Schenectady, NY (1/4/10) – Junior forward Sean Young (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) sank a pair of free throws with 33 seconds remaining and then swatted away a potential game-tying layup in the closing seconds as Montclair State won its fourth straight game edging Elms College, 65-63 in the opening round of the Sig Makofski Tournament at Union College on Monday evening.
Young finished with 10 points and four
rebounds off the bench as MSU (9-3) moves into the championship games
on Tuesday, January 5 where they will face Gordon in the title game at
Senior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) posted a game-high 15 points along with nine rebounds while sophomore guard Ali Mix (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) and freshman David McDaniel (Plainfield, NJ / Rutgers-Prep) added 11 and 10 points respectively for the Red Hawks.
Montclair State trailed by as many as seven in the first half, 16-9 as Elms' Juan Valerio hit from three-point range with 14 minutes left. The Red Hawks responded with a 10-2 run sparked by McDaniel who scored the first five points and then added a three-pointer to cap the run as the Red Hawks led 19-18 with 11:31 to go. But Elms regained the lead and pushed it to six points before MSU closed within 35-32 at the break.
In the second half, MSU quickly tied the contest at 35-35 on Ken Dudley's (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) three-pointer. Following two more ties, Montclair went ahead 47-42 as McRae scored on a layup with 13:32 remaining. The teams would battle back and forth the rest of the way and were knotted at 61-61 when Elm's Edgar Martinez scored on an inside bucket with 3:29 left.
After each team missed chances to take the lead, the Blazers went up 63-61 as Bryant Corcoran put back a missed shots with 2:10 remaining. Montclair answered right back on its next possession as Mix connected on a jumper for the sixth tie of the half with 1:42 to go.
Martinez missed on a three-pointer with 1:04 to play and McDaniel snared the rebound giving the Red Hawks a chance to take the lead. With the shot clock winding down, Young was fouled with 33 ticks left. He made both free throws giving Montclair State a two-point lead.
Both teams would misfire on their possessions and Elms had the ball with five seconds left. Coming off a timeout, Juan Maldonado went in for a layup however Young was there to knock the ball away preserving the win for the Red Hawks.
McDaniel added seven rebounds and four steals for Montclair while Dudley chipped in with nine points, six rebounds and six assists. John Byrne (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) had seven points.