Jeffers Provides Spark as Women's Basketball Downs Rutgers-Newark, 64-41

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (1/19/11) – Sophomore forward Taylor Jeffers (Franklin Township, NJ / Franklin) provided a spark off the bench for Montclair State with 15 points and nine rebounds as the Red Hawks downed Rutgers-Newark, 64-41 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wendesday evening.

Sophomore Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) added 11 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and three steals as MSU moved to within a game of the .500 mark at 8-9 while getting its second conference victory of the season (2-4). 

Senior guard Jalessa Coleman (Pleasantville, NJ / Pleasantville) finished with 16 points, four rebounds and four steals for Rutgers-Newark, which was held to a season-low in points in the loss. The Scarlet Raiders, who have dropped two straight, are now 13-4 overall, 4-3 in the NJAC.

Each struggled from the field in the first half shooting a combined 16-of-58 (28 percent). Montclair State managed to gain control of the game with a 14-0 run after the Scarlet Raiders’ Anthonia Ajumobi (Roselle, NJ / Roselle Catholic) gave Rutgers-Newark a 12-9 advantage with 11:09 left.

Freshman guard Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) scored on a layup on the ensuing possession to start the run and tied the game at 12-12 with a free throw. Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) put Montclair ahead for good Towns converted twice more from the line for a 16-12 lead with 8:38 to go. Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) added a layup and Kelly a conventional three-point play before Jeffers wrapped up the run with a jumper in the lane as MSU led 23-12 with 5:48 remaining. 

Montclair State, which led 27-18 at the break, shot 9-of-31 from the field (0-of-8) from three-point range while Rutgers-Newark was 7-of-27, including 2-of-13 from behind the arc. 

In the second half, the Scarlet Raiders put up the first four points to trim the lead to 27-22 on a Kristen Venning (Clifton, NJ / Clifton) layup however Kelly answered with a layup and Michelle Montagna (New Providence, NJ / New Providence) finished off a fast break with another bucket as the MSU lead was restored to 31-22. 

Coleman’s layup with 16:20 left got Rutgers-Newark within 31-24, but the Red Hawks scored 14 of the game’s next 16 points to put the game away. Jeffers had four in the run and Ericson capped it with a layup for a 45-26 Montclair State lead with 9:18 remaining.

Ayanbeku added 10 points and eight rebounds for MSU while Towns, the NJAC Rookie of the Week, collected eight points, five assists and four steals. Ericson had seven points and seven rebounds with Alyssa Johnson (Cliffwood Beach, NJ / Matawan) tying for game-high honors with nine rebounds. 

Venning posted six points and four rebounds for Rutgers-Newark while Brittany Smith (Salem, NJ / Salem) grabbed nine boards.

Montclair State outrebounded the Scarlet Raiders, 53-37, including 23 on the offensive glass. 

Both teams return to action on Saturday, January 22 with league games. Montclair State is home for a 1:00 pm tip-off against The College of New Jersey at the Panzer Athletic Center. The Scarlet Raiders are down in Pomona, NJ for a 3:00 pm game versus Richard Stockton.