NJCAA D-III National Tourney (March 15, 2012 – 7:00 pm)
The Bronx Community College Broncos followed a 27-5 regular season with a run through stiff competition to capture the Region 15 title and earn their first berth in the national tournament. The team comes into tourney play having won 16 in a row. They face off against the Roxbury Community College Tigers. The Tigers posted a 22-3 regular season record, and won the Region 21 title and come into play on a five-game win streak.
In a game that had a different pace from the rest of the day, the Tigers and Broncos played to a 30-30 tie in the first half of the final game in first round play. The Tigers got six points each from Kevon Young, Aboubacar Conde, and Paul Becklens. Becklens also added four rebounds. Roxbury’s leading scorer, with eight points, was Gabriel Fumudoh. Led by Ernest Quaye’s nine points, the Broncos also got six from both Chris Davis and Claude Blue. Blue contributed six total boards as well. Ronnel Ross made his presence felt for the Broncos on both sides of the ball, posting five points and five boards on the half for Bronx.
By the 12:16 mark of the second half, coming out of a timeout, the teams had been tied at 39 for better than four minutes. Both teams continued to commit enough turnovers to affect the scoring and pace of the game, but Roxbury went on a run of five unanswered points to take a 46-41 lead at the 11:00 mark.
As the period passed the halfway mark, Becklens and Ross – for Roxbury and Bronx respectively – continued to be effective on both sides of the ball. Not long after Ross nailed a three to tie the game at 54, the Broncos jumped ahead a ten point lead at the 2:00 mark. As the final seconds ticked down, Becklens sank two foul shots to bring the Tigers within six, but a couple of personal fouls put the Broncos at the line to add more distance with just thirty seconds left. After a missed free throw by Fumudoh, Bronx’s Reggie Davis sank two more free throws for the Broncos, bringing the team’s lead back to ten points.
An immediate foul at the other end sent Becklens to the line to sink two, but the Tigers followed that with a personal foul to send Bronx’s Thomas to the other foul line and get one back. Following a late three pointer by the Tigers, Becklens fouled out of what had been a nice second half for him.
Following the subsequent free throws, the final score was 81-73 in favor of the Bronx Community College Broncos, sending them on to Day Two play!