Smith's Career Night Leads William Paterson Men's Basketball to Huge Comeback Victory, 84-82 (OT) Over Montclair State

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WAYNE, N.J. – The William Paterson men's basketball team (3-5, 1-3 NJAC) knocked down 18 three-pointers and overcame a 17-point deficit with 11:20 remaining to take down New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Montclair State, 84-82 in overtime Dec. 6.
As a team, the Pioneers shot 41 (18-44) percent from beyond the arc, including a blistering 58 (7-12) percent over the final 11:20 to overcome the deficit. The red-hot shooting continued in the overtime period where WP hit four of its seven attempts from three-point territory. The 18 three-pointers are the most by a William Paterson team since the team made 15 attempts against Kean on Jan. 11, 2016.
Leading the charge was sophomore Sean Smith (Moraga, Calif./Campolindo) who netted a career-best 24 points on 7-of-14 (.500) shooting, with all seven makes coming from beyond the arc. Junior Peter Martinez(Stockton, Calif./Dublin) dropped in 15 points, including three triples, while freshman Domenic Mignone(Rutherford, N.J./Rutherford) added a career-best 12 points while dishing out five assists. Senior Richy Espinal (Ridgefield Park, N.J./Ridgefield Park) rounded out the Pioneers in double figures, scoring 11 points while grabbing five rebounds and adding three assists. The Red Hawks were led by senior Jarrett Bogus who scored a career-high 29 points while matching his career-best with 10 rebounds.
Despite a slow start, the Pioneers found themselves trailing by four points (41-37) at the end of halftime. The Red Hawks came soaring out of the locker room however, starting the second stanza on a 19-6 run behind 9-of-14 (.643) shooting to take their largest lead of the game at 17 points (11:20) before the Pioneers shifted the momentum inside the Recreation Center.
The Orange and Black scored the next 13 points behind six points from Mignone and three points from sophomore Sajimir Asani (Lincoln Park, N.J./Boonton) to cut the deficit down to four points (60-56) with 8:17 remaining. After Montclair State extended the lead back to eight points (67-59), the Pioneers again rattled off seven unanswered tallies to make it a one-point game with 2:44 to play. Montclair converted two free-throw attempts, but Smith drilled his sixth three-pointer of the evening with 1:17 remaining to level the scoring for the first time since the 5:58 mark of the first half.
The Red Hawks again took the lead with three free-throws by Jovanni Chatham over two possessions, but senior George Sapp (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek) found Espinal at the top of the arc with 11 seconds remaining, and the southpaw drained his first three-pointer of the night to tie the score. Montclair State had an open look at the end of regulation, but could not convert and both squads headed into overtime deadlocked at 72-72.
On the extra period's first possession, Sapp knocked down a triple from nearly the same spot as Espinal to give William Paterson its first lead of the evening. Smith and Martinez put home three three-point baskets to follow Sapp's opener, and the Pioneers held on for the huge come-from-behind victory, 84-82.
The Pioneers will look to ride the momentum from tonight's victory when they travel to Pomona on Saturday, Dec. 9, for an NJAC battle with Stockton at 1:00 p.m.
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