Men's Basketball Snaps Two-Game Skid; Tops Rutgers-Newark in NJAC Opener, 71-67

Newark, NJ (12/2/09) -- Sophomore guard Paul Siljee (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) had a game-high 18 points as Montclair State survived a horrid second half at the free throw line to subdue Rutgers-Newark, 71-67, in the New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for each squad in The Golden Dome. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak by MSU.

Siljee nailed the last of his four 3-point jumpers with 1:40 left to give the Red Hawks (4-2, NJAC 1-0) a 66-57 lead before adding a pair of free throws at 1:19 to push the lead to 11.  Montclair made just seven of 19 free throws in the second half while the Scarlet Raiders (3-2, NJAC 0-1) connected on 10 of 15 tries to stay in the contest.

Senior forward Phil Barnes had 11 of his team-high 13 points and nine of his game-high 14 rebounds in the second half for Rutgers-Newark while senior forward Deshawn Singleton notched 10 of his 12 points.

Sophomore guard Ali Mix (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) had 17 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals for Montclair while senior guard Ken Dudley (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) added nine points, a game-high six assists, five rebounds and three steals.  Freshman forward Robert Jackson (Carteret, NJ / Carteret) chipped in nine points and six rebounds.

Senior guard Tim Smith totaled 11 points, four assists and three steals for Rutgers-Newark while sophomore guard Greg Moore contributed 11 points by hitting three of eight shots from beyond the arc.

The Red Hawks led early minutes of the first half to the finish, but they nearly squandered a 16-point second-half lead.  A Singleton layup followed by back-to-back jumpers by Barnes and Smith trimmed the Montclair lead to 68-63 with 54 seconds left.  A pair of free throws just four seconds later by Dudley gave the Red Hawks some breathing room.

The Red Hawks are back in action on Saturday, December 5 as they return to the Panzer Athletic Center to face Kean University in a 1:00 pm NJAC inter-divisional matchup.