Williams' Season-High Leads Men's Basketball Past Rowan, 82-70

Montclair, NJ (2/9/08) – Freshman guard James Williams (Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow) scored a season-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half, as Montclair State used a late push with four minutes to go to pull away from Rowan University, 82-70 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference inter-divisional men’s basketball matchup at Panzer Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Chris McCann (Sparta, NJ / Sparta) added 18 points off the bench as the Red Hawks remained tied with Ramapo and New Jersey City for second place in the league’s North Division at 6-4. MSU is now 13-9 overall and leads the overall series now, 64-40.  

Freshman guard Michael Farrow (Whitesboro, NJ / Middle Township) scored 18 points for Rowan, which fell to 14-7 overall, 4-6 in the NJAC South. The Profs have alternated wins and losses in each of their last four games.

Montclair State held a 40-33 lead at halftime as the Red Hawks used a 14-5 period-ending run to build the seven-point cushion.  After going up by as many as nine early in the second half, Rowan chipped away at the lead and tied the score at 49-49 with 13:02 to go on a bucket by Rahim Siver (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East). Williams’ three-point play with 5:57 left restored the lead to 64-58 in favor of Montclair, but again Rowan battled back knotting the game at 64-64 on a Matt Byrnes (Mays Landing, NJ / Oakcrest) three-pointer with 4:32 to play. 

But MSU would score 13 of the game’s next 15 points to all but put the game away. Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) drained a three from the top of the key to give MSU the lead, and after a Prof free throw, Williams sank two free throws and added another basket inside as Montclair led 71-66 with 2:55 left. Bonard capped of the 13-2 run with five straight points, including two free throws with 1:09 as Montclair went up 77-66.

Bonard finished with 16 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals for the Red Hawks, who were outrebounded in the game, 34-28, but offset that by going 18-of-27 at the charity stripe compared to Rowan’s 9-of-17 performance. Ken Dudley (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) was the fourth MSU player in double figures with 10 points to go along with four assists. Ryan Washington (Edison, NJ / JP Stevens) had nine points and six rebounds for Montclair State. Byrnes and Kevin Darby (Atco, NJ / Hammonton) each had 17 points for Rowan, which got eight points, eight rebounds and five assists from senior Dwayne Reevey (Rumson, NJ / Rumson-Fair Haven). Shiver collected six points and eight rebounds.

Both return to the court with road contests. Montclair State will make the short trip to local rival William Paterson in an 8:00 pm matchup with the NJAC North Division-leading Pioneers on Wednesday, February 13. Rowan is in action the day before with a non-conference contest at Valley Forge Christian (8:00 pm).