Women's Basketball Tops Ramapo; Claims No. 2 Spot in NJAC North

Mahwah, NJ (2/22/08) – Senior forward Jessica Garrabrant (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) recorded her second straight double-double and sixth overall this season with 14 points and 10 rebounds as Montclair State closed out its regular season with 71-46 victory over Ramapo on Saturday.

The win, coupled with Rutgers-Newark's loss to William Paterson helped MSU claim the No. 2 spot in the NJAC North and a first-round home game in the NJAC Tournament on Monday, February 25 as MSU will host Rowan University at 7:00 pm. MSU entered the day a game behind Rutgers-Newark, but the Scarlet Raiders fell to William Paterson, 65-60 in overtime creating a tie between the two. Montclair then won the tiebreaker based upon a better divisional record (6-2) than the Scarlet Raiders (5-3).

This will be the second meeting between MSU and Rowan this season and the seventh time that the two have met in the NJAC Tournament with Rowan holding a 5-1 edge, including a 69-59 triumph at Panzer Gymnasium in 2005. Montclair State recorded a 67-63 win over the Profs back on February 9.

Cynthia Warrington (Villas, NJ / Lower Cape May Regional) drained a three-pointer with 13:54 on the clock to give the Red Hawks an 11-0 lead to start the game. Rookie Brittany Royer (Westwood, NJ) finally got Ramapo on the scoreboard with just over ten minutes to play. Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) gave Montclair a 15-4 lead before Malika Gilliam (Roselle, NJ) sparked a 6-0 Ramapo run to close the gap, 10-15. The Red Hawks answered with a 4-0 run, followed by a 6-0 run, to take a 13 advantage with 5:29 to go in the half. Montclair spent the final five minutes of the half slowly gaining on their lead forcing two Ramapo turnovers and six missed shots to take a 38-20 lead heading into the intermission.

Montclair shot 16-34 (47%) in the half behind seven points each from Cristino and Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, MA). Marianne McGovern (Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) dished out a team high three assists and Garrabrant and Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) each pulled down four rebounds. China led the Roadrunners with six first half points and Beth Weinmann (Pompton Plains, NJ) pulled down four rebounds.

Ramapo went on a 7-0 run to start the second half to come within nine, 29-38 with 16:48 on the clock. China hit the first basket, Camille Mammolite (Scotch Plains, NJ) followed with a jumper, Gilliam sunk two free throws, and Weinmann hit a jumper as the final basket of the run. Montclair quickly regained a double-digit advantage with a 16-0 run started with a jumper from Garrabrant and capped off with a three-pointer from Jessica Horan (West Haverstraw, NY North Rockland). Samantha Grippo (Edison, NJ) hit the front end of a two shot foul to end the drought with just under ten minutes to play. The two teams traded baskets for much of the remaining minutes for a Montclair, 71-46 victory at the buzzer.

Garrabrant wrapped up the night with a double-double including 14 points and ten boards while Ayanbeku sunk nine points and grabbed five rebounds. Garrabrant recorded a team high five steals in the win. Montclair finished the night going 28-69 (41%) from the field ahead of Ramapo’s 13-43 (30%).

The Red Hawks forced 25 Ramapo turnovers while committing 21 of their own. Gilliam finished the night with 12 points leading all Roadrunners.