WESTFIELD – Ramapo’s Rob McWilliams (Tappan Zee HS/Blauvelt, N.Y.) stole an inbounds pass and fed teammate Jordan Zagadou (Newark tech/Newark, N.J.) for a contested layup with 1.9 seconds left in regulation to give the Roadrunners a 61-60 win over Westfield State University in the championship game of the Rick Martin-Holiday Inn Express Tournament at the Woodward Center on Saturday.
Ramapo led a tightly-contested game at the half, 28-27.
Westfield got some separation from the Roadrunners for most of the second half, leading by as many as eight points, 55-47 on a pair of free throws from Malik Pouncy (Springfield Commonwealth Academy/Mattapan, Mass.) with 6:47 to play.
The Roadrunners slowly crept back into contention late, trimming the lead to one, 59-58 on a pair of Kashaun Barnes (Manchester/Toms River, N.J.) free throws with 1:30 to play.
Westfield turned the ball over on its next possession, and the Roadrunners missed on a pair of shots before turning the ball over themselves.
The Owls got a post look for Ant Reynolds (Cathedral/Springfield, Mass.), who was fouled and made 1-of-2 shots to give Westfield a 60-48 lead with 13 seconds to play.
Barnes was fouled on his way to the hoop with 5.4 seconds left, and made 1-of-2 at the line to cut Westfield’s lead to one.
An errant inbounds pass by Westfield was picked up by McWilliams near midcourt, who fired a pass to Zagadou on the left side, who made the contested layup to give Ramapo its first lead since the 19:21 mark of the second half.
The Owls inbounded in the backcourt with less than two seconds left in regulation and were not able to get a desperation heave off before the buzzer sounded.
Ramapo 6-6 senior forward Rob Lewis (St. Mary’s/Scotch Plains, N.J.) was named tournament MVP, following up yesterday’s 35-point performance with 16 points and eight rebounds in the title game. Barnes led the Roadrunners with 18, and McWilliams added 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals.
Westfield State was led by 13 points from Pouncy, and got 10 points and 7 rebounds from Jauch Green, Jr. (Cromwell/Hartford, Conn.).
Westfield was hurt by committing 25 turnovers in the game. The teams were virtually even in every other statistical category.
Ramapo, which advanced to the NCAA Division III final four last season, improved to 4-0 with the win. Wetsfield is now 2-1 on the season. The Owls will travel to Amherst College on Tuesday night to face a Mammoths team that is receiving votes in the national poll, as were the Roadrunners. – Courtesy of Westfield State University Sports