Hackettstown, NJ (11/27/10) – Senior guard Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second half as Montclair State stormed past Centenary College for its third straight victory, topping the Cyclones 89-74 on Saturday afternoon.
Junior forward Andrew August (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) posted a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds as the Red Hawks are now 3-1.
Montclair State shot 53 percent in the first half, yet found themselves down one at the break. MSU grabbed a nine-point lead at 33-24 with 5:56 to play as August sank a pair of free throws. But the Cyclones closed out the half with a 13-3 run, including 11 straight points as Centenary led 37-36 at the half.
The two teams would continue their back and forth play into the second half with four ties and seven lead changes through the first eight minutes. The Cyclones' Corey Kearney hit a layup with 12:20 left to force a 54-54 tie but A. J. Larkin (Passaic, NJ / St. Mary's (Rutherford)) buried a three-pointer on the next possession to give Montclair State the lead for good.
Tyrone Prewitt (Trenton, NJ / Trenton) scored on a layup with 9:14 to go to extend MSU's lead to nine points at 65-56 with 8:37 remaining and two free throws by Larkin with 5:10 remaining pushed the Red Hawks' lead into double digits at 73-62.
Freeney finished 10-of-18 from field and added two rebounds and two assists. August was 5-of-9 from the floor and 11-of-13 at the free throw line as MSU shot a sizzling 19-of-22 (86 percent) at the charity stripe in the second half. Montclair was 28-of-34 overall and shots 29-of-56 (52 percent) from the field.
Larkin added 16 points, five rebounds and six assists with Prewitt collecting 12 points and five rebounds off the bench.
The Red Hawks return to action on Wednesday, December 1 as they open up New Jersey Athletic Conference play against local rival William Paterson. Tip-off at the WPU Rec Center in Wayne is scheduled for 8:00 pm.