The Red Hawks fell short in their home opener against King’s College on Wednesday, Nov 15. The final score was 42-36 and the Red Hawks have fallen to 1-2 on the season.
From the start, the energy was there for The Red Hawks on the defensive side of the ball as they held the Monarchs to one point during the first three minutes of the game. Senior forward Megan Duffy began the scoring for the Red Hawks with a three ball. Montclair State University ended the first quarter on a 6-0 run.
But the Monarchs got back into the game, as the Red Hawks could not get shots to fall, and had trouble turning the ball over with a total of 22 turnovers in the game. The Monarchs closed the second quarter with a run, scoring eight straight to the Red Hawks four to close the quarter. The second quarter came to an end at 16-16, a very close defensive battle from both Montclair State and King’s College.
Early in the third, King’s had a five-point lead as the Red Hawks continued to struggle on the offensive side of the ball. Then the Monarchs went on a 7-0 run to increase their lead to double digits.
But the Red Hawks would not give up, they showed fight and their heart by trading baskets with the Monarchs. Sophomore guard Isabella Orlando cut their deficit to just six with a layup heading into the fourth quarter. The score was 35-29.
Orlando led the team in scoring with 14 points, as she continues to have a stellar start to the season scoring in double figures for three straight games.
In the fourth quarter, Sophomore guard Shannon Hughes made a layup off a fast break which cut their deficit to just four. The Monarchs came back out with a couple of quick buckets of their own and it looked like they were going to extend their lead, but the Red Hawks would force turnovers and frustrate the Monarchs to stop them from scoring.
With 5:43 left on the clock, Orlando made a clutch three point shot to bring the game within five making the score 39-34.
With five minutes remaining the Red Hawks were down 39-36. Following a big steal by Duffy, who then passed to Hughes but missed the layup. Luckily, senior guard Kendall Hodges was there to grab the offensive rebound and dish it to Vero, who made a crucial layup.
The team had a total of 49 rebounds collectively, with 18 of them being offensive. Vero recorded a career-high with 12 rebounds, and leads the team in rebounds this season with a total of 32.
Although the Red Hawks hung around throughout the game, they were still having trouble making baskets.
“Sometimes, shots won’t fall,” Orlando said. “I think we just have to find other ways to adjust when our threes aren’t falling.”
The game ended with the Monarchs holding Montclair State scoreless, making the final score 42–36.
It was an extremely difficult and gut-wrenching game for Montclair State. The Red Hawks drop to 1-2 after suffering their second defeat of the season.
“We’re just going to come together as a team, and realize what we can improve on,” Orlando said. “Just come together and stay together through this, so that we don’t fall off.”
The Red Hawks play against Stevens University on Saturday, Nov. 18. The Ducks are 3-1 to start their season. It will not be an easy task for the Red Hawks, but look for them to have a bounce-back game against the Ducks.