Jersey City, NJ (1/23/08) – The Montclair State women’s basketball team led from wire-to-wire and got 13 points from sophomore Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) and a game-best 16 rebounds from Jessica Garrabrant (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) as the Red Hawks knocked off New Jersey City, 63-45 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference North Division matchup at the John J. Moore Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.
Sophomore Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, MA / Randolph) and Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) each added 10 points while Marianne McGovern (Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) and Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) scored nine apiece as MSU posted its second straight victory and improved to 10-6 overall, 3-2 in the NJAC.
Vanessa Espinosa had 13 points for the Gothic Knights, who fell to 4-12 overall, 1-5 in the NJAC.
A jumper by McGovern gave MSU the lead 21 seconds in and Berry added a bucket of her own before Espinosa’s jumper layup with 17:15 tied the score at 4-4. Montclair would go on a 9-2 run over the next six minutes to take a 13-6 lead as Garrabrant capped the spurt. NJCU would answer that run with an 8-2 run to pull within 15-14 on a basket by Shyla Daniels with 8:01 to go.
But Berry countered with a layup and McGovern and Pflug finished off fast breaks on the next two possessions as the Red Hawks boosted the lead back to seven, 21-14 with 6:30 remaining before half. Pflug would connect from behind the arc with 2:57 left and Ayanbeku added a field goal late as Montclair State led 30-19 at intermission.
In the second half, New Jersey City would trim the lead back with the first six points, including a jumper by Rosaly Diaz to bring the Gothic Knights within 30-25. However, Berry would sink an attempt from three-point range and Ayanbeku added consecutive baskets as MSU built a 37-27 lead with 13:40 left. NJCU would get no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Garrabrant would finish with six points while Berry added five rebounds as the Red Hawks held a 46-43 advantage on the boards, including 15 offensive rebounds. Cristino had four rebounds and three blocked shots while Jessica Horan (West Haverstraw, NY/North Rockland) dished out six assists.
The Red Hawks return to action on Saturday, January 26 as MSU returns home to host No. 7 ranked and defending NJAC champion Kean University at 4:00 pm in the Panzer Gymnasium.