NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Sophomore Jaquan Wooten/Kinston, North Carolina posted a double-double with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, but No. 14 Richard Bland College dropped a 62-48 men's basketball road decision at NJCAA Division I Monroe College on Sunday afternoon at the Monroe College Tournament in New Rochelle, New York. Sophomore Deandre Clark/Orange and freshman Robert Smith/Hampton each added nine points for the visiting Statesmen (4-2) against the host Mustangs (2-0), who received a game-high 22 points from Hampus Ahlin. Richard Bland will return home next weekend, Nov. 18-19, to host the Richard Bland Classic at Statesman Hall.
Richard Bland, ranked No. 14 in the NJCAA Division II Preseason Poll, fell behind early as Monroe scored the first seven points of the game before Wooten had a slam dunk to make it 7-2 at 14:39. A layup from freshman Brandon Henry/Chester and a jumper by Smith had the Statesmen within 9-6 at 11:51. The game remained close and Richard Bland was within three points at 19-16 following a three-point field goal by Clark at 6:28. A layup and 1-2 free throws from freshman Deon Joyner/North Charleston, South Carolina had the Statesmen within 20-19 at 4:29. The Mustangs, however, outscored their visitors 13-4 over the final 4:11 of the opening half to lead 33-23 at halftime.
Richard Bland closed to within 37-30 at 15:58 of the second half following a dunk by sophomore Jalen Jackson/Plainfield, New Jersey, a basket inside from Wooten and 3-4 free throws by sophomore Gevon Arrington/Petersburg. Monroe used a 14-4 run to take their largest lead of the game at 51-34 with 9:30 remaining following a three-pointer by Ahlin. The Statesmen were within 11 points at 53-42 with 3:08 left to play after another dunk by Wooten, but that was as close as it would get down the stretch.
Wooten led Richard Bland with his fourth double-double in six games, finishing with the 15 points, game-high 14 rebounds and a game-high three blocks, as well. Clark and Smith each added nine points, as Clark connected on a trio of three-pointers, while Henry contributed five points. RBC shot 30% (15-50) from the field, including 17% (3-18) on three-pointers, and 54% (15-28) at the free throw line.
Ahlin led Monroe with his game-high 22 points, including 3-4 three-pointers, while Jarron Chapman added 12 points. The Mustangs shot 40% (20-50) from the field, including 44% (7-16) on three-pointers, and 56% (15-27) at the line.
Richard Bland was playing DI Monroe for the first-time ever in the sport of men's basketball.
In the upcoming Richard Bland Classic, the Statesmen will play nearby Southside Virginia Community College on Friday, Nov. 18 at 5 p.m., before facing NJCAA Division I Cape Fear (N.C.) Community College on Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. The Friday game has been designated as Learner Mentor Appreciation Night, while the Saturday game has been designated as Salute to the Brave: First Responders Day. Richard Bland learner mentors will be recognized on Friday night, as will all area First Responders: police officers, firefighters, paramedics and emergency medical technicians in attendance on Saturday.