By Ann Brunn
With three games left in the regular season, the men’s basketball team finds itself tied for first place with Stockton University in the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings, holding a 14-8 record and 11-4 in conference play. The Lions notched two more crucial victories this past week, beating Rutgers University-Camden, 77-64, and taking care of Ramapo College, 82-56.
The win over Rutgers-Camden marked the College’s 11th straight win over this team. Dating back to the 2006-2007 season, the Lions controlled the head-to-head series, owning a 19-8 record over their opponent.
Senior guard Randy Walko and junior forward Travis Jocelyn lead the Lions with 17 points each. Jocelyn had an almost perfect shooting day, going 6 of 7 from the field and 3 of 4 from three-point land, while also collecting seven rebounds. Walko nabbed eight boards while shooting 50 percent from the field. Senior guard Ryan Jensen tallied 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting and added nine rebounds.
As a team, the Lions shot 30 for 55 (54.5 percent) from the field and 12 of 27 (44.4 percent) from behind the arc. They held the advantage in bench points, outscoring Rutgers-Camden, 21-3.
The 26-point margin of victory over Ramapo College came on Senior Day in Packer Hall. Seniors Michael Chapman, Tommy Egan, Ryan Jensen, Randy Walko and Mike Walley were honored at halftime for their sacrifice and commitment they have shown the program over the past four years.
The Lions once again had a stellar shooting performance going 18-of-39 (46.2 percent) from the three-point range. The 18 converted three’s are the second most in a single game in the College’s history. The team was just two three’s shy of tying the record of 20 made threes in a single game, which was set back in December 2017 when the current group of seniors were sophomores.
Walley notched a career-high 23 points with 7 of 13 shooting from long distance as Jensen paced the Lions with 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Walko added 13 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while Jocelyn chipped in 13 points.
The Lions return to Packer Hall for their final home game of the regular season where they will face New Jersey City University at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb.12, before traveling up north to face Kean University on Saturday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m.