept the team in the game during the run the Scarlet Raiders would make late in the second half. Timely timeouts and execution on offense helped them grind out another victory to complement this great start to the season.
The men’s basketball team will finish off the fall 2017 semester with three more games. They will go on the road to face William Paterson University on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m., then will come home to face Rowan University on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m. Finally, Utica College will come to Montclair State on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 1 p.m.
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