Bonard's Heroics Lift Men's Basketball Past Ramapo, 70-69

Montclair, NJ (2/7/09) – Sophomore point guard Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) buried a three-pointer from the left side at the buzzer as Montclair State edged Ramapo College, 70-69 in an NJAC North Division matchup at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.

Bonard finished with 17 points as the Red Hawks won their sixth straight and improved to 17-5 overall this season and more importantly9-2 in the North Division as they maintained their half-game lead over William Paterson for first-place. The win also assured MSU of no worse than the No. 2seed from the division and an opening-round home game in the NJAC Tournament on Saturday, February 21. Montclair has two league contests remaining at Rutgers-Newark on February 14 and at WPU on February 18.

Freshman LaQuan Peterkin ( Paterson, NJ/ John F. Kennedy) had 16 points to lead Ramapo, which fell to 13-9 overall,6-5 in the North Division. The Roadrunners are currently a half-game in front of Rutgers-Newark (5-5) for the No. 3 spot in the division. The top three teams from each division of the league qualify for the NJAC Tournament.

Ramapo battled back from as many as eight down in the second half and went up by as much as five with just under nine minutes to play. Montclair would turn that deficit into a five-point lead of its own at 64-59 with 2:23 to play. But Ramapo put together one more run as it scoring seven straight points to take a three-point advantage.

Tim Wesley ( Jersey City, NJ / Lincoln) hit two free throws with 27 seconds left as Ramapo led 67-64. Montclair would come down the floor and tied the game as Bonard hit from behind the arc with 14 seconds left – MSU’s first field goal since the 5:42 mark.

Ramapo quickly pushed the ball up the floor as Garret Thiel ( Middletown, NJ / Middletown South) drove nearly coast-to-coast on a layup to give the Roadrunners a 69-67 advantage with just six ticks to go. Ramapo called time out which allowed the Red Hawks one final chance. Off the inbounds pass, freshman Ali Mix ( East Orange, NJ/ East Orange Campus) drove to the top of the key and slipped between two defenders. He hit Bonard with a perfect pass and the sophomore took one dribble before launching his shot that swished through the net sending the Montclair State bench onto the floor.

Sophomore Jon Georges ( West Orange, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds while guard James Williams ( Englewood, NJ/ Dwight Morrow) added 14 points and three boards. Sean Young ( Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) had nine points and eight boards while freshman Paul Siljee ( Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley)contributed eight points off the bench.

Wesley collected 14 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals for Ramapo, which got a double-double from junior Andre Kenny ( Jersey City, NJ / Dickinson). Kenny had 10points and 10 rebounds to go along with five assists. Kevin Findlay ( Roselle, NJ/ Roselle Catholic) added seven points, three rebounds and three steals.

Montclair State returns to action on Wednesday, February 11 as they go out of conference. The Red Hawks host Berkeley College at the MSU Student Recreation Center at 7:30 pm. Ramapo is inaction the same evening at the John J. Moore Athletic Center in Jersey City as they face New Jersey City University at 8:00 pm.