Montclair, NJ (1/4/12) – Montclair State gave
No. 5/6 and unbeaten William Paterson all it could handle however a key
basket and rebound by the Pioneers’ April Smith (Barnegat, NJ /
Southern Regional) in the final minute ended the Red Hawks’ six-game
winning streak with a 62-61 loss at the Panzer Athletic Center on
Smith finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds while Floriana Borova (Cresskill, NJ / Cresskill) netted a game-high 22 points, including five three-pointers as the Pioneers improved to 13-0 overall, 3-0 in the NJAC with the victory.
Frehsman forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ / Roselle Catholic) and sophomore guard Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) each finished with 16 points while Taylor Jeffers (Franklin Township, NJ / Franklin) added 14 off the bench as MSU fell to 8-5 overall, 0-3 in the NJAC.
The Red Hawks, who trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half, rallied back to lead by two at halftime and then for a majority of the second half, including a 47-43 lead with 8:42 to play as Towns hit twice from the free-throw line.
The game would be tied four times over the next six minutes, including a final time at 59-59 when William Paterson’s BriAnna Lucas (Hamilton, NJ / Nottingham) made two at the line with 2:25 to play.
Towns regained the lead for Montclair on the next possession as she connected from short range on the left wing for a 61-59 Red Hawk advantage with 2:05 to play. Lucas then made one shot at the stripe with 51 seconds to make it a one-point game. Smith got the rebound on the second attempt and with 45 seconds to go Dana Jeter (Hamilton, NJ / Steinert) missed a three-pointer. Montclair got the carom however the Red Hawks turnover the ball over as Lucas made a steal with 40 second to play.
Off a timeout, Jeter fed Smith for a layup with 29 seconds left as William Paterson grabbed their only lead of the second half at 62-61.
Montclair State would get a chance, but missed two attempts in close. Off the second miss, the Red Hawks got the rebound and called timeout to set up a last chance. But the opportunity went by the wayside as MSU committed the last of its 22 turnovers.
William Paterson however left the door open as it missed both free throw attempts after being fouled with nine seconds to go but Smith was able to grab the rebound on the second miss to all but preserve the win for the Pioneers.
Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills)
had nine points, seven rebounds and five blocks for Montclair State.
Lucas had 12 points, three steals and three assists for William
Both teams return to action on Saturday, January 7 with home conference contests. Montclair State hosts No. 23 Kean University at 3:00 pm while the Pioneers are also in action at the same time against Richard Stockton.