Men's Basketball Knocked Off by No. 21 WPU, 54-43

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (1/20/09) – Senior guard Joseph Ellis (Newark, NJ / Newark Science) scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half as 21st-ranked William Paterson clamped on Montclair State in the second half for a 54-43 victory in a New Jersey Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.

Senior guard Tim Lucas (Old Bridge, NJ / Old Bridge) finished with 12 points as WPU stretched its winning streak to 15 games improving to 17-1 on the season while maintaining their two-game lead in the North Division at 6-0.

Senior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) posted 10 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots for Montclair State, which dropped its fifth straight. The Red Hawks are now 9-8 overall, 2-5 in the North Division.

Montclair State led 24-22 at halftime thanks in part to 52 percent (11-of-21) shooting from the field. However the Pioneers limited the Red Hawks to just 3-of-16 to start the half. After MSU’s John Byrne (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) san a three-pointer to put Montclair in front 27-22, William Paterson ripped off eight straight points to take the lead for good.

Ellis scored all eight points in the burst, including the first four all from the foul line. He then added a three-pointer with 16:29 to go as the Pioneers moved in front 29-27 and hit his fifth free throw in the run put WPU ahead by three. Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) answered for Montclair State to make it a one-point contest, however Lucas countered with a jumper and three pointer and Shaun Canty (Englewood, NJ / Paramus Catholic) hit two from the charity stripe as William Paterson led 36-29 with 11:28 to play.

McRae, who finished one blocked shot shy of the Montclair single-game record, hit two free throws to get the Red Hawks within 42-34. But Lucas drained a three on the next possession and Eric Moore (Dover, NJ / St. Benedict’s Prep) followed with another the next time down as the Pioneers grabbed a 48-34 lead with 6:33 remaining.

Moore finished with 11 points for William Paterson which got six points, nine rebounds and four blocks from Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (Newark, NJ / Newark Science). The Pioneers also outrebounded Montclair 35-34 and shot 15-of-19 at the line compared to 6-of-9 by the Red Hawks.

Freeney had 12 points for MSU while Sean Young (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) collected eight points and four rebounds off the bench.

Both teams are back in action on Saturday, January 23 with NJAC contests. Montclair State heads out on the road for a 3:00 pm matchup against The College of New Jersey at Packer Hall in Ewing, NJ. William Paterson is home in Wayne to face Rutgers-Camden at 1:00 pm.