Tobie Tabbed NJAC Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year; Red Hawks Place Three on All-NJAC Squad

Montclair, NJ (2/21/12) – Freshman forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ / Roselle Catholic), an eight-time New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week winner, was tabbed as Rookie of the Year as well as landing a spot on the First Team as Montclair State placed three on the NJAC’s All-Conference Team released on Tuesday.

Senior forward Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) and sophomore guard Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ / Morristown) were chosen Honorable Mention on the 16-player squad. The three played an important part in leading the Red Hawks to a 19-7 mark this season, including a 9-4 record in NJAC and a berth in the conference tournament semifinals for the fifth consecutive season.

It is the second All-NJAC honor for Ericson while Towns collects her first All-Conference accolade.

Tobie became the fifth player for MSU to be named the league’s Rookie of the Year and the third to be named First-Team also in the same season. She joins Aidil Borrero in 1995 and Ebony Allen in 2003 as the only players in program history to hold that distinction.

Tobie was a model of consistency throughout the season and ranked as one of the top all-around players in the NJAC this season averaging 17.8 points per game and eight rebounds per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field and nearly 80 percent at the foul line (.798). She also has 53 blocks and 44 steals. In the 13-game conference slate, Tobie’s numbers were nearly identical at 17.3 points per outing and 79 percent shooting at the charity stripe. She connected on 48.7 of her attempts from the field and added 28 assists, 29 blocks and 27 steals as MSU finished second in the North Division.

Tobie began her career with 16 points and nine rebounds as the Red Hawks topped Scranton 57-55 in the season opener – the first win by MSU over the Lady Royals since 1991. From there Tobie would earn All-Tournament Team honors at the Eastern Connecticut Tip-Off which included back-to-back 20-point performances. She collected her first career double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds) in a win over Drew in December and later added 25 points in a win at Stevens in mid January.

Tobie then fashioned consecutive performances in wins over Cabrini and Ramapo scoring 27 and 32 points, respectively. She added 12 rebounds for a double-double in the victory over the Roadrunners and posted just the third 30-point game by a Montclair State player in the last decade.  The 6-1 freshman went for 18 points and 12 boards in a victory over Rutgers-Newark in early February and last Saturday collected her third double-double and ninth 20-point contest with 20 points and 12 rebounds as Montclair downed Richard Stockton, 76-67 in the first round of the NJAC Tournament.
Tobie is currently third in the league in scoring at 17.8 points per game and is also seventh in rebounding (8.0 ppg) and fourth in field goal percentage (.505) and free-throw percentage (.798).

Ericson is second on the team in scoring at 11.2 points per game and also averaged 5.6 rebounds in addition to 35 assists and 30 steals. Ericson has a double-double on the year coming against Widener University in the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona Beach on December 29 when she pumped in 21 points along with 10 rebounds and season-high six steals.

The all-time single-season and career leader for three pointers, Ericson became the 17th player in school history to surpass the 1,000-point mark as she scored 11 in a win over Hamilton College. Ericson currently 12th on the MSU all-time scoring list with 1,131 points, posted double-digits in points 15 times, including 19 in a victory over New Paltz in December. She had nine points and 11 rebounds against New Jersey City in a win on January 11 and scored 14 points along with five boards as MSU wrapped up the No. 2 spot in the North Division with a 61-49 win at Ramapo on February 15.

In the Red Hawks’ NJAC Tournament win over Stockton, Ericson had 18 points, 10 in the second half along with seven rebounds.

Ericson has connected 29 times from behind the arc which is second on the team and she is the only player in program history to record over 100 three-point field goals, including a single-season record 54 in 2011 and 160 overall.

Towns, named the NJAC Player of the Week on Monday, is right behind both players in scoring at 10.7 points per games along with 3.6 rebounds per contest and a team-best 61 assists.

Towns had the knack for coming up with clutch shots throughout the year, the first coming with 17 seconds left against Scranton in Montclair’s win on November 15. She would be named to the All-Tournament Team at the Eastern Connecticut Tip-Off Tournament scoring 27 points and adding six rebounds and six steals in the two games.

Towns scored 14 points as Montclair State downed Hamilton in the Land of Magic Classic on December 30 and averaged 15.5 points against nationally-ranked William Paterson and Kean on January 4th and January 7th.

Towns scored 17 points in Montclair’s win at Stevens on January 17 and last Wednesday netted a season-best 21 points along with five rebounds and five steals in MSU’s win at Ramapo. She then scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half and added four steals and three assists in the first-round NJAC Tournament victory over Richard Stockton.