Women's Basketball Takes Emerson Tip-Off Tournament

Boston, MA (11/21/09) - Junior forward Kisandra Ayenbeku (Brockton, Mass.) scored 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Montclair State University to a 75-51 victory over the hosts in the championship of the Emerson College Tip-Off Tournament held at Emerson’s Brown-Plofker Gym.

Ayenbeku led three Red Hawks in double figures and set the tone for a 45-22 rebounding edge for Montclair in the contest.

Emerson never led in the game and fell behind by as many as 19 points in the first half.  The Red Hawks used a 14-0 run to break open the game.  Five different Hawks scored during the onslaught as Montclair took a commanding 36-17 lead with 2:01 remaining in the half.

The never-say-die Lions came back, however, as they had the previous night against Hamilton when they rallied from a 21 point second half deficit for the victory.  Emerson scored 10 of the last dozen points in the half to enter the break down 38-27.

The teams essentially traded baskets throughout the first 10 minutes of the second half, but Montclair gradually pulled away down the stretch.  Emerson stayed within 13 points with just over five minutes remaining, but the Red Hawks finished the game on a 13-2 run and coasted to the victory.

In addition to Ayenbeku, Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, N.J.) had 15 points and Jamie Ericson (Flemington, N.J.)  had 10.  Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, N.J.) added eight points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Lauren Zaniboni (San Deigo, Calif.) led Emerson with 15 points  and nine rebounds.  Amy Sherman (Toronto, Ontario) added 11 points.

Montclair’s Jamilee Pflug (Clark, N.J.) was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player.  Ayenbeku and Cristino were All-Tournament team picks from Montclair.  Emerson’s Sherman and Olivia DiNucci (Pittsburgh, Pa.) were also selected to the All-Tournament squad, as was Reisa Asimovic (Sarejvo, Bosnia & Herzgovina) of Hamilton College. 

Hamilton defeated Suffolk University 80-59 in the consolation game.

Montclair State is now off until Sunday, November 29 as the Red Hawks head to Hoboken, NJ to face Stevens at 2:00 pm.