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Pitts’ double-double powers Raptor women to first NJAC win

Ramapo men outlast Raptors in double-overtime thriller


CAMDEN, N.J. (Jan. 8, 2020) – The Rutgers University-Camden and Ramapo College gave fans plenty of basketball for their money here Wednesday night in a New Jersey Athletic Conference marathon. After 10 lead changes, four ties and two overtime periods, however, the Roadrunners edged the Scarlet Raptors, 77-74. Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 16.21.44


In a game that fell one overtime shy of tying the Rutgers-Camden program record for the longest game, which has happened three times, the Raptors dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in the NJAC with their third straight loss. Two of them have come this week, against traditionally strong teams in Ramapo and Gwynedd Mercy, by a combined margin of eight points.


Ramapo improves to 6-7 overall and 2-4 in the NJAC with its second straight win. The Roadrunners have won their last nine games against Rutgers-Camden and lead the all-time series, 52-15.


Both teams appeared to have the game in hand at various points, as the Roadrunners surged to an early 11-point lead (26-15) before the Scarlet Raptors stormed back to build a 37-31 lead right before halftime. Rutgers-Camden led at the break, 37-33.


Rutgers-Camden led by six points, 49-43, before Ramapo went on an eight-point ran to take a 51-49 advantage and start a sequence where the teams swapped the lead on eight consecutive possessions. The Scarlet Raptors led by five points, 69-64, with 2:31 remaining in the game after senior forward Isaac Destin made a pair of foul shots. Ramapo, however, came back to tie the game on a trey by sophomore guard Jason Battle and a jumper by senior guard Rob McWilliams, sending the game into overtime tied at 69-69.


In an overtime period where each team scored only one field goal, the Raptors took a 71-69 lead on a jumper by junior guard Arian Azemi midway through the five-minute period. Ramapo tied the game at 71-71 on a layup by McWilliams with 23 seconds remaining, pushing matters into the second overtime session.


The Roadrunners took the lead for good on a layup by senior forward Jordan Zagadou with 2:24 left in the second overtime period and padded their margin to four points, 75-71, on a jumper by McWilliams. A trey by Azemi cut the gap to 75-74 down the stretch before Battle closed out the Ramapo win with a pair of foul shots. The Raptors missed a last-moment attempt at a game-tying trey.


McWilliams notched 25 points to pace the Roadrunners and tie for game-high honors, while Battle canned 12, junior guard Marquise Kindel netted 11 and senior guard Connor Romano added nine. Senior forward Jordan Zagadou had a team-leading eight rebounds, helping the Roadrunners hold a 39-34 edge off the boards.


Destin, who notched his 1,000th career point Monday night at Gwynedd Mercy, had a huge game for the Scarlet Raptors, scoring 25 points and completing a double-double with 13 rebounds. Azemi notched 19 points, sophomore forward Jake Petrik netted 12 and sophomore guard Keysean Simmons added 10.


Azemi also collected game highs of six assists and five steals.


Ramapo shot 30-for-59 (50.8 percent) from the floor, while Rutgers-Camden went 28-for-63 (44.4). Both teams made 18 turnovers and the Roadrunners went 10-for-21 (47.6) from the foul line, while the Scarlet Raptors were 8-for-11 (72.7).


Rutgers-Camden plays another NJAC home game on Saturday when it faces Rutgers-Newark at 3 p.m.