Call it one terrific bounce-back for the Roadrunner men's basketball team.
Following a rise to No. 5 in the Division III national rankings and then a heart-breaking loss at the buzzer to Middlesex Tuesday night, RCGC faced a tall task in Division II power Mercer Community College on the road.
The Thursday night battle proved to be a 15-round heavyweight fight, with 6-5 forward Ja'Zere Noel pumping in 34 points and pulling down 15 rebounds to lead a tight 86-82 triumph on the road.
There were plenty of other contributors. Forward Luciano Lubrano collected 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists; forward S.J. Hawkins had 18 points, 7 rebounds and 9 rebounds; while guard Tyler Lunsford added 10 points and 7 rebounds.
No one could blame head coach Will Wareham for taking a collective sigh of relief. Afterall, the Runners are smack in the middle of their toughest three-game stretch with Passaic CC paying a visit to RCGC on Saturday at 2 pm.
"We looked good in spurts but more importantly we just wanted to get back in the win column," said Wareham. "Mercer is second in Division II and they are very well coached and they do not make many mistakes."
The game vs. Passaic will likely draw a large crowd as No. 5 RCGC preps for another huge test.
"We will be ready, but it's quite a stretch we've had," Wareham said.