Jersey City, NJ (2/14/11) – Senior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, Mass./Randolph), the NJAC Player of the Week, came up with another huge performance scoring 13 points and adding 15 rebounds as Montclair State kept its NJAC Tournament hopes alive with a 67-31 rout of New Jersey City University at the John J. Moore Athletic Center on Monday evening.
Junior Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central), sophomore Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) and freshmen Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) and Sara Kelley (Newtown, CT / Newtown) each added 10 points as the Red Hawks moved into a tie with Ramapo for the third and final spot out of the North Division with the win. Montclair (12-12 overall) is now 5-7 in the league tied with the Roadrunners, who fell to No. 23 William Paterson at home 60-55 on Monday.
The results now set up the scenario for Wednesday, February 16 as MSU squares off against NJCU at the Panzer Athletic Center while Ramapo visits the Pioneers in Wayne with both games tipping off at 6:00 pm. A win by Montclair, coupled with a loss by the Roadrunners would put MSU into the league tournament which gets underway on Saturday, February 19. However, if Ramapo were to upset WPU or Montclair falter versus the Gothic Knights, the Roadrunners would grab the final spot along with Rutgers-Newark, which completed its schedule at 6-7.
Should all three teams finished tied at 6-7, the Red Hawks would also be eliminated by the league tiebreaking procedures.
Montclair State trailed in the early going and was down 4-2 with 13:14 remaining when it went on a 14-0 run to take control. Kelly tied the score with a jumper and Ayanbeku added a layup for a 6-4 Red Hawk advantage. Kelley drilled back-to-back three-pointers to boost the lead to 12-8 before Kelly's second bucket in the spurt put MSU in front by six. Towns finished off the run converting a layup off the fast break as Montclair was up 16-4 with nine minutes left in the opening period.
The Gothic Knights would counter with a 10-3 run to pull within 19-14, however Michelle Montagna (New Providence, NJ / New Providence) connected twice from behind the arc as Montclair took a 27-16 lead into the intermission.
Montclair quickly widened its lead in the second half scoring 20 of the first 22 points to extend its advantage to 47-18 with 15:22 left. Kelly had six points in the run and Ericson five while Towns chipped in with four.
Ericson and Taylor Jeffers (Franklin, NJ / Franklin Township) each had six rebounds for the Red Hawks, which held a 53-35 advantage on the glass. Kelly, Towns and Ayanbeku had four assists apiece as Montclair collected 23 assists on its 28 field goals.
Wednesday's game will also be Senior Night at the Panzer Athletic
Center as MSU will honor its lone senior - Ayanbeku prior to the start
of the game. It will also be a "Pink Day" at the game as the Red Hawks take part in the WBCA Pink Zone initiative with money raised to benefit the WBCA's Kay Yow Cancer Fund.