William Paterson Men's Basketball Drops Overtime Thriller to New Jersey City, 87-83

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NEW JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Senior guard George Sapp(Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) drilled a three-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime, but the William Paterson men's basketball team (2-4, 0-2 NJAC) came up just short to New Jersey City (6-0, 2-0 NJAC), 87-83 on the road in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play Nov. 29.
Sapp's three-pointer came with less than two seconds remaining to help the Pioneers overcome a nine-point deficit with 3:46 remaining. The Sicklerville native finished with 16 points as one of four WP players in double-figures. Senior Richy Espinal (Ridgefield Park, N.J./Ridgefield Park) dropped in a team-high 21 points, while classmate Dapo Badmos (Toronto, Canada/The Kiski School) added 19 points and sophomore Sean Smith (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo) added 11 points. Sophomore Henry Voorhees (South Orange, N.J./Columbia) led the rebounding efforts with 10 boards. New Jersey City was led by Sam Toney who scored a career-high 36 points and 17 rebounds.
The Pioneers struck first, when Voorhees dropped in a layup in the first minute, but the Gothic Knights charged ahead with 12 of the next 14 points to take an eight-point lead (15:45). WP responded though, and it was a back and forth battle the rest of the half. The final 15 minutes featured six ties and four lead changes. The Orange and Black took their first lead since the 17:49 mark when Badmos converted a three-point play to put the Pioneers ahead, 29-28, with 6:48 remaining in the frame. It was the final lead that the Pioneers had in the first half however, as New Jersey City poured in seven straight points over the next two minutes to retake the lead, 35-29. After Espinal scored five unanswered points late in the half, the Gothic Knights took a 41-38 lead into the locker room, thanks in part to a Kamal Williams banked three-pointer from NBA-range with five seconds remaining on the clock.
The excitement continued late in the second half, after the Pioneers found themselves trailing for the majority of the stanza. After WP took a one-point lead at the 14:43 mark, the Gothic Knights pulled ahead by as many as nine points (74-65, 3:46) late in the half, but WP showed no quit. The Pioneers came storming back with an 11-3 outburst over the next 3:09, but a layup by New Jersey City's Chika Wosu with nine seconds remaining put WP behind by three points (79-76). The ensuing inbounds pass went to Badmos who pulled up for three from the left wing, but his shot careened off the back iron and out to Sapp on the right wing. Sapp collected the rebound and put home the tying three-pointer just before the buzzer to level the scoring and force overtime.
Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the extra period, as the two teams combined for just 3-11 shooting. The Gothic Knights took the lead with two free-throws by Toney, but Badmos answered with a layup on the following possession to tie the score. After nearly two minutes of scoreless action, Toney pushed New Jersey City ahead with a three-point play and the Gothic Knights never looked back. Sapp deposited a layup with 2:15 remaining to make it 84-83, but it was the final point WP would score, and the Gothic Knights held on for the 87-83 final.
The Pioneers return to action on Saturday, Dec. 2, when they host Rowan in NJAC play at 3:00 p.m.
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