Men's Basketball Slips Past Ramapo on Late Three-Pointer, 75-73; Red Hawks Miss Out on NJAC Tournament

Mahwah, NJ (2/15/12) – Senior forward Andrew August (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) drained a three-pointer with one second remaining as Montclair State slipped past Ramapo, 75-73 in the regular-season finale for both teams at the Bradley Center on Wednesday evening.

August finished with 19 points as Montclair State snapped a three-game losing streak and finished its slate at 17-8 overall, 7-6 in the NJAC North Division. The victory however would be bittersweet for MSU as it was eliminated from NJAC Tournament contention despite the victory.

Montclair State finished tied with Ramapo, New Jersey City and Rutgers-Newark for second place all at 7-6 but the Red Hawks were eliminated by virtue of the league tiebreaker of head-to-head against the teams tied. MSU went 2-4 against the other three teams. Ramapo posted a 4-2 mark with Rutgers-Newark and NJCU each finishing 3-3.  

Ramapo ended up claiming the No. 2 spot with Rutgers- Newark getting the final spot based on its sweep of defending champion NJCU, including a 55-51 win on Wednesday.

Back to Wednesday evening’s game where the Red Hawks gained a measure against the Roadrunners for a 64-63 defeat at home on January 25 when Garret Thiel put back a rebound with three seconds left, a loss that perhaps ultimately cost Montclair an NJAC Tournament berth.

Montclair trailed early but used an eight-point run to turn a 13-12 deficit into a 20-13 lead as four different players scored, including a three-point play by Ken Rubenstein (South Orange, NJ / Columbia). Ramapo, which saw all five starters in double figures, tied the game at 22-22 with 6:41 to go before MSU put together another eight-point run en route to a 34-33 halftime lead.

In the second half, things began to look eerily similar to the first meeting when the two were separated by no more than three points over the final 20 minutes. On this night, the game would be tied eight times with the lead changing hands 10 times in the second half. Overall the contested was deadlocked 11 times with 15 lead changes.

Ordel Goldson (Hackettstown, NJ / Warren Hills) gave Montclair State a 67-66 lead with 4:02 to go however Demetrius Boards answered for Ramapo with a jumper as the Roadrunners went back up by one. Freshman John Yates (Bear, DE / Pencader Charter), who had eight points in a reserve role, drained a three with 2:50 to go as the Red Hawks moved back in front 70-68.

Daniel Singleton’s (Neptune, NJ / Neptune) basket with 2:19 to go extended the lead to 72-68 however Ramapo scored the next five points, including a layup by Thiel with 1:35 left that made the score 73-72 in favor of the Roadrunners.

The Red Hawks missed an opportunity to take the lead on their next possession and were forced to foul with 22 seconds remaining. Ironically, it was Thiel who had a chance to put the Red Hawks away again but this time he couldn’t come through missing both foul shots.

Goldson snared the rebound and Montclair raced up the floor. Singleton missed his jumper with nine seconds left however Dwight Bostic (Roselle, NJ / Abraham Clark) was there for the huge offensive rebound.

After calling timeout, MSU got one last chance and converted the opportunity as August, in what turned out to be his final game as a Red Hawk, drilled three-pointer for the victory.

It was the exclamation point in a brilliant two-year Montclair State career for August. Coming to MSU from Felician College in 2010, the 6-6 forward who leads the league in scoring finished the year with 523 points marking just fourth time in the last 45 years that a Red Hawk surpassed the 500-point mark in a season. Only Gian Paul Gonzalez (622 points in 2006) and Robert Smith (555 points in 1984) scored more during that time.

August, who also averaged 8.8 rebounds per game this season as well as leading the team in assists (86), finished his two seasons in an MSU uniform with 964 points.

Singleton (18 points, 11 rebounds) and Goldson (12 points, 15 rebounds) each posted double-double performances in the game while Rubenstein added 10 points.