Men's Basketball Tops William Paterson in Key NJAC Matchup

Wayne, NJ (2/13/08) – Freshman guard James Williams (Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow) scored 16 points to lead four players in double figures as Montclair State picked up a key victory on Wednesday evening with a 69-61 win over NJAC North Division-leading William Paterson.

Sophomore guard John Byrne (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) added 14 points as the Red Hawks moved into second place in the league's North Division at 7-4 while going to 14-9 overall. MSU is a half-game ahead of Ramapo College and a full contest in front of New Jersey City and Rutgers-Newark in the division race.

The top three teams from each division qualify for the NJAC Tournament, which gets underway on February 26. MSU's also earned a split of the season set with its local rival as Montclair avenged a 69-59 loss to the Pioneers back on January 16 at Panzer Gym and also posted their first victory at William Paterson since a 70-66 triumph in the NJAC Tournament semifinals in 2003.

The win was also head coach Ted Fiore's 299th career victory. Fiore is 299-205 in his 19th season of coaching. Fiore is 148-95 in 10 seasons at Montclair State.

Chris McCann (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) added 11 and Tom Bonard (Westfield, N.J./Westfield) posted 10, while Ryan Washington (Edison, N.J./JP Stevens) collected nine points and 12 rebounds for Montclair State. 

MSU rode a 5-for-9 (.556) effort from beyond the arc for a 32-31 halftime lead, as neither team could build more than a four-point advantage during the first 20 minutes.  The game remained tight for the first 12 minutes of the second stanza, until a pair of McCann free throws and a Williams layup made it a 52-47 Red Hawk lead with 6:16 to play. 


Al-Basser Holloway's (Union, N.J./Newark East Side) jumper cut the advantage back to three, but McCann’s three-pointer ignited a 6-0 MSU min-run.  A Bobby Dunn (Garwood, N.J./Johnson Regional) trey and Ouedraogo layup pulled WP back within four (58-54, 3:17), but that was as close as the Pioneers would get.  Montclair State was successful on eight of its 10 trips to the free-throw line during the final 1:32, and made 21 of 28 (.750) free throws on the night to help secure the win. 


Each team had just 10 turnovers, but the Red Hawks were much more opportunistic, turning those mistakes into a 17-2 advantage in points off turnovers. 

Senior Joey Spiegel (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck) became the 26th member of William Paterson’s 1,000-point club after scoring the game’s first basket at the 19:08 mark.  He finished the contest with nine points and four assists.  Sophomore Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) had his ninth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds, adding a career-best seven blocked shots, and classmate Holloway had a career-high 12 points off the bench.

The Red Hawks are now off until Wednesday, January 20 when they host New Jersey City in another pivitol conference matchup at Panzer Gymnasium beginning at 6:00 pm.