Men’s Basketball’s comeback falls short

On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the Rams traveled to Bridgewater State to take on the Bears in the MASCAC Quarterfinals. 

The first half featured four ties, and there seven lead changes throughout. 

A pair of free throws by Tyri Hampton with 4:25 remaining tied the score at 31-31. 

The Bears then went on a strong 10-2 run over the next two-and-a-half minutes, capped off by an Admar Jaramillo steal and breakaway layup to give the hosts a 41-33 lead.

Rayshon Ward led all players with 11 first-half points, while Khaneil Bruce paced the Rams with 10.

Cameren McCloud-Thomas and Manny Payton opened the second half with back-to-back layups to cut the Rams’ deficit to just two points. 

The Bears quickly answered back with a Ryan Carney free throw and a Jaramillo trifecta in transition to push the lead back to six, 45-39.

The Bears grew their lead to as many as 13 points before the Rams battled back with a run of their own to make it a four-point game, 70-66.

With under two minutes to go, the Rams went on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 74-74 with 43.7 seconds remaining on the clock.

After the Bears were able to score a quick and easy layup to go up by 2 points, McCloud-Thomas was able to hit a jumper from the top of the key with about six seconds left, sending the game to overtime.

The Bears tallied the first six points to begin overtime.

The Rams were only able to narrow their deficit to 4 points before time expired and the Bears hit a late game 3-pointer, the final nail in the coffin. 

The final score was 87-80. 

Manny Payton was named to MASCAC Men’s Basketball All-Conference First Team. 

On the year, Payton averaged a team-high 23.1 points, good enough for second in the MASCAC, to go along with 4.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game on 46 percent shooting. 

The Rams finish the season 4-7 in the MASCAC and 5-18 overall.