Women's Basketball Goes Overtime to Beat Susquehanna, 79-72

Selinsgrove, PA (12/12/09) – Senior forward Catherine Cristino (Farmingdale, NJ / Colts Neck) scored 17 points off the bench while sophomore Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) and freshman Rhonda Sharif (Cliffside Park, NJ / Cliffside Park) added 16 and 15 points, respectively as Montclair State snapped its three-game losing streak with a 79-72 victory at Susquehanna Unviersity on Saturday afternoon.

Junior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) recorded a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Red Hawks moved back over the .500 mark at 5-4 on the year.

MSU led 35-32 at halftime and scored the first basket of the second half to go up by five. However, the Crusaders would go on a 15-point run over the next six minutes to take a 47-37 advantage with 13:54 remaining. Montclair would trim that deficit to a point on five occasions before finally tying the game at 62-62 on a layup by Jamilee Pflug (Clark, NJ / Arthur L. Johnson) with 3:53 left.

A jumper by Sharif would tie the game again at 64-64 and after a Susquehanna basket, Cristino sank two at the foul line to forced another tie with 1:06 on the clock. Samantha Cartwright put Susquehanna back in front with two free throws with 46 seconds to go, but Montclair knotted the game for a fifth time as Jackie Berry (Tuckerton, NJ / Pinelands Regional) connected on a jumper with 36 seconds left.

Susquehanna would come up empty on its next possession and the Red Hawks had a chance to win the game. But Berry's attempt at the buzzer was no good and the game headed into overtime.

In the extra period it was the Crusaders scoring the first basket only to see Montclair rattled off the next seven points to take the lead. Cristino tied the game at 70-70 with two foul shots and Berry scored on a layup to put MSU ahead before Ayanbeku netted the final three points as the Red Hawks led 75-70 with 1:29 to play. Susquehanna answered with a bucket however Montclair got it back on the next possession as Berry scored for a 77-72 advantage with 53 seconds remaining.

The Crusaders turned the ball over and Ericson sealed the win with two from the charity stripe with 20 seconds for the final margin.

Berry finished with 10 points while Pflug added eight as MSU shot 87 percent from the line in the game, including 15-of-17 in the second half and overtime period.

The Red Hawks close out the 2009 portion of their schedule on Tuesday, December 15 as they host Mount St. Vincent at the Panzer Athletic Center in a 6:00 pm contest.