Matthews Breaks NJ College Record With 515th Win

Gerry Matthews (center) with his Stockton Ospreys' squad.

Gerry Matthews (center) with his Stockton Ospreys' squad.

Richard Stockton College (2-0) gave head coach Gerry Matthews his 515th career victory as the Ospreys defeated Farmingdale State (1-1) 78-58 in the championship game of the Stockton Tip-Off Tournament.

With the win, Matthews surpassed former Princeton coach Pete Carrill’s all-time record for coaching victories in New Jersey men’s college basketball. Matthews, in his 27th year at Stockton, now has a career record of 515-217.

He has guided Stockton to two NJAC championships apiece in three different decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s) and his Osprey teams have never had a losing season.  Matthews ranks among the top 20 active Division III coaches in winning percentage (.704) and victories (515).  The dean of the NJAC, he has led Stockton to 13 NCAA Tournament berths, highlighted by two Final Four appearances (1987, 2009), and 14 20-win seasons.

The Ospreys wasted little time in taking the early lead as they opened up a 22-15 advantage. Stockton then stretched that margin by finishing on a 29-5 run to take a commanding halftime advantage at 41-20. Josh Blamon  scored 15 of his team-high 20 points during the first half and the Stockton defense held Farmingdale State to just 8-24 (33.3%) shooting, including 1-12 (8.3%) from three-point range. Stockton cruised down the stretch to prevail 78-58.

Tournament MVP Kevin Johnson controlled the play from his point guard position, tossing in nine points, dishing six assists and grabbing four rebounds. Johnson committed just one turnover in a total of 60 minutes played as he steered the Ospreys to the two wins over the weekend.

Stockton will begin the NJAC season on Tuesday evening as they take on Kean University in the nightcap of a men’s/women’s doubleheader. Game time is scheduled for 8 pm. — Carmella Shillito

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