Men's Basketball Suffers Setback Against TCNJ

Box Score

Ewing, NJ (1/23/09) – The Montclair State men's basketball suffered its sixth straight loss on Saturday as the Red Hawks fell at The College of New Jersey, 96-72. MSU fell back to the .500 mark at 9-9, 2-6 in the NJAC North Division.

The Lions won for the seventh time in eight games shooting 59 percent from the field in the second half to put away the Red Hawks. Jay Frank (Brick, NJ/Brick Memorial) came out firing scoring 17 points in the opening half. The senior guard finished with a game-high 24 points, a career-high six steals, five assists, and five rebounds.

Junior Steve Siracusa (New Providence, NJ/New Providence) had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while senior Aaron Syvertsen (Midland Park, NJ/Midland Park) heated up in the second half to finish with 16 points.

The opening half was a see-saw battle, but the Lions walked away with a 38-33 halftime advantage. Despite the hectic pace of play, TCNJ only turned the ball over three times compared to 10 turnovers for Montclair State., who entered the game leading the conference in turnover margin.

After trailing in the early minutes, the Lions mounted a 15-2 run to open up a 20-12 lead. The Red Hawks responded rattling off nine straight points of their own to regain the lead at 21-20 with 8:29 remaining. TCNJ missed seven consecutive field goal attempts during the stretch, but Frank hit a pair of three throws and a running jumper to shift the momentum back in the Lions favor.

TCNJ opened the second half with 12 straight points and never looked back. Senior William Jett (Brown Mills/Pemberton) was electric after the intermission making his presence known all over the floor. The senior guard finished with a season-high nine points, four assists, and a career-high nine rebounds.

Freshman guard Brandon Johnson (Hamilton, NJ/Hamilton West) had a career-best nine points and sophomore Al Matlock (Trenton, NJ/Solebury) also contributed nine points off the bench.

The Red Hawks held a 39-37 advantage under the boards, but were snake-bitten by turnovers and suspect shooting from the free-throw line. Junior Rodney Freeney (Piscataway, NJ/Piscataway) led Montclair with 18 points, while senior Daniel McRae (Orange, NJ/Newark Tech) grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. Freshman Brendan  Holland (Briarcliff Manor/Trinity Pawling) was three-for-four from the field finishing with seven points and eight rebounds.

MSU will look to snap its losing streak on Wednesday, January 27 as they host Drew University at the Panzer Athletic Center beginning at 7:00 pm.