Women's Basketball Holds Off Rowan for Fourth Straight Win, 62-58

Box Score

Montclair, NJ (1/21/12) -  Freshman forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, N.J./Roselle Catholic) and sophomore guard Theresa Towns (Morristown, N.J./Morristown) scored 15 and 13 points, respectively, to help Montclair State University hold off a late-charging Rowan University for a 62-58 victory in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game Saturday afternoon at the Panzer Athletic Center.

It was Montclair State’s fourth straight win and third consecutive in conference play in improving its season record to 12-6 and 3-4 in the NJAC.

Sloppy play by both squads dominated the first half as each team shot just 35 percent from the field with 13 turnovers apiece. The score see-sawed with five lead changes and four ties in the opening period. With the score knotted at 21-21 with 3:29 remaining, MSU closed out the half on an 11-5 run, including four points by Tobie and senior guard Jaime Ericson (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central), to take a 32-26 advantage into halftime. 

The Red Hawks held that lead throughout the second half, but not without some tense moments. Montclair State increased its margin to as many as 13 points at 45-32 with 11:32 left and seemed to have the game under control.
But Rowan, which suffered its sixth loss in its last seven games in dropping to 6-11 overall and 1-6 in conference play, never gave up. The Profs held Montclair State to just four field goals over the next eight minutes to chip away and close the deficit to one point at 54-53 with 3:14 left. Freshman center Kate Matthews (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the second half to lead the comeback. 

But Tobie and Towns combined to keep Montclair State on top. Tobie, who scored six of the final eight MSU points, scored on a layup to make the score 56-53. Matthews, who scored Rowan’s final five points, answered by making one of two free throws to close the gap to two at 56-54 with 2:40 to play. A steal and layup by Towns gave the Red Hawks a cushion again at 58-54 with 47 seconds left. But Matthews answered with a layup to make it 58-56 with 36 seconds.
After Tobie and Matthews traded points on a layup and two free throws, respectively, Tobie iced the victory with two foul shots with five seconds left on the clock.

Junior forward Colleen Kelly (Rockaway, NJ / Morris Hills) grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds for Montclair State.

Both teams resume play on Monday as Montclair State travels to Cabrini College while Rowan University visits the College of Mount Saint Vincent in non-conference contests.