By: Sean Martin
In his second year as the Red Hawks Head Coach, Marlon Sears brought Montclair State to the NJAC playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a record of 13-12. Entering the playoffs with two straight wins, MSU earned the #5 seed and a trip to Rowan on Saturday afternoon to play the #4 seeded Profs.
The match up was favorable for Montclair State, as they had two previous impressive wins against Rowan. As they learned, beating a team for the third time in one season is difficult though, falling in a tightly contested playoff battle 81-69.
Rowan took a 34-31 lead into halftime, as neither team would concede much distance through 20 minutes of play that saw Rowan shoot 13-42 in front of their loyal home crowd. MSU took advantage offensively, attacking the rim and getting 15 total points out of Jarrett Bogus and Brandon Channer.
Leaving six points at the line with 7-13 foul shot shooting in the half however, Montclair State left an opportunity for Rowan to grow their slim halftime lead early in the second half.
Brothers Rob and Nick DePersia ended MSU’s season by putting up 17 and 10 points respectively in the half, as the Red Hawks did a good job to hold on up until the final minutes. Bogus was forced to sit most of the half with foul trouble that plagued him in the most recent Montclair at Rowan match up, and even his return to the floor couldn’t slow Rowan from remaining in control – taking their largest lead of the game at 15 with just over three minutes to play.
Rowan will advance to play top-seeded Ramapo in the NJAC semifinals on the road, while Montclair State’s season is over. Senior Brandon Channer finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds, Daniel Ramis scored three points and added 5 rebounds, while Jaleel Christmon grabbed one rebound – all in their final games as Red Hawks.
Next up for WMSC Sports, the Montclair State women’s basketball team will head into the NJAC Playoffs this Wednesday. Hosting Rowan in the semifinals as the #1 seed, the game can be heard right here on wmscradio.com at 7 PM!