The Red Hawks men’s basketball season came to an end Wednesday night as they fell in overtime 80-76 against top-seeded Ramapo College. It was the end to a memorable season, leaving a bad taste in the players’ mouths.
The game had its highs and lows. The main man for Montclair State University was Daniel Ramis, who went for a career high 30 points on 18 shots from the field. All 18 of those shots were from behind the arc. Ramis hit 10 of those 18 to give him the 30 points on the day. He was the likely reason Montclair State was able to stay in the game.
In the first half of this game, Montclair State would, as they’ve done almost every game this year, jump out to a generous lead. They shot a modest 40 percent from the field as a team on 30 shots and kept it the same up until overtime by shooting 12 of 30 in the second half.
In other notes in the stat column, Montclair State ended their season in no other possible fashion, by out rebounding Ramapo 50-42. However, they were outscored by Ramapo 34-24.
The Red Hawks entered the half up 36-29 and the smell of upset was in the air. It was in the first half that Ramis racked up a half-high of 21 points on seven made 3-pointers. Myles Mitchell-White, after an MVP-style showing versus Rowan in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Tournament quarterfinal, led the way in rebounds, registering seven at the half to go along with his four points. Early in this game and possibly the determining factor in the outcome, Jarrett Bogus experienced early foul trouble that would leave Montclair State without their important playmaker on the floor.
As the second half began, the Red Hawks would open the gates. Like a powerful machine, they opened up with an 18-point lead on a 14-3 run. The Red Hawks would hold a double digit advantage for most of the second half until slowly but surely, Ramapo crept back to striking distance. With five minutes left to play, a three-pointer by Patrick Peterson of the Roadrunners knotted things up and from there on it stayed a tight contest.
I’m not one to ride a referee’s duties, but let something be said: they get calls wrong just as much as they get calls right. With 23 seconds remaining in this game, the referee mistook Mitchell-White for calling a timeout on the floor, all the while Montclair State had none left, resulting in a technical foul for the entire team. Low and behold, the referee mistook Mitchell-White for trying to call for a timeout when he was nursing what looked to be a bloody finger and a potential shot at the free-throw line after coming down with the ball possession before that on the inside. The free throws conversely would go to the Roadrunners, letting them tie this one up and head on into overtime.
Ramapo took the game to the Red Hawks in overtime. By the time the whistle blew, it was too late for the Red Hawks, as they looked up at a scoreboard that read: Home 80, Guest 76. It was a gut-wrenching end to a season filled with ups, downs and tons of excitement. Mitchell-White would finish three points shy of a consecutive tournament double-double. Jordan Robertson, who looks to improve on the way he ended the season starting next year, finished a double-double, going five of nine from the field with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Ramapo will go on to face the “Cinderella” team of William Patterson who has knocked off two teams already as a sixth seed to advance to the NJAC Tournament Championship.
It was sad for the Montclair State faithful and most importantly, the men’s team, to end their season in a such a disappointing way. They will look to build off the miscues they made this year and transform them next season on the court to continue their success.
Montclair State walked away from the season with their heads held high thanks to their 18-9 overall record and 11-7 in conference play. The players, coaches and fans have a lot to look forward to next season.