Daytona Beach, FL (12/29/11) – Senior guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) scored 21 points while junior forward Taylor Jeffers (Franklin, NJ / Franklin)
added 18 points and five rebounds off the bench as Montclair extended
its winning streak to five games, slipping past Widener University 74-72
in the Land of Magic Classic on Thursday afternoon.
Freshman Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ / Roselle Catholic) added 16 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots as the Red Hawks improved to 7-4 overall. Montclair will face Hamilton on Friday, December 30 at 10:00 am in their final game in Florida.
The Red Hawks trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half as Widener led 33-21 with 7:16 to play in the opening period. Montclair would chip away at the deficit and trimmed that Pride lead to 46-41 at the half as Sara Farrell (Marlton, NJ / Cherokee) connected twice from the foul line in the closing seconds.
In the second half, MSU would tie the game early as Tobie hit two from the line making the score 46-46 with 16:59 remaining. It would be one of six ties and nine lead changes over the final 20 minutes as neither team led by more than four points over the next 12 minutes.
Montclair trailed 63-60 with 5:07 to go however the Red Hawks scored the next nine points to take the lead for good. Jeffers tied the game with a three-point play and Ericson sank two at the charity stripe on the next possession to give Montclair a 65-63 lead. Michelle Montagna (New Providence, NJ / New Providence) followed with a layup before Jenny Malone (North Plainfield, NJ / Roselle Catholic) added a bucket as Montclair State led 69-63 with 1:57 to go.
From there, the Red Hawks would hit on 5-of-6 attempts at the foul line to hold off Widener. Montclair finished the game 18-of-46 at the free-throw line for the game, including 18-of-24 in the second half.
Ericson's 21 points gave her 989 for her career, leaving her 11 shy of becoming the 17th player in school history to score 1,000 career points.