Fast Start Helps Men's Basketball Get Back on Winning Track, 72-53

Camden, NJ (1/14/12) - The Montclair State University men’s basketball team scored the first 18 points of the game, survived a mid-game scare and went on to defeat Rutgers University-Camden, 72-53, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game here Saturday afternoon.

Montclair State improves to 14-4 overall and 4-2 in the NJAC with its seventh win in eight games.

Rutgers-Camden falls to 2-11 overall and 0-5 in the conference with its eighth consecutive defeat.

The Red Hawks have won their last 10 games and 33 of the last 34 against Rutgers-Camden. They lead the all-time series, 43-8.

The Red Hawks placed seven players in the scoring column on their way to a quick 18-0 lead, led by six points from junior guard Ken Rubenstein (South Orange, NJ/Columbia).

Rutgers-Camden didn’t score until 11:03 remaining in the opening half when sophomore guard Woody Redding (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast Catholic) hit a three-pointer. Although the Red Hawks increased their lead to 22-3, Rutgers-Camden drove back into the game, holding Montclair State scoreless for the final 8:03 of the half and chopping the margin to 27-18 by halftime.

Rubenstein and sophomore guard Daniel Singleton (Neptune, NJ/Neptune) both scored six points in the opening half for the Red Hawks, while freshman guard Jamair Williams (Philadelphia, PA/Paul Robeson) had seven points for the Scarlet Raptors.

Montclair State shot 40.9 percent (9-for-22) in the opening half and Rutgers-Camden shot 25.0 percent (7-for-28). Both teams had nine turnovers and the Red Hawks held an 18-16 edge off the boards.

Rutgers-Camden scored the first four points of the second half on layups by sophomore forward Mike Payne (Trenton, NJ/Conwell-Egan) and senior guard Anthony Solano (Garfield, NJ/Wood-Ridge) to slice the deficit to 27-22, but the Red Hawks kicked into another gear, scoring the next seven points, including back-to-back three-pointers by freshman guard Dwight Bostic (Roselle, NJ/Abraham Clark). Rutgers-Camden never came closer than nine points (34-25) the rest of the way as the Red Hawks opened up leads as big as a trio of 24-point margins.

Senior forward Andrew August (Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater-Raritan) paced Montclair State with game highs of 22 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Rubenstein finished with 12 points and Bostic added 10 for the Red Hawks, who held a 40-29 advantage off the boards and shot 53.5 percent (23-for-43) from the field. The Red Hawks were 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) from three-point range.

Rutgers-Camden received 14 points from Solano, while Redding, Jamair Williams and sophomore guard Kyle Bowman (Camden, NJ/Collingswood) each added 10 points. Redding also chipped in with four assists. Freshman forward Joshua Stevens (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast Catholic) had a team-high six rebounds for Rutgers-Camden.

The Scarlet Raptors shot 32.2 percent (19-for-59) from the field and went 8-for-25 (32.0 percent) from three-point range.

Montclair State had 22 turnovers, while Rutgers-Camden made 16.

Montclair State is idle until Jan. 21 when it hosts Rowan University in a 1 p.m. NJAC game.