Men's Basketball Falls to William Paterson in NJAC Tournament Semifinals

Wayne, NJ (2/28/08) – Freshman guard James Williams (Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow), the NJAC Rookie of the Year, recorded his fourth 20-point game in the last five contests finishing with 21, but it wasn;t enough as Montclair State was eliminated from the NJAC Tournament with a 71-61 loss to William Paterson in the semifinals on Thursday evening.

Sophomore guard Ken Dudley (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) added 14 points as the Red Hawks ended their most successful season in five years at 16-11.

Four lead changes and four ties marked the first 20 minutes until the Pioneers put together a 10-3 run to end the period for a seven-point lead, the largest of the first half (34-27).  Tied at 24-24 with 4:14 to play, WP sophomore guard Joseph Ellis (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) drained a three-pointer, followed by a Red Hawk jumper from Dudley.  Gabriel Paul’s (Hillside, N.J./Hillside) layup again gave the Pioneers a three-point edge (29-26, 1:47), and following a one-for-two trip to the line by MSU’s Carols Pena (Clifton, N.J./Clifton), sophomore forward Chris Brown (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) converted a jumper (31-27, 0:57).  Senior guard Joey Spiegel (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck) drilled a three from the right corner with four seconds left to finish the first-half scoring.

Spiegel had 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals to pace the Pioneers during the opening stanza, while Williams led the Montclair State offense with seven tallies. 

The Pioneers quickly opened it up to a 15-point lead in the second half, as senior guard Jason Cameron (Cliffside Park, N.J./Cliffside Park) sank a three-pointer and Paul had six tallies to make it a 43-28 score with 16:58 remaining.  Montclair State twice cut that advantage to eight during the next five minutes, but the Pioneers responded with an 11-3 burst for their largest lead of the night at 61-45 with 7:07 on the clock.  Dudley’s jumper briefly made it a six-point contest (65-59, 1:51) late, but William Paterson made six of eight (.750) free throws down the stretch to secure the victory.

Cameron led WP with 16 tallies on 5-for-10 (.500) shooting, including a 4-for-9 (.444) effort from beyond the arc.  Paul added 15 points, eight rebounds and a game-best five assists, while Spiegel was one shy of his first career double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds, adding three steals.  Brown chipped in his first career double-digit scoring effort with 10 tallies.

Junior center Ryan Washington (Edison, N.J./JP Stevens) had 12 rebounds.