Montclair State University won a tough matchup against Rutgers-Camden on Saturday, Dec 2. The final score of the game was 72-70 as it came down to the very last second to close out the victory.
The Red Hawks were extremely confident out of the gate and went on an offensive tear to start the game. They went on a 10-3 run, taking Rutgers-Camden by surprise and forcing them to focus on a way to slow Montclair State down.
The visiting Montclair State Red Hawks took control for a majority of the first half until Rutgers-Camden closed out the half on a 10-2 run to even the score at halftime. Junior guard Kyree Henry and sophomore guard Samar Abdullah had it going early from deep range.
The score was even at 32 a piece heading into the back half of this one and at this point it was anyone’s game. Montclair State shot pretty well from the field, going a calm 13-33 which was about 40% in the first half.
Even though Rutgers Camden was down for the majority of the half, they still ended up shooting better from the field than Montclair State. However, it was not a significant difference as they shot 48% from the field.
The matchup was quickly turning into a classic New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game, it was fast pace and very exciting. Rutgers-Camden took an early five point lead at the beginning of the second half, but this would not last for long as the Red Hawks would not take this lying down.
Both teams were going shot for shot, possession by possession for about six minutes. Defense was not a factor until Rutgers Camden got their largest lead of seven points with 11:15 remaining on the clock.
Then the home team found themselves up by 10 at the 5:43 mark. Montclair State had a mountain to climb and time was not exactly on their side.
The Red Hawks responded. They brought a new level of energy and bounced back in dramatic fashion. They would go on 12-0 run just as they did to open up the game and it was closed out by a Henry three pointer which gave Montclair State the lead at 63-61.
Rutgers-Camden would not go away easy. Tying the game at 63 a piece with just under two minutes left. Montclair State needed something big again and they got it from junior guard Mike Jackson with a dagger three pointer that proved to be the difference down the stretch.
Montclair State would never give up this lead and would claim yet another win improving to 4-2 on the season. It was a great effort but there needs to be a few things highlighted that was key in the team’s success on Saturday.
Henry set a new career-high with 23 points and led all the scorers in the game, including seven three pointers. Jackson tallied 17 points and six boards leaving his imprint on the game as well. He has had double-digit points in every game thus far in the year.
Lastly, Montclair State forced a high amount of turnovers, recording 24 and those turnovers led to 24 points on the other end. Overall it was a massive win for the team and they are looking to keep the momentum going heading back home to play William Paterson on Wednesday, Dec. 6.