Thomas' great night helps carry J&W

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Lamonte Thomas
Lamonte Thomas scored in a flurry early and late for Johnson and Wales.
Johnson and Wales athletics file photo 

Lamonte Thomas wears Reggie Miller's number and he did a fairly good impression of the former Indiana Pacer last night.

With 1:39 left in regulation and his Johnson and Wales Wildcats down by by eight in their first-round game at Ramapo, Thomas hit a 3-pointer. Then he stole a pass at midcourt, came back down, thought about driving but stopped and popped another 3 to cut the lead to two, 98-96.

Calvin Jones hit a shot from the corner to tie the game with 6.7 seconds left and Thomas scored seven more in overtime to help the Wildcats pull away for a 114-106 victory.

"When we were down by nine, I told them the game wasn't over and we had to go back to being ourselves," said coach Jamie Benton. "Lamonte hit those two big 3's, Calvin hit the jumper from the corner and we were back in business.  They (JWU) picked it up when they had to, and I'm very happy our seniors got to experience an NCAA victory."

Thomas, who can shoot from the perimeter or take the ball to the basket, started the game on fire as well, scoring 17 of the Wildcats' first 25 points to help set the tone.

"We wanted to come out and strike first ... throw the first punch," Thomas said after the game. "I got used to the hoop today, not really yesterday, as I missed a lot of shots in practice."

Once Ramapo put Ahmad Hassan on him, Thomas was slowed for a while, but he couldn't keep Division III's leading scorer down for long. Thomas shot just 6-for-16 in the second half but still wound up with 15 points in the half, 36 in regulation.

Division III's leading scorer, Thomas is now averaging 30.9 points per game. His Wildcats take on Buffalo State in Saturday night's second round.