Bonard Leads Men's Basketball to Victory in ECAC Holiday Festival

Kissimmee, FL (1/3/09) – Sophomore guard Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) connected six times from behind the arc and finished with 19 points along with five assists as Montclair State picked up where it left off in 2008, knocking off Potsdam State, 75-66 in the ECAC Holiday Festival at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Daniel McRae ( Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) added his second straight double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds as the Red Hawks (8-3) recorded their eighth straight victory. It is MSU’s longest winning streak since an eight-game run during the 2004-05 campaign.

Montclair State trailed just once in the game as Potsdam’s Damon Brown connected from three-point range to open the game. Bonard answered with his own three and Sean Young ( Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) added a layup to give the Red Hawks its first lead at 5-3 before Brown’s jumper knotted the game at 5-5 with 17:22 left in the opening period.

MSU then went on a 14-2 run over the next four minutes to take control. James Williams ( Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow) got the ball rolling with a later added two free throws for an 11-5 lead at 15:54. McRae threw down a dunk and Bonard hit from long-range as the lead hit 11 points (16-5) before being capped off with another three by Williams as the Red Hawks went up 19-7 with 13:08 to play before halftime.

Potsdam would get the deficit to 26-21 on a layup by Alivin Dike with 4:48 to go, but Williams countered with a three points and Young had a layup as Montclair restored the lead to 31-21 with 4:03 remaining. A quick six-point burst by Potsdam brought the lead down to four inside the final two minutes but freshman Paul Siljee (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) hit the sixth MSU three-pointer of the half with 26 seconds to play as Montclair took a 34-27 lead into the break.

In the second half, Potsdam would get as close as six points several times, the first coming at 39-33 early in the half as Orlando Minott connected on a jumper. But Bonard hit a three as Montclair would eventually go back in front by 12 at 59-47 with 8:10 left.

Potsdam would make one more charge with 3:41 to play as Brown sank two foul shots to make the score 66-60 however Williams buried a three-pointer and McRae threw down another dunk with 1:20 left as MSU led 71-62 with 1:20 left.

Williams finished with 17 points while Young collected eight points and six rebounds. Ken Dudley ( Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) chipped in with eight points and five assists while Jon Georges ( West Orange, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) had eight points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Red Hawks.

MSU shot 48 percent from the floor in the game, including 16-of-30 (53 percent) in the second half. Montclair connected 11 times in 20 attempts (55 percent) from behing the arc and held a 38-33 advantage on the boards.

Montclair State concludes its appearance in the ECAC Holiday Festival on Sunday, January 4 with a 3:00 pm matchup against St. Joseph’s College (NY).