Women's Basketball Advances in ECAC Tournament

Montclair, NJ (3/5/08) – Senior guard Jessica Garrabrant (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) posted a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds while joining the exclusive 1,000-rebound club as Montclair State opened defense of its ECAC Division III Metro Championship with a 61-40 victory over eighth-seeded Mount St. Vincent in the opening round of the 2008 tournament at Panzer Gymnasium on Wednesday evening.

Sophomore Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) added 14 points and seven rebounds as the Red Hawks, making their 14th appearance in the tournament, moved into the semifinals and will host No. 5 seed FDU-Florham at home on Saturday, March 8 at 2:00 pm. FDU-Florham knocked off No. 4 Farmingdale State, 58-51 in other opening round action. It will be the third time MSU and the Devils will meet in the tournament with each winning a game. Montclair, which has won five ECAC crowns, won the 1994 meeting in the championship game, 62-56 while FDU recorded a 62-53 win at Panzer Gym in the 2005 opening round.

Sophomore forward Courtney Heesemann (New Hyde Park, NY / New Hyde Park) finished with 20 points and eight rebounds for Mount St. Vincent, which ended its most successful season in school history at 21-7. The Dolphins were making their first appearance in the ECAC Tournament.

Garrabrant became the fifth player in MSU history to record 1,000 rebounds as she entered the game needing four.  The two-time All-NJAC selection, reached the millennium mark with 12 minutes remaining in the first half as she joined Carol Blazejowski (1031 from 1974-78), Pat Colasurdo (1076 from 1975-79), Carolyn Savio (1088 from 1986-90) and Shannon Shaffer (1064 from 1989-93) in the small group of players in program history to achieve the mark.

Garrabrant had eight points and nine boards in the first half as Montclair State, which never trailed in the game, slowly pulled away in the final 3:516 of the half. Leading 18-14 , Montclair closed out the half with a 10-2 run as Garrbrant began the spurt with a jumper while Caritino scored the last four on free throws as the Red Hawks took a 28-16 lead into the break.  MSU then opened the second half with a 13-4 run capped by a Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) layup as the lead grew to 41-20 with 16:23 left.  The Dolphins would only get as close as 18 the rest of the way.

Freshman Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) finished with 12 points for MSU while junior Marianne McGovern (Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) chipped in with eight. The Red Hawks shot 55 percent (12-of-22) over the final 20 minutes, including 5-of-9 from three-point range. Garrabrant added four steals while Berry led Montclair with five.

Kaitlin Burd (Red Hook, NY / Red Hook) had nine points and six rebounds for Mount St. Vincent, which got six points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals from Lauren Percodani (Staten Island, NY / St. Joseph’s by the Sea).