Women's Basketball Bumped From NJAC Tournament

Montclair, NJ (2/25/09) – Sophomore forward Tiffany Patrick (Piscataway, NJ / Piscataway) registered a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds and led four players in double figures as Kean University rolled past Montclair State, 76-55 in the semifinals of the New Jersey Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championship Tournament at the MSU Student Recreation Center on Wednesday evening.

Junior forward Cardiss Jackman ( Tobyhanna, PA / Pocono Mountain West) added a game-high 18 points for Kean which will face The College of New Jersey for the NJAC Championship on Saturday, February 28 at Packer Hall in Ewing, NJ with the winner grabbing the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship. Tipoff is slated for 1:00 pm.

It will be the third meeting of the season between the Lions and the third time the two have met in the title game in the last six years. Kean has won the two previous contests in 2002 and 2007. The teams split the regular-season contests with each winning at home. Kean bested the Lions 74-72 in Union on January 29 with TCNJ taking the second contest 73-61 on February 18, a game that gave New Jersey the South Division title.

The Cougars will also look to become the first three-peat champion in the league since Rowan University won four consecutive titles from 1996-99.

Junior guard Jackie Berry ( Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) finished with 13 points and four rebounds For the Red Hawks (18-8), who had their nine-game winning streak snapped with their second loss to Kean this season. MSU dropped a 67-59 decision in Union on January 24.

Kean also improved to 5-0 against the Red Hawks in NJAC Tournament.

The Cougars exploded out of the gate 20-6 lead in the first five minutes of play. Alysha Taylor ( Galloway, NJ / Absegami) drained a long jumper and Jackman scored four straight points for a 6-0 lead. Danielle Brown ( North Brunswick, NJ / St. Peter’s) connected for four straight points and Patrick drove the lane twice as Kean led by 14 points.

The lead would swell to 36-10 with 7:21 left in the half as Patrick connected from down low.

Jackman finished with 12 points while Patrick collected 10 and five rebounds as Kean shot 19-of-39 from the field (48.7 percent) while limiting Montclair to just 8-of-28 from the floor (29 percent).

In the second half, Montclair State would get the lead back under 20 points twice, the final time coming with 6:50 remaining as Berry converted a three-point play to make the score 60-41. But Taylor connected from behind the arc and Angelica Bermudez ( Belleville, NJ / St. Anthony) dropped in a layup as the Cougars boosted the lead back to 65-41 with 5:48 left.

Senior guard Ebony Jackson ( Newark, NJ / Shabazz) added 14 points and five assists as the Cougars dominated on the boards outrebounding the Red Hawks 52-29, including 19 offensive boards. Brown was the fourth player in double figures scored 11 points while pulling down nine rebounds.

Senior guard Marianne McGovern ( Fair Lawn, NJ / Paramus Catholic) had 12 points and three rebounds for Montclair State, which shot 34 percent for the game (21-of-62). Junior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku ( Burlington, MA / Randolph) had eight points, six rebounds and five steals.