Men's Basketball Battles Past Centenary for Third Straight Win, 79-66

Montclair, NJ (1/2/10) – Senior guard John Byrne (East Brunswick, NJ / East Brunswick) scored 14 points while senior forward Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ / Newark Tech) delivered another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds as Montclair State fought past Centenary College for its third straight victory, 79-66 at the Panzer Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.

Senior guard Ken Dudley (Willingboro, NJ / Burlington Tech) added 11 points, three assists and four steals as the Red Hawks, playing their first game in 18 days, moved to 8-3 on the season. Montclair State had been out of action since a 61-57 win over Scranton back on December 15.

Senior forward Ryan Kearney (North Arlington, NJ / Queen of Peace) had 25 points and 14 rebounds for the Cyclones, who have dropped four straight and are now 4-6 overall.

After playing it within three points of each other through the first 10 minutes, Centenary led 20-15 as Kearney drained a three with 10:09 left in the period. Montclair would respond with a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take the lead. Sean Young (Scotch Plains, NJ / SP-Fanwood) started the run off with a free throw and Dudley hit from behind the arc to knot the game at 20-all. Byrne put the Red Hawks in front with a short jumper from the left side and Chris Vitulano’s (Glen Ridge, NJ / Glen Ridge) 18-footer put MSU ahead 25-20 with 6:37 to play. Byrne’s three-pointer with five ticks left gave Montclair State a 38-30 halftime advantage.

McRae’s inside basket early in the second half got the Red Hawks into a double-digit lead at 42-20 however the Cyclones clawed back with a 12-2 run capped off by Corey Kearney’s (North Arlington, NJ / Queen of Peach) three as the lead was just 44-42 with 12:20 remaining. Again MSU would answer this time with an 11-0 run that boosted the lead back 13. Paul Siljee (Wayne, NJ / Wayne Valley) had four points and Tyrone Prewitt’s (Trenton, NJ / Trenton) put back gave Montclair a 55-42 lead with 9:49 left.

A free throw by Young gave Montclair its largest lead at 65-48 before Centenary made one last run getting the deficit to 67-60 on Ludner Innocent’s (Asbury Park, NJ / Academy Charter) foul shots with 4:13 to go. McRae would score the next four points and Ali Mix (East Orange, NJ / East Orange Campus) five straight as the Red Hawks went back up 75-60 with 62 seconds remaining.

Young finished with nine points while Prewitt added eight and six rebounds off the bench. McRae also contributed four steals and three blocked shots to raise his season total to 32. David McDaniel (Plainfield, NJ / Rutgers Prep) grabbed nine rebounds for Montclair.

Rob Urie (Ortley Beach, NJ / Toms River East) had 12 points for the Cyclones with Innocent (seven rebounds) and Corey Kearney (six boards) each recording seven points. Max Hughes (Nazareth, PA / Notre Dame Green Pond) chipped in with eight points and seven rebounds.

Montclair State returns to action on Monday, January 4 as they Red Hawks face Elms College in the opening round of the Sig Makofski Tournament held at Union College in Schenectady, NY. Tipoff of that game is set for 5:00 pm. Centenary returns home to Hackettstown to face King’s College (Pa.) on Wednesday, January 6 at 8:00 pm.