Women's Basketball Outlasts Rowan, 67-63

Montclair, NJ (2/9/08) – Senior guard Jessica Garrabrant (Denville, NJ / Morris Knolls) came within a rebound of a double-double finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds as Montclair State outlasted Rowan University, 67-63 in an NJAC inter-divisional women’s basketball matchup at Panzer Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.

Sophomores Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) and Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, MA / Randolph) each had 10 points for the Red Hawks who moved to 13-8 overall this season and 6-4 in the conference’s North Division. MSU has now won three straight against Rowan and leads the series between the teams, 33-30.

Sophomore forward Jessica Nimbley (Middletown, NJ / St. John Vianney) finished with a game-high 25 points and added nine rebounds for Rowan, which rallied back from as many as 13 down in the second half before falling. The Profs, who had a two-game winning streak snapped, are also 13-8 overall and 6-4 in the NJAC South Division.

Montclair State led 37-28 at the half and went up 13 early in the second period as Marianne McGovern (Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) finished off a fast break, making the score 41-28 with 19:18 remaining. Rowan then went on a 15-2 run over the next five minutes to tie the contest. Ashley Cieplicki (Haworth, NJ / Dumont) had seven points in the spurt while Nimbley had four, including a layup with 14:17 to play, that tied the score at 43-43. The Red Hawks answered with an 8-0 run of their own as Cristino scored the last four but the pendulum swung the other way as Rowan deadlocked the game 5-57 with 4:50 left as Michelle Lala (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Hills) connected on a short jumper. Freshman Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) then put Montclair up for good as she nailed two straight jumpers and Cristino threw in a layup as MSU moved back in front 63-57 with 3:13 to play. Rowan got within two twice in the final minute, the last coming with 40 seconds to go on a Nimbley layup for 65-63 MSU advantage, but Garrabrant hit from 10-feet inside the paint with 16 seconds for the final margin.

Pflug collected nine points and three steals for Montclair State while McGovern registered nine points and four assists. Ayanbeku grabbed seven rebounds for MSU, which was outrebounded 44-36 in the game. Cieplicki and Gina Catanzariti (Cinnaminson, NJ / Cinnaminson) had 14 and 12 points, respectively for Rowan, which committed 29 turnovers in the games. Catanzariti also had five rebounds and three steals for Rowan.

Both teams return to action on Wednesday, February 13. Montclair State travels to Wayne, NJ to face William Paterson University in an NJAC North matchup at the WPU Rec Center beginning at 6:00 pm. Rowan is at home on the same evening in a 7:00 pm. non-conference tilt against Trinity (C