OP Hoops Update: Rams Defeat New Providence at Kean University

Thomas Hunt, Co-Editor

On Saturday, January 28th, the Rams faced off against the New Providence Pioneers who were 10-6 entering the game. Although technically an Oratory “home game”, this in-county matchup was played at the NCAA facility of Kean University – a gym much larger than that of the Michael A.J Farrell court within Degaeta Hall. As the game commenced, the Rams were looking to win their third game of the week and establish positive momentum going into Monday’s matchup against Governor Livingston. In spite of some sloppy play, Oratory was able to jump out to a 14-12 lead to end the first quarter as three Greg Jones steals led to strong play in transition. With key players having off nights, Patrick Conniff stepped up on both sides of the ball to keep the Rams in the lead throughout the entirety of the 2nd quarter. With a combination of blocks, post moves and a smooth jump shot – the Junior was able to take over the game and send the Rams to half time up 23-19. Out of the break, New Providence would battle back and even take a one possession lead early on in the 3rd quarter. Minutes later, the score would stand at 32-31 before a three from Pat Conniff sparked the offense into motion and put the Rams up by 4. Threes from Asher Bradley and Greg Jones would then give the Rams a 42-31 lead that would never be relinquished. This improved 2nd half play continued in the 4th quarter, and the Rams would coast to a 56-43 victory. Conniff’s 23 points and 5 made threes were a game high, as was his 100% shooting from the free-throw line. Senior Greg Jones would score 18 points with a plethora of steals to complete an all around performance. Keys to the game consisted of the Rams 19-point 3rd quarter explosion, their perfect shooting from the free throw line, and the ability to tally 8 more steals than their Pioneer opposition. The Rams will next face Governor Livingston on Monday, January 30th.