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Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Matthews Wins 500th Game


Gerry Matthews celebrates a milestone win with members of the men's basketball team.

January 3, 2012--Richard Stockton (7-5) gave head coach Gerry Matthews his 500th career win at Stockton with a convincing 83-60 triumph over North Carolina Wesleyan (6-6). The Ospreys broke the game open with a 31-4 stretch at the beginning of the second half and cruised to the win. Matthews became the 12th active coach and 30th all-time in NCAA Division III to achieve 500 victories.

The Ospreys’ victory gave Stockton their fourth consecutive win and sixth in their last seven games and sent the Battling Bishops to their third straight defeat. Rich Suhr (Toms River/TR East) led Stockton with a career-high 24 points including six three-pointers on eight attempts from beyond the arc.

North Carolina Wesleyan took a 31-29 lead into the locker room at the half on the strength of 10 points by Josh Morrison and eight counters by Matt Dougherty. Suhr had 11 points before the break and went 3-4 from behind the arc.

The Ospreys came out a different team in the second stanza as they pressured NC Wesleyan into just 34.4% shooting and 17 of their 27 turnovers that led to easy baskets for Stockton. A 21-4 run highlighted by three more long-range bombs from Suhr and two highlight-reel dunks by Salman Yusuff (Vineland/Vineland) stretched the lead to 55-35 with 9:29 remaining.

All that was left was to run out the clock for Matthews’ latest milestone victory. In his 26th season at Stockton, Matthews became one of just two college basketball coaches in New Jersey history to reach the 500-win plateau. He trails only Princeton legend Pete Carril with a state-record 514 career wins. Matthews’ career at Stockton also has included two NCAA Final Fours (1987, 2009), six NJAC championships and eight NJAC Coach of the Year awards.

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