Montclair, NJ (1/14/09) – Sophomore guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) scored six of her 10 points during a key run to open the second half as Montclair State extended its winning streak to nine games with a 61-53 victory over Rutgers-Newark in an NJAC Women’s Basketball North Division contest at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Wednesday evening.
Junior Catherine Cristino ( Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) collected 14 points and four rebounds as the Red Hawks moved to 10-4 on the year while remaining unbeaten in NJAC play at 5-0.
Senior guard Youngor Kehleay (Eatontown, NJ / Monmouth Regional) scored a game-high 18 points as the Scarlet Raiders fell to 8-7 overall, 2-2 in the conference.
Montclair State struggled from the field in the first half going 8-of-25 from the field (32 percent) and trailed 28-26 as Bimpe Fageyinbo ( Morris Plains, NJ / Parsippany Hills) scored eight points in the first half for the Scarlet Raiders.
But MSU reversed that trend over the final 20 minutes, shooting 63 percent (14-of-22) and outscored Rutgers-Newark 11-3 to start the half. After the teams traded free throws in the first 70 seconds, Ericson drained a three pointer to give the Red Hawks a 30-29 advantage, their first lead since the first bucket of the game. Marianne McGovern ( Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) finished off a fast break and after to foul shots by Fageyinbo, Ericson his again from behind the arc as Montclair State led 35-31. Jamilee Pflug ( Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) finished off the run with a jumper.
Kehleay’s three-pointer got the lead down to 39-37, but Montclair answered with an eight-point run to take a 47-37 lead with 9:15 to go. Kisandra Ayanbeku ( Burlington, MA / Randolph) started the run with a jumper and Cristino capped the spurt with a three pointer.
Rutgers-Newark would get as close as six points, the last coming with 1:55 to go as Courtney Vacca (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Hills) scored on a layup. But Ayanbeku answered on the ensuing possession and Cristino would add two more free throws as MSU extended its winning streak to nine, its longest since the 2003-04 campaign.
Ayanbeku had 11 points and five rebounds for Montclair while Jackie Berry ( Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) had nine points and 10 rebounds. McGovern finished with nine points and Pflug chipped in with eight.
Fageyinbo finished with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists for Rutgers-Newark, which outrebounded Montclair, 41-32, including 19-8 on the offensive glass. Vacca added six points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.Both teams return to action on Saturday with home contests. Montclair State takes on Richard Stockton at 3:00 pm at the MSU Student Recreation Center. Rutgers-Newark is back at the Golden Dome for a 5:30 pm tilt with The College of New Jersey.