Ewing, NJ (1/23/10) - The College of New Jersey women’s basketball team took advantage of their free throws sinking 26-of-31 from the charity stripe to secure a big conference win over Montclair State University 65-61.
The Lions used a balanced attack on offense as Hannah Tait (Staten Island, NY/Notre Dame Academy) drained five three-pointers to tally a game-high 19 points. Sophomore Jessica Imhoff (Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central) scored 15 points, nine of those coming from the foul line in 10 attempts. Junior Kelsey Kutch (Hilssborough, NJ/Hillsbourough) also had a solid effort adding 15 points from the floor.
Early in the opening half, a pair of Tait buckets from behind the arc got the Lions (11-8, 4-3 NJAC) toget TCNJ off to a good start. Meanwhile the New Jersey defenseheld the Red Hawks (11-7, 5-2 NJAC) to 7-of-25 shooting while forcing 10 turnovers to close out the first half with a 22-16 lead.
Montclair State, who entered the game leading the conference in field goal percentage (.448), responded in the second half as leading scorers Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA, Randolph), Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ/Colts Neck) began to hit their stride. Ayanbeku finished with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds while Cristino matched with 14 points, grabbed eight boards, and blocked three shots.
Tait hit a momentus three-pointer with 4:30 remaining in the game to put TCNJ up 52-44. From there, the Lions dropped in shot after shot from the foul line. Sophomore Katie Occhipinti (Warren, NJ/The Pingry School) hit 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch en route to notching career-highs with nine points and eight rebounds.Snior guard Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) had eight points, six rebounds and seven assists for MSU.
The Red Hawks return to action on Tuesday, January 26 as they head to Radnor, PA to face Cabrini College at 6:00 pm.