GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP - The Richard Stockton College men's basketball team looked like a winner much of the way against Ramapo College on Saturday.
But Ramapo had other ideas and tied the game on a 3-pointer with one second left, sending it to overtime.
The Roadrunners took advantage of their second chance by winning 71-68 in overtime, moving into sole possession of first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Ramapo, ranked seventh in NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, upped its record to 13-2 overall and 8-1 in the NJAC. Stockton fell to 11-3 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
Stockton twice led by 15 points in the first half and was up 33-21 at halftime. But Ramapo rallied to lead five times in the second half as the teams went back and forth to the end of regulation. Ramapo's Garret Thiel tied it at 60 with a 3-pointer from the right side with one second left on the clock.
"I knew it would never be an easy game because Ramapo isn't ranked in the nation for nothing," Stockton coach Gerry Matthews said. "I knew they'd get their runs. But we had a chance to put the game away with 20 seconds left and didn't. It was our game to lose, and we did. We didn't shoot our fouls well, and they were able to step through the door."
Stockton had balanced scoring led by senior guard Darnell McCargo, who scored 13 points and had four steals. Kevin Johnson and Rich Suhr added 12 and 10 points, respectively, and Jesse Hunt, Rameel Johnson and Sal Pistone each added eight.
Stockton could have won in regulation, but missed the front end of two 1-and-1 free-throw situations in the final 2 minutes, and made only two of four shots in two other trips to the line. McCargo (8-for-8 from the line) sank both with 1:05 left to put the Ospreys up 60-57.
"In the second half we were a little slow and gave up the lead," said McCargo, 23, of Woodlynne in Camden County. "We didn't have as much intensity in the second half and made a lot of mistakes. Missing those free throws killed us. Personally, I think we're the better team. They just got lucky at the end."
Will Sanborn led Ramapo with 23 points, including 12 in the second half and five in overtime. Teammate Elgin Brown added 21 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
The Ospreys led 25-10 and then 27-12 in the first half. Johnson came off the bench to score all eight of his points before intermission. McCargo beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer to make it 33-21 at halftime.
"We came out flat in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half," Ramapo coach Chuck McBreen said. "We were fortunate. At the end, we made one more play than they did."
Brown's tip-in put the Roadrunners up 62-60 in overtime before McCargo tied it with two foul shots. Brown scored again, but again McCargo answered with a pair of free throws to make it 64-64. Pistone gave Stockton its only lead in the extra session by making one of two from the line. Sanborn put the visitors up for good at 67-65 as he connected on a drive with 57 seconds left and added a foul shot.
"Our guys' heads were down after we didn't put it away (in regulation)," Matthews said. "We played the overtime from behind. That was a lot different from playing from ahead in regulation."
Stockton next visits Kean University in Union on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. game.
"It's a long season," Matthews said. "We just finished the 13-mile mark (halfway point of the season) and there's 13 to go. We're going to keep working and digging. The harder you work, it seems the luckier you get."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Ramapo 21 39 11-71
Richard Stockton 33 27 8-68
RA-Sanborn 8 4-5 23, LoRusso 0 4-5 4, Brown 7 7-7 21, Thiel 3 0-0 7, Treadwell 3 0-1 6, Martens 4 0-0 10. Totals-25 15-18 71.
RS-K. Johnson 4 2-4 12, Hunt 3 0-2 8, Suhr 4 0-1 10, McCargo 2 8-8 13, Pistone 3 2-3 8, Rameel Johnson 4 0-0 8, Perry 1 0-0 3, Usuwa 2 2-3 6. Totals-23 14-21 68.
3-pointers-Sanborn (3), Martens (2), Thiel RA. K. Johnson (2), Hunt (2), Suhr (2), McCargo, Perry RS.
Records-Ramapo 13-2; Stockton 11-3.