Ericson, Berry Lead Women's Basketball Past TCNJ

Montclair, NJ (12/6/08) - Freshman guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) scored 20 to pace four players in double figures as Montclair State knocked off The College of New Jersey, 66-55 in NJAC Women's Basketball action at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Saturday afternoon.

Junior guard Jackie Berry ( Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) had 10 points and nine rebounds as the Red Hawks used a huge advantage at the foul line to win their second straight game, improving to 3-4 overall while moving to 2-0 in the NJAC.

Senior center Hillary Klimowicz (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) had a game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds along with eight blocks as the Lions dropped back to .500 at 3-3 overall. TCNJ was playing its first conference contest.

MSU won despite shooting just 28 percent (15-of-53) from the field but offset that by going 31-of-39 (80 percent) at the charity stripe.

Montclair State trailed 6-5 five minutes into the contest, but nine of the next 11 points to take the lead. Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L Johnson) hit a jumper to put the Red Hawks in front and Ericson followed with a three-pointer for a 10-6 lead. After a TCNJ basket, Catherine Cristino ( Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) hit two from the foul line and Marianne McGovern ( Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) capped off a break as Montclair led 14-8 with 9:21 left.

New Jersey would tie the game twice, the final coming at 19-19 on a jumper by Katie Occhipinti (Warren, NJ / The Pingry School), but MSU scored four straight from the foul line and got a layup by Kara Burnham (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) for a 25-21 lead with 2:07 to play. Berry and Cristino added two foul shots apiece as Montclair took a 29-23 lead into halftime.

In the second half, the Lions wiped out that deficit with a 9-0 run to take a 32-29 lead with 17:15 remaining. Alyssa Michella (Washington Township, NJ / Immaculate Heart) hit a three to put the Lions up, but Montclair countered with a 7-2 spurt and took a 39-34 lead on an Ericson three with 13:31 to go.

The Montclair lead grew to seven as Pflug connected from behind the arc with 935 left, but the Lions clawed back and got within 46-44 on a three-point play by Klimowicz with 7:31 left. The Red Hawks boosted the lead back to eight as Berry scored four points, including two foul shots as the lead went to 54-46 with 5:09 remaining.

The Lions trimmed the lead back to 55-50 with 4:10 on the clock as Klimowicz scored from down inside, but McGovern and Ericson dropped in baskets as MSU went up 60-50 with 2:29 left.

Pflug finished with 12 points while McGovern added 11 and five assists as the Red Hawks shot 15-of-53 from the field and outrebounded the Lions, 41-39, including 19 offensive boards. Crisino had nine points, three rebounds and three blocked shots.

Stephanie Prall ( Kinnelon, NJ / Kinnelon) and Kelsey Kutch ( Hillsborough, NJ / Hillsborough) scored six points apiece while Alexandra Gregorek ( Mahwah, NJ / Academy of the Holy Angels) chipped in with five points and five rebounds. The Lions, who were 14-of-21 from the foul line, shot 19-of-52 from the floor (37 percent).

Both teams return to action with non-conference contests. Montclair State plays host to Baruch College on Wednesday, December 10 at 5:30 pm. TCNJ is at Packer Hall the day before – Tuesday, December 9 – hosting Arcadia at 6:00 pm.