Montclair, NJ (2/15/10) -- Junior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, Mass.) scored 17 of her game-high 19 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Montclair State University to a 75-44 victory over New Jersey City in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest on Monday night.
Ayanbeku helped Montclair State (15-9, 9-4 NJAC) pull away from a 22-20 halftime advantage by scoring six points during an 8-0 run to start the second half. The Red Hawks continued the onslaught, outscoring New Jersey City (7-17, 3-9) 17-6 over the half's first nine minutes to give themselves a comfortable 49-26 margin.
Ayanbeku shot 8-for-9 from the field in just nine minutes of playing time in the second half following a dreadful 1-for-7 performance in the first half.
Forward Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, N.J.), one of the three players honored before the game on Senior Night, added 17 points and 10 rebounds for Montclair State. Cristino, one of 15 players in school history to score more than 1,000 points in her career, kept the Red Hawks alive in the first half.
Cristino scored 10 points in the opening half as Montclair State rallied from a 15-8 deficit to take the lead at the intermission. Sloppy play and poor shooting dictated the half as both teams combined to make just four of the game's first 30 shots and turned the ball over a total of 24 times.
Sophomore guard Ebony Cunningham (East Orange, N.J.) and freshman guard Ashley Freeman (Paterson, N.J.) topped New Jersey City with 13 and 11 points respectively. The Gothic Knights are still in the hunt for the final playoff spot in Conference's North Division.
The win closed out the regular season for Montclair State, which will now host either Stockton or College of New Jersey in the first round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday afternoon a 2 p.m.