Fiore Collects 200th Win at MSU at Men's Basketball Edges William Paterson, 50-47

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (2/2/11) – Senior guard Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) floated in a jumper from the right side with 17 seconds left the provided the winning margin as Montclair State slipped past local rival William Paterson, 50-47 in a New Jersey Athletic Conference North Division contest at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.

Senior forward Tyrone Prewitt (Trenton, NJ / Trenton Central) scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds as the Red Hawks (17-4, 7-2 NJAC) won their fifth straight and gave head coach Ted Fiore his 200th career win at MSU

Fiore, now in his 13th season with Montclair State, is 200-121 since taking over the program in 1998 and is 351-231 overall in his 22 years as a head coach having spent the first nine at St. Peter’s College. He becomes the ninth coach in school history to win 200 games in a career and the second this academic year.  Ironically, football coach Rick Giancola reached the mark back in November with his 200th win against the Pioneers. Fiore joins Giancola, baseball coaches Norm Schoenig and Bill Dioguardi, basketball coach Ollie Gelston; softball coaches Anita Kubicka and Willie Rucker; swimming and diving coach Brian McLaughlin and wrestling coach Steve Strellner in the exclusive club at MSU. 

Junior guard Joey Castro (West Paterson, NJ / Passaic Valley) had 13 points and four rebounds for William Paterson, which dropped its second straight and fifth game in its last six outings. The Pioneers fell to 12-9 overall, 4-5 in the NJAC.

William Paterson led 20-18 following a defensive first half, before Montclair State regained the lead midway through the second period. From that point on, the two teams were never separated by more than six points and that lead came with 3:11 left as Andrew August (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) converted a three-point play for a 46-40 advantage. 

The Pioneers erased that deficit with seven of the next eight points in the game. Rick DeStefano (Marlboro, NJ / Marlboro) drained a three to cut the lead to 47-45 with 2:16 left and James Bryant (Spring Valley, NY / St. Patrick’s) hit two free throws tying the game at 47-47 with 1:28 remaining.

Prewitt was fouled with 1:09 left and made the first of two at the line giving the Red Hawks a 48-47 advantage. William Paterson called timeout on its next possession, but coming out of the break, the Pioneers turned the ball over with 45 seconds remaining. Montclair then ran the clock down to 17 seconds before Freeney drove along the right baseline and hit his jumper for the 50-47 lead. 

With no timeouts remaining, William Paterson pushed the ball up the floor. Castro got a look with seven seconds left that missed however Femi Agunbiade (Maplewood, NJ / Columbia) grabbed the rebound and flipped the ball back out behind the arc to Bryant, whose 27-footer went halfway down into the basket before popping out. Freeney grabbed the rebound as time expired giving Montclair State the season sweep of their backyard rival.

A.J. Larkin (Passaic, NJ / St. Mary’s) had eight points and four rebounds for Montclair State while Charles Miller(Linden, NJ / Linden) added four points and six rebounds off the bench. 

Gabriel Paul (Newark, NJ / Hillside) added 11 points for the Pioneers with Bryan adding 10 as William Paterson had three players in double figures. 

Both teams return to action on Saturday, February 5 with road contests. The Red Hawks head to Mahwah, NJ for a showdown with NJAC North leader Ramapo beginning at 7:00 pm in the Bradley Center. The Roadrunners (7-1 NJAC) are currently a half-game ahead of MSU in the North Division and already own a 75-66 win over MSU this season. William Paterson is also on the road in Newark to take on Rutgers-Newark at 8:00 pm in the Golden Dome.