Women's Basketball Falls at William Paterson

Wayne, NJ (2/13/08) – Senior William Paterson junior Asia Johnson (Wildwood, N.J./Wildwood) had 14 blocked shots, a total that tied for the third-highest single-game effort in Division III history, to help lead the Pioneers (17-5, 8-2 NJAC) to a 68-56 come-from-behind victory against Montclair State (13-9, 6-5 NJAC).

The Red Hawks led by as many as seven (33-26, 18:41) early in the second half, and held that advantage until the 11:20 mark, when Lori Custis (Roselle, N.J./Abraham Clark) drilled a jumper for a 43-41 Pioneer lead.  MSU responded with a Jessica Garrabrant (Denville, N.J./Morris Knolls) basket to even the score, and the lead changed hands five more times until senior Michelle Pellichero (Milltown, N.J./Bishop Ahr) put William Paterson ahead for good with a three-pointer (56-54, 4:38). 

That trey sparked a 9-0 WP run, and the Pioneers were 6-for-6 from the charity stripe during the final 35 seconds to erase any Montclair State chance for a rally. 

William Paterson broke open a 9-7 game with an 11-2 run as four different Pioneers scored, giving WP a 20-9 edge with 11:18 remaining.  But the Red Hawks answered, ending the period with a 15-3 spurt as Amy Bonk (Edison, N.J./JP Stevens), Jamilee Pflug (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) and Cynthia Warrington (Villas, N.J./Lower Cape May Regional) each contributed four points down the stretch to give Montclair State a 29-26 halftime lead. 

Johnson, the reigning NJAC Player of the Week, made her presence felt during the very first MSU possession, blocking three shots to give her the Pioneer career record (previous: 107, Bridget Brennan, 1993-97).  By halftime, Johnson had eight blocks. Johnson added 15 rebounds and eight points to her 14 blocks.  Pellichero scored a game-best 21 points to go along with five assists and four steals, while sophomore Elisa Brown (Norwalk, Conn./Norwalk) had nine points and six rebounds for William Paterson. 

Garrabrant led Montclair State with 15 tallies.  Kisandra Ayanbeku (Burlington, N.J./Randolph) added seven points and five rebounds off the bench. 

The loss dropped MSU into third place in the NJAC's North Division at 6-5 while the Red Hawks are 13-9 overall. The top three teams advance to the NJAC Tournament which gets underway on Monday, February 25.


Montclair State returns to action on Friday, February 15 as the Red Hawks host Stevens in the first meeting between the schools. Tip-off of the non-conference contest is slated for 7:00 pm.