Women's Basketball Winning Streak Snapped by No. 24 William Paterson

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (2/2/11) – Junior guard BriAnna Lucas (Hamilton, NJ / Hamilton)  scored eight of her game-high 24 points as 24th-ranked William Paterson used a decisive 11-point run in the second half and pulled away from Montclair State for a 68-57 victory in a New Jersey Athletic Conference North Division matchup at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.

Junior forward April Smith (Barnegat, NJ / Southern Regional) had seven points and 18 rebounds for the Pioneers, who grabbed a tighter hold on the division race with the win. William Paterson (18-3) is 2 ½ games up on second-place Rutgers-Newark with four games remaining.

Senior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds as Montclair had its three-game winning streak snapped. The Red Hawks fell back to the .500 mark at 10-10 overall and 4-5 and third place in the North Division, a half-game back of Rutgers-Newark. The top three teams of each division advance to the NJAC Tournament. 

William Paterson never trailed in the game and built a 23-10 lead in the first 12 minutes en route to a 39-23 lead at the break behind  nine points from Lindsey Callander (Branchburg, NJ / Somerville), who connected three times from behind the arc.

The Pioneers’ lead grew to 47-27 with 14:51 remaining in the second half before Montclair State responded with a 12-1 run to get withing seven points. Freshman Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) started the spurt with a layup and Ayanbeku added six points, including a layup at 8:52 to make the score 48-41. 

But that would be as close as Montclair would get as Aysun Malta (Lake Hiawatha, NJ / Parsippany) hit a foul shot to start the 11-0 run by the Pioneers. Lucas added the next four points, and after a bucket by Tatiana Javis (Newark, NJ / Bloomfield Tech), hit four straight from the line as the WP lead was restored to 59-41 with 5:36 left.

Callander finished with 12 points for William Paterson while Kristine Jackiewicz (Quakertown, PA/ Quakertown) added seven off the bench. 

Freshman Sara Kelley (Newtown, CT / Newtown) added 15 points off the bench for MSU with sophomore Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) added four points, 10 rebounds, three assists and five blocked shots. Junior Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) had eight points, including a three-pointer – her 43rd of the season setting a new Montclair State record. Ericson, the all-time leader in three-point field goals, entered the game tied with Jill Schultz, who hit 42 from behind the arc during the 1997-98 campaign.

Both teams are back in action on Saturday, February 5 with road divisional contests. Montclair State is in Mahwah to face Ramapo at 5:00 pm in the Bradley Center. Earlier this season, Ramapo posted a 52-48 win against the Red Hawks. William Paterson is at the Golden Dome in Newark taking on Rutgers-Newark at 6:00 pm.