Second-Half Run Leads Women's Basketball to Second Straight Win, 73-58

Box Score

Camden, NJ (1/14/12) – The Montclair State University women’s basketball team went on a 27-3 second-half run to turn a two-point game into a romp as the Red Hawks defeated Rutgers University-Camden, 73-58, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game here Saturday afternoon.

Montclair State improved to 10-6 overall and 2-4 in the conference with its eighth win in the last 10 games.
Rutgers-Camden, which lost its second straight game for the first time this season, fell to 10-4 overall and 2-3 in the NJAC.

Montclair State owns a 32-15 advantage in the all-time series and has won 12 straight games against Rutgers-Camden.
The game had five lead changes and three ties in the early going before Montclair State surged ahead with an eight-point run to make it 20-14. The Red Hawks took the lead at 16-14 on a jumper by junior guard Michelle Montagna (New Providence, NJ/New Providence).

Montclair State took a 39-30 halftime lead, aided by 18 Rutgers-Camden turnovers. The Red Hawks received 12 first-half points from freshman forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ/Roselle Catholic), while senior guard Jamie Ericson (Flemington, NJ/Hunterdon Central) added nine.

Senior guard Kristina Cox (Deptford, NJ/Deptford) notched 12 first-half points for the Scarlet Raptors, tying her career high. She finished up the game with a new career high of 20 points, while adding a team-high four assists.

The Scarlet Raptors came out in the second half and scored seven straight points, sparked by a three-pointer from Cox and capped by back-to-back jumpers from junior guard Alex Koutras (Washington Township, NJ/Washington Township).

The run cut the Raptors’ deficit to 39-37, but Montclair State had more than enough answers. The Red Hawks responded with a 27-3 run, including 11 straight points in one stretch, over a 10-minute span. The last two points in the run came on foul shots by freshman guard Janitza Aquino (Kearny, NJ/Kearny), making it a 66-40 game with 6:21 remaining.

Tobie finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and five steals for the Red Hawks. Aquino and junior forward Taylor Jeffers (Franklin Township, NJ/Franklin) each added 12 points, while Montagna canned 11. Ericson finished with nine points and added six rebounds to tie with sophomore guard Theresa Towns (Morristown, NJ/Morristown) for second on the team behind Tobie.

Towns also collected a game-high seven steals and five assists as she was a key cog in forcing Rutgers-Camden into 30 turnovers.

The Red Hawks shot 41.0 percent (25-for-61) from the field despite only shooting 12.5 percent (2-for-16) from three-point range.

Rutgers-Camden shot 38.5 percent from the field (20-52) and held a 40-34 edge off the boards.

In addition to Cox, Koutras hit double figures with 12 points, while freshman guard Lillian Chukwueze (Cherry Hill, NJ/Cherry Hill East) added eight.

Freshman center Rachel Hodge (Stratford, NJ/Sterling) collected a team-high six rebounds for the Raptors. Chukwueze and senior swingman Stephanie Deisley (Riverside, NJ/Holy Cross) each added five rebounds. The five boards helped Deisley pass the 300-rebound milestone for her career, lifting her to 301.

The Scarlet Raptors return to action Monday with a 6 p.m. non-conference home game against City College of New York.
The Red Hawks play a 7 p.m. non-conference game Tuesday at Stevens Institute of Technology.