Women's Basketball Winning Streak Snapped

Middletown, CT (1/20/09) - Grad student Lucy Sprung tied a 14-year-old Wesleyan school record for points in a game by a women's basketball player by scoring 35 in leading the Cardinals to a come-from-behind 100-94 win vs. Montclair State on Tuesday evening.

Wesleyan (8-6) ended Montclair's 10-game win steak, its longest in 14 years, which included a three-point decision over 20th-ranked Mary Washington at the SunSational Hoops Classic in St. Thomas on December 29. The loss was MSU's first since November 30 and its fifth overtime contest this season. MSU is now 2-3 in those contests..

Wesleyan trailed by as many as 15 in the first half and found itself behind 65-55 with 9;16 to go despite coming back to tie the game at 51-51 with 13:45 left in the second half.  Wesleyan took its first lead since scoring the opening bucket at 68-67 on a three-pointer by senior Ali Fourney (a career-high 29 points) with
6:10 left. 

Montclair again pulled ahead, 76-71, on a three-pointer by freshman Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / HUnterdon Central) (4:20 to go) who doubled up her season average with 29 points.  She came in averaging 14.6 a game.

Wesleyan again recovered and regained the lead 79-78 on a basket by Sprung, whose 35 points equaled the total of Allison Palmer vs. Coast Guard on February 10, 1994 as the most in Wesleyan history. But it took a layup by Sprung with :01.7 left to put the game in overtime at 81-81.

Wesleyan never trailed in the extra frame, taking an 88-86 lead on Sprung's layup with 2:32 showing on the clock.  After a  Montclair miss from three-point range, Fourney scored inside to make it 90-86 with 2:10 left.  Ericson cut it to 91-90 with her fifth trey of the contest with 1:30 to go.  Sprung again went inside and converted a three-point play with 1:16 remaining for a 94-90 edge. 

A free throw and three-pointer by Montclair sophomore Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) countered a pair of Fourney free throws to make it 96-94 in favor of the Cardinals with :34 to go.  Pflug finished the game with 18 points.  The clinching basket for the Cardinals came from senior Meredith Lowe with 18 seconds left, giving her 16 points and upping the Wesleyan advantage to 98-94.  The Red Hawks missed twice at the other end and another pair of Fourney free throws in the final second allowed Wesleyan to hit the century mark

Montclair, which stands unbeaten in New Jersey Athletic  Conference play at 6-0, controlled the game early, moving out to a  17-9 lead before Wesleyan tied it at 17-17.  But that ignited the game's strongest burst as the Red Hawks rattled off 15 unanswered  points in a span of just 2:29, scoring on six straight possessions  while Wesleyan was forced into eight straight turnovers, resulting in  the game's biggest lead at 32-17 with 8:08 to go in the first half. The lead remained in double-digits at halftime, 43-31.  Junior Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, MA / Randolph) scored 10 of her 14 points during the 15-0 burst for the Red Hawks. 

This was only the second meeting between the two teams, the first coming last December in Montclair, N.J., won by the Cardinals, 75-70.

The Red Hawks return to action on Saturday, January 24 as they face No. 23 Kean Unviersity at the Hardwood Arena in Union at 1:00 pm.