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Gutsy Win for Montclair State Over Hunter College

by Zachary Papenberg

The Red Hawks overcame Hunter College in a gutsy performance on Monday night. It was a tightly contested game throughout the night, but Montclair State University pulled out a narrow 83-79 victory.

The game started off with a bang for both teams as threes were falling at will in the opening minutes. Sophomore Shannon Hughes was responsible for all nine of Montclair State’s points at the beginning of the game.

Sophomore Shannon Hughes connected on seven three pointers in the win. Markell Robinson | The Montclarion

Sophomore Shannon Hughes connected on seven three pointers in the win. Markell Robinson | The Montclarion

Hughes’ hot shooting played a major role in allowing the Red Hawks to escape with the lead in the first quarter. She had 12 of the team’s 21 points and led them to an overall good start to the game.

However, unforced errors from the Red Hawks in the turnover department made it difficult to sustain a lead, and the Hawks of Hunter College were getting many fast break buckets. Most of those points were awarded to Hunter College’s sophomore Alexa Charles as she continued her dominant season finishing with 28 points and nine rebounds.

Charles was not only scoring on the majority of Hunter College’s possessions, but she also created her own opportunities on defense by stripping the ball from the Red Hawks on multiple occasions. Both teams were not having any issues with scoring on each other which made it a very close game heading into the second half.

Montclair State was down by five points going into the third quarter and they needed to be sharper when they returned back onto the court. Charles would pick up right where she left off for Hunter College in the back half of this one by scoring a jumper and tacking on another two points for them to open the frame.

On the other hand, the Red Hawks were not going to let Hunter College get too hot, and they answered back with important buckets of their own. Sophomore Madelyn McCrea would lead the way, coming off the bench and playing phenomenally in the low post.

Hunter College had no answer for McCrea down low, and she finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. The game was coming down to the wire as it was tied heading into the final quarter of play.

Montclair State was able to create a nice seven-point cushion, but Hunter College did not just sit there and take it. They would respond back and eventually bring that lead all the way down to only two points.

Toward the end of the game, the Red Hawks chewed up a lot of clock by playing keep away from Hunter College. The score at this point was 81-79 and with only about eight seconds remaining on the clock, it was truly a nail-biter.

Montclair State ended up winning the tough battle when senior Megan Duffy iced the game, sinking both of her free throws. However, the player of the game was undoubtedly Hughes after she dropped a career-high 26 points in the win.

Nevertheless, it was a team effort and that is what made this victory so much sweeter for the Red Hawks. They snapped their four game losing streak, improving to 2-4 on the season thus far.

Montclair State’s next game is against Rutgers Newark at home on Wednesday, Nov. 29. The Red Hawks will look to keep up this momentum and earn their third win of the year.

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