Men's Basketball Tops Averett in Messiah Tournament

Grantham, PA (12/12/08) – Sophomore guard James Williams (Englewood, NJ / Dwight Morrow) pumped in 24 points while junior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) added 20 points and eight rebounds as Montclair State posted its sixth straight win with an 87-76 victory over Averett University in the Messiah / Hampton Inn Tournament at Messiah College on Friday evening.

Junior guard Ken Dudley (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) added 19 points as the Red Hawks upped their record to 6-3 overall. Montclair State will face Baptist Bible in the championship game of the tournament on Saturday, December 13 at 3:00 pm.

It was another solid shooting night for the Red Hawks as MSU connected on 60 percent of its shots for the second straight game. Montclair was 32-of-53 from the field, including 5-of-11 from behind the arc while going 18-of-26 at the foul line.

Williams and Dudley combined for 26 points on 10-of-12 shooting in the first half as Montclair was 55 percent from the field in taking a 41-39 advantage at the break. MSU fell behind 19-12 with 12:30 to play, but went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to take the lead. Dudley started the run off with a bang as he converted the rare four-point play and added another basket as Montclair drew within 19-18. McCrae gave the Red Hawks the lead with a layup and a jumper by Ali Mix ( East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) put Montclair in front, 22-19.

The teams the forged five ties before Montclair opened up a 41-36 lead with 29 seconds to play as Williams drained a three-pointer helping the Red Hawks to a 41-39 lead at the break.

In the second half, the shooting got even better for MSU as it was 16-of-24 from the field over the final 20 minutes. Montclair State led 53-52 with 13 minutes left, but McRae scored four straight and a Williams’ jumper widened the lead to 59-52 with 11:35 to go. The lead grew to double digits and Sean Young’s (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) jumper with 5:31 to play gave the Red Hawks a 75-63 lead with 5:31 left. MSU would maintain its double-digit lead the rest of the way with Averett getting as close at 83-75 with 32 second left.

Young finished with nine points and seven rebounds as the Red Hawks got five assists from Dudley and four assists and six strals from sophomore guard Tom Bonard ( Westfield, NJ / Westfield).