Women's Basketball Snaps Skid as Red Hawks Down Gwynedd-Mercy, 72-66

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (1/13/11) – Senior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) scored 22 points along with nine rebounds while junior guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) added 20 and 12 rebounds as Montclair State snapped a two-game losing streak with a 72-66 non-conference victory against Gwynedd-Mercy College at the Panzer Athletic Center on Thursday evening.

The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, January 11 but was postponed due to the snowstorm across the Mid-Atlantic region.

Freshman guard Sara Kelley (Newtown, CT / Newtown) added nine points and eight rebounds as the Red Hawks moved to within a game of the .500 mark at 7-8.

Senior forward Kristy McGrath (West Chester, PA / Bishop Shanahan) led all scored with 24 points along with seven rebounds as the Griffins (7-4) fell for the third time in their last four contests.

Gwynedd-Mercy jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the first 2:41 of the games as Bryn Cotteta (Norristown, PA / Norristown) scored six straight points to give the Griffins the seven-point advantage. Montclair State would counter with an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. 

Kelley started things off with the first five points and a layup from Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown)knotted the score at 9-9. Kelley sank two from the line and Ayanbeku finished a layup as the Red Hawks led 13-9 with 14:18 to go in the opening period. McGrath snapped the spurt with a layup, however buckets from Alyssa Johnson(Cliffwood Beach, NJ / Matawan) and Ayanbeku three-pointers by Devin Feeney (Whippany, NJ / Whippany Park)and Ericson boosted Montclair’s lead to 26-14 midway through the period. 

Ayanbeku finished with 14 points and MSU got seven apiece from Kelley and Ericson as Montclair took a 38-27 lead into halftime.

In the second half, Montclair would built its largest lead at 53-35 with 14:30 remaining as Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) hit a short jumper in the paint. Gwynedd-Mercy would make a late push getting within 60-54 on Danielle Foreman’s (Philadelphia, PA / Archbishop Ryan) layup with 7:24 left. Ericson answered with a three-pointer to restore the lead to nine at 63-54. 

Stacey Judge (Philadelphia, PA / St. Hubert) would score with 69 seconds showing to make the score 70-64. Ayanbeku sank two foul shots with 42 seconds at the other end for boost the lead back to eight points. But the Griffins could not come up with a basket misfiring on five attempts inside the final 32 seconds. Cotteta accounted for the final points on two free throws with seven seconds to play.

Ayanbeku added three assists and five steals with Johnson registering six points and seven rebounds.

Cotteta added 13 points, four rebounds, six assists and three steals for Gwynedd-Mercy while Brittany Neill (Woodlyn, PA / Archmere Academy) scored 12 points, 10 coming in the second half.

Both teams return to action with non-conference contests. Montclair State travels to Glassboro, NJ on Saturday, January 15 to face Rowan University in an NJAC tilt at 3:00 pm. Gwynedd-Mercy is home on Monday, January 17 against Neumann University in a Colonial States Athletic Conference contest at 6:00 pm.