Rams Drive Past UNE in First Round of NCAA's

Joe Cammarata
Joe Cammarata

Rams Drive Past UNE in First Round of NCAA's

Farmingdale State - 90, University of New England - 73

Game Coverage: Saturday, March 7th vs. MIT - LIVE VIDEO - LIVE STATS

Providence, R.I. - The Farmingdale State men's basketball team advanced to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament with a 90-73 victory over University of New England on Friday evening at The Murray Center in Providence, R.I. Junior guard Mike Campbell (Bronx. N.Y./Samuel Gompers) and senior forward Erastus Shannon (Amityville, N.Y./Copiague) each scored 22 points to pace the Rams attack. Farmingdale State (25-3) will now face MIT (21-8) in the second round of the National Tournament on Saturday, March 7th at 7:00 p.m. The Engineers defeated host Rhode Island College in overtime, 73-68, in the prior game.

The Rams used a balanced scoring attack as four players reached double figures in scoring, including three with at least 20 points. As a team, Farmingdale finished with their second-highest field goal percentage of the season, finishing 35-of-58 from the field (60.3%), while holding UNE to a 34.2% shooting percentage. Campbell went 10-for-13 from the field, while Shannon was nine-for-12. Campbell and senior guard Damien Santana (Brooklyn, N.Y./Grady) each posted a double-double. Santana pulled in a game-high 13 boards, while Campbell collected 10 boards. Junior forward Daniel Phillips (Baldwin, N.Y.) also netted 20 points.

After trading the lead over the first five minutes of the contest, Farmingdale State was able to break the full-court press by UNE and took its final advantage on a jumper by Shannon at the 15:11 mark to put the Rams ahead 9-8. Shannon's basket sparked an 11-2 surge to put some breathing room between themselves and the Nor'easters. Campbell led the run with six points, while Shannon added four.

University of New England responded by scoring five of the following seven points to cut its deficit to eight points, 24-16. Farmingdale State would not let the Nor'easters get any closer, as Phillips extended the lead back up to double figures with a pair of free throws. The Rams entered the intermission with a 16-point advantage, 42-26.

University of New England kept their full-court press on and opened the second stanza with a mini 6-2 run to cut the deficit to 12 points, but it wouldn't hold the Rams back as they ran away with the lead. Santana quelled the surge with a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 run. Farmingdale State led by at least 16 points for the remainder of the game, ballooning their advantage to a game-high 29 with 5:26 remaining in regulation.

Senior guard Jaykri Simpson (East Cleburne, Texas) led the Nor'easters in scoring with 17 points. Senior forward Johnnie Jefferson (Dallas, Texas) and freshman guard Anthony Johnson (Austin, Texas) joined Simpson in double figures with 13 points each. Simpson pulled in a team-best seven rebounds, while senior guard Steve Belmonte (Levittown, N.Y.) handed out four assists.

Watch the Rams play in their second round game for just the second time in program history by clicking on the link above. Live stats are also available during the game.