The victory upped Montclair State's record to 17-7 overall, but more importantly 10-2 in the NJAC North Division. The Red Hawks kept pace with William Paterson as the two will meet on Wednesday, February 18 in Wayne to decide who wins the division title and the first-round bye in the upcoming NJAC Tournament. The loser of the game will be the No. 2 seed from the division and host a first-round contest on Saturday, February 21.Trailing 7-4 after a Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) triple, Jared Tactuk (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) would connect on back-to-back treys to stake Rutgers-Newark to a 10-7 advantage but Pflug would net a three on Montclair State’s ensuing possession deadlocking the game at 10.
With the game tied at 14 after a pair of Bimpe Fageyinbo and Tactuk baskets,Ayanbeku put Montclair back on top with a layup at 11:26, sparking an 11-2 Red Hawk run over the next four minutes of action.
A Youngor Kehleay layup followed by a Fageyinbo free throw would cut the Scarlet Raiders’ nine point deficit to six with just over five and a half minutes to play in the half, but Montclair would tally the game’s next six points to take a 12 point advantage at the 2:00 minute mark.
Shantanay McCaskill would pare the lead to 10 with 18 seconds left in the half before a Tactuk steal and layup at the buzzer trimmed the margin to eight entering the intermission.
Montclair State would wrestle control of the game early in the second half, holding the Scarlet Raiders scoreless over the first five minutes of the frame, while mounting an 11-0 run to take a 19 point lead.
Kehleay would end the Rutgers-Newark dryspell with a three at 15:03 before Fageyinbo converted a three-point play at the 14:21 mark to cut the lead to 44-31.
Down 16 after a three-pointer from Red Hawk freshman guard Jenna Totaro (Secaucus, NJ / Secaucus) , junior forward Renee Edwards (Montville, NJ/West Milford) connected on a jumper to spark a 9-0 Rutgers-Newark run over the next two minutes of action as the gritty Scarlet Raiders sliced the Red Hawk lead to seven with just over eight and a half minutes remaining.
But that proved to be as close as Rutgers-Newark would get with the Red Hawks outscoring their Scarlet Raider counterparts 16-10 down the stretch sealing the victory.