Mahwah, NJ (2/6/10) – Junior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) poured
in a season-high 27 points, with 16 coming in the second half in
addition to nine rebounds as Montclair State pulled away from Ramapo
over the final 20 minutes for a 74-58 victory over the Roadrunners at
the Bradley Center on Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) added a season-best 20 points as the Red Hawks won their third straight improving to 14-8 overall, 8-3 in the NJAC North Division.
The Red Hawks trailed just four times in the entire contest as Ramapo held a 6-4 advantage with just over three minutes gone by in the game. Ericson would put Montclair in front to stay as she drained a three-pointer for a 7-6 lead and five straight points by Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) later on gave MSU a little breathing room at 15-8 with 13:36 to play in the first half.
A jumper by Ayanbeku put Montclair up 27-16 with 6:59 left however the Roadrunners scored the next 11 points to tie the game at 27-27 with 3:30 remaining. Ayanbeky connected to regain the lead for the Red Hawks and after Ramapo answered with a basket, Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) and Cristino each scored in the final minute as Montclair State led 33-29 at the break.
In the second half, after MSU got up by eight, Ramapo trimmed the lead back to 43-38 with 16:37 left as Brittany Hoffman scored on a layup. But the Red Hawks would respond with an 11-2 run over the next four-plus minutes capped off by Ericson’s jumper that made the score 54-40 with 12:13 to go.
Again the Roadrunners battled back trimming the lead back to 59-54 with 5:07 left on two free throws by Alexa Ryan. Pflug would answer from the line making two at the foul line to spark an 11-0 run as MSU raced to a 71-54 advantage with 52 seconds left.
Cristino added 11 points for the Red Hawks while Pflug accounted for nine points, four assists and four steals. Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional)
handed out seven assists for the Red Hawks who shot 56 percent
(13-of-23) from the field in the second half while also sinking
14-of-16 at the charity stripe. The Red Hawks finished 23-of-30 at the
line for the game.
Montclair State’s next game against 19th-ranked Muhlenberg on Monday, February 8 has been cancelled as the snowstorm that covered a majority of the Mid-Atlantic regional forced the Mules to make up a conference contest with Franklin and Marshall.
MSU will return to action on Wednesday, February 10 as they host New Jersey City University at the Panzer Athletic Center beginning at 6:00 pm. It will be Senior Night as the Red Hawks will honor Cristino, Berry and Kara Burnham (Moorestown, NJ / Moorestown) prior to the contest.