Men's Basketball Topples William Paterson

Montclair, NJ (1/28/09) – Freshman guard Paul Siljee (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) scored 16 of his season-high 19 points in the second half as Montclair State moved into sole possession of first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference North Division with a 76-66 victory over backyard rival William Paterson at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Wednesday evening.

Sophomore forward Jon Georges (West Orange, NJ / Seton Hall Prep) recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Red Hawks improved to 14-5 overall, 6-2 in conference play. MSU is one game ahead of both William Paterson and Rutgers-Newark in the North Division.

Senior guard Courtney Nelson (Newark, NJ / Bloomfield Tech) posted a game-high 24 points along with seven rebounds and five assists for the Pioneers, who have dropped back-to-back games and are now 14-4, 5-3 in the league.

Montclair State led 37-35 at halftime, but the Pioneers came out with an 11-2 run to open the second period. Nelson’s three-point play put WPU in front at 40-39 and he later scored four consecutive points as the William Paterson took a 46-39 lead with 15:06 left.

The Red Hawks would chip away at the deficit and moved back in front at 53-52 on a layup by James Williams ( Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow) with 10:27 to go. Robert Whetham (North Haldeon, NJ / Passaic Valley) would forge a tie at 56-56 with 8:19 left, but Siljee put Montclair on top to stay on the next possession as he connected twice at the free throw line.

Siljee then hit his biggest shot of the game with 7:44 to play as he drained a 26-footer to put Montclair up 61-56. Joseph Ellis (Newark, NJ / Newark Science) brought the deficit back to four with foul shots, however Sean Young (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) and Williams each had buckets and Siljee hit two free throws as the Montclair State lead was boosted back to 68-61 with 4:36 left.

A layup by Nelson with 2:41 trimmed the lead to 69-65, but Young came up with a huge putback and Siljee punctuated his career night with a three-pointer with 1:32 remaining as Montclair State led 74-65.

Freshman guard Ali Mix (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) added 15 points and five assists while Williams added 10 points as Montclair State shot 55 percent (28-of-51) from the field and outrebounded the Pioneers, 29-23. Young chipped in with nine points and five rebounds.

Gabriel Paul ( Hillside, NJ / Hillside) had 12 points and three rebounds for William Paterson, which got 10 points from Ellis. The Pioneers shot 52 percent (25-of-58) from the floor.

Both teams return to action on Saturday, January 31 with NJAC matchups. Montclair State host Rutgers-Camden at the MSU Student Recreation Center at 1:00 pm. William Paterson is at home at the WPU Rec Center in Wayne to take on Kean University at 3:00 pm