McRae, Backcourt Duo Lead Men's Basketball to Second Straight Win

Montclair, NJ (12/5/09) –  Senior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) scored 16 points while the backcourt duo of sophomore Ali Mix (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) and Tom Bonard (Westfield, NJ / Westfield) combined for 26 points as Montclair State won its second straight contest with a 66-44 victory over Kean University in an NJAC inter-divisional matchup at the Panzer Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Hawks shot a solid 59 percent in the first half as they improved to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in the NJAC.

Senior forward Rodlin Pierre (Orange, NJ / West Orange) had 10 points and six rebounds to lead the Cougars, who suffered their third loss in their last four contests. Kean is now 3-3 overall, 1-1 in the NJAC.

Bonard sparked MSU off the bench as he scored 10 of his points in the first half sinking all four attempts, including 2-of-2 from behind the arc.  A close contest  through the first eight minutes, Kean took a 10-9 lead as Vinnie Darpino (Colonia, NJ / Colonia) hit a pair of free throws. But Montclair State countered with a 7-0 run as McRae finished off a fast break for two to put the Red Hawks in front. Mix sank two from the line and Bonard buried a three-pointer as MSU led 16-10 with 10:29 to play.

A three by Kean cut the lead back to three points, however Montclair scored the next 10 to widen its advantage. McRae hit from three to start things off and Mix added a layup before Bonard tallied the final five points as Montclair led 26-13 with 7:48 to play. Sophomore guard Chris Vitulano (Glen Ridge, NJ / Glen Ridge) would convert a four-point play as he hit the three and ensuing foul shot to give Montclair a 34-18 lead as the Red Hawks went into the locker room up 36-18.

Montclair went 13-of-22 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from three-point range in the first half.

Junior forward Sean Young (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) had eight points for MSU with Vitulano finishing with six. Mix added five assists and four steals to his game while sophomore Paul Siljee (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) grabbed a team-high five rebounds.

Dean Hughes (Pemberton, NJ / Pemberton Township) had seven points and five rebounds off the bench for the Cougars with Darpino adding six points.

Both teams return to action with NJAC contests. Montclair State hosts Ramapo College on Tuesday, December 8 at the Panzer Athletic Center with tipoff time of 7:00 pm. Kean is on the road at Rowan the following evening (December 9) at 7:00 pm.