Pomona, NJ (2/19/11) – Junior forward Andrew August (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) sank a pair of free throws with 1:39 to play for a three-point lead as Montclair State held on for a 61-60 victory over Richard Stockton in the opening round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Championship at the Stockton Sports Center on Saturday afternoon.
Senior guard Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) finished with 14 points and sophomore guard A.J. Larkin (Passaic, NJ / St. Mary's) 10 as the Red Hawks (19-7) now advance to the semifinals where they will face North Division champion Ramapo College on Tuesday, February 22 at 7:00 pm in the Bradley Center in Mahwah.
It will be the third meeting between the two this season with the Roadrunners taking the first matchups, 75-66 at Montclair on January 10 and a 78-68 win in Mahwah two weeks ago (February 5). It will also be the first meeting in the playoffs between Montclair and Ramapo since their epic 86-84 double-overtime contest in the 2003 championship game. Montclair won that game on Ben Martinez' steal and layup with two seconds remaining in the second OT.
Freeney scored 12 first-half points to help the Red Hawks take a 34-32 lead into the locker room, Montclair stretched the lead to 45-34 before the Ospreys mounted a comeback. The Ospreys fought back to take a two-point lead on two foul shots by Kai Massaquoi (Lawnside/Haddon Heights) with 5:24 remaining.
August later put Montclair up by three with two free throws at the 1:39 mark before Massaquoi hit two more from the charity stripe with 41 seconds to go. After a missed Red Hawk foul shot, Ibn Moye (Toms River/Central Regional) missed from behind the arc. Adam Floyd (Northfield/Mainland) snared the offensive rebound but could not get the ball to go in as time expired, and Montclair prevailed 61-60.