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Morrisville State, Ramapo set to meet Saturday in NCAA Division III Tournament first round

MORRISVILLE, N.Y. – Morrisville State College is making their second straight trip to the 62-team NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Championship Tournament, and will meet Ramapo College in the opening round on Saturday, March 2, at 7 p.m. at Nyack College.

The Mustangs (21-5) earned the automatic bid for the national tournament, capturing their second straight North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) title on Sunday, following a narrow 74-72 defeat of Wells College in the tournament final.

Morrisville State and Ramapo meet for the first time in the history of the two programs. The Roadrunners (23-4) claimed the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) title with a 67-65 defeat of Rutgers-Newark on Friday, earning the automatic qualifier to the tournament, and fourth overall under 15th year head coach Chuck McBreen.

Fourth year head coach, Joseph Smith, is relying on an experienced Mustang squad to advance beyond the opening round. “Ramapo is a strong and experienced team with a veteran coach. I expect a tough game.”

“We are much deeper this year. The team is ready for the challenge, and has grown significantly from last year’s tournament experience.”

The Mustangs, who on average boast 78.5 points per game (+12.5 scoring margin), have five that average double figures, the same for Ramapo, who puts up on average 76.2 points per game (+11.8 margin).

Both team’s average 40.6 rebounds per game and are very closely matched in all other statistical categories, including field goal percentage (46%).

With nine returning from last year’s squad who advanced to the tournament for the first time in the history of the program, and the addition of five key players, Morrisville State should be able to challenge the nationally ranked (15th by D3hoops.com) Roadrunners in all facets of the game, and may even lend a few surprises along the way.

“We are not content to just make the NCAA Tournament this year, we want to make a run,” Smith said.

The contest is being played at the Bowman Gymnasium on the Nyack College campus in Nyack, New York. Tickets will be available at the door one hour prior to the contest and cost $6 for adults, and $3 for students with valid ID and senior citizens.

For those unable to make the trip, live stats and video will be available for the contest. Links will be posted on the Morrisville State athletics web site at http://athletics.morrisville.edu/schedule.aspx?sportid=8, as well as in-game updates provided through the athletics facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/morrisvillestatecollegeathletics.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion