The Montclair State women’s basketball team closed out 2016 with a pair of dominant victories in Las Vegas, and the Red Hawks started 2017 with a 66-49 victory against SUNY Cortland on Monday night. Junior forward Katie Sire exploded for a career-high 29 points and also tallied six rebounds and five steals.
With Senior guard Zoe Curtis out with the flu, the Red Hawks were forced to change their starting lineup for the first time this season. Junior forward Yazmine Lacey received the starting nod. The first quarter was an offensive clash, with each team shooting over 40 percent from the field and over 60 percent from beyond the arc. Montclair State trailed 20-19 after the first quarter.
The Red Hawks’ hot three-point shooting continued into the second quarter, and junior guard Kate Tobie helped Montclair State regain the lead with back-to-back threes. Sire followed suit with two consecutive threes of her own, and she ended the quarter with a game-high 17 points. The Red Hawks lead 37-30 after the second half.
Freshman guard Cerys MacLelland – not guards Erica Snow, Kiarra and Tiarra Dillard – played the majority of the third quarter, and freshman forward Alex McKinnon started in place of Yazmine Lacey to start the half. Montclair State prevented SUNY Cortland from scoring in the first four minutes of the second half, and the Red Hawks outscored their opponents by a 15-8 margin in the quarter.
SUNY Cortland hit back-to-back threes to cut Montclair State’s lead to 56-48 midway through the fourth quarter, but then the Red Hawks scored six unanswered points. SUNY Cortland couldn’t get back into the game, and Montclair State ultimately won 66-49.
Sire started 2017 by scoring a career-high 29 points on Monday. Sire has been the Red Hawks’ best and most consistent player all season – averaging 14.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 steals per game – and she’s showing no signs of slowing down. Sire won’t go 6-8 from the three-point line every night, but adding a couple of threes every game gives the Red Hawks a huge boost.
Red Hawks Unleash a Barrage from Beyond the Arc
The women’s basketball team nailed a season-high 12 threes on 48 percent shooting against SUNY Cortland. Senior guard Rachel Krauss added four threes, and junior guard Kate Tobie contributed two crucial back-to-back threes in the second quarter. The Red Hawks are an elite defensive team, and their solid three-point shooting will make them a threat to go deep into the NCAA Tournament.
Rebounding is Not an Issue
Any early concerns about Montclair State’s rebounding have been erased with a string of dominant games on the glass. The Red Hawks outrebounded SUNY Cortland by a whopping 43-25 margin, including 17 offensive rebounds. The women’s basketball team has now outrebounded their opponents in seven consecutive games, and they have the second-best rebounding margin in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
The Red Hawks’ rebounding ability will be put to the test against Stockton University on Sunday – the top rebounding team in the NJAC.
Just before the end of the semester, the women’s basketball team participated in the Las Vegas Hoopla and dominated their opponents. The Red Hawks defeated Saint Mary’s College, 81-31, on Dec. 20 and Regis College, 70-28 on Dec. 21. Winning by a combined score of 151-59 is a pretty good way to close out 2016.
The Red Hawks will play New Jersey City University (NJCU) at Panzer Athletic Center on Jan. 4, and then Montclair State will go on the road to face Stockton University on Jan. 8.