On Wednesday night, Montclair State University Women’s Basketball suffered a tough loss against Ramapo College, leading to the team’s elimination from the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament. The Red Hawks battled throughout but were outlasted by the Roadrunners 72-53 on senior night.
Although Montclair State wanted a different result, it was a special night as seniors Kendall Hodges, Megan Duffy, Mahogany Worsely-Wooten and graduate student Teresa Wolak were honored pre-game.
Junior guard Lyndsey Ross noted after the game that the team gave it their all.
”We played hard, our effort was there, we hustled,” Ross said.
Montclair State had a very challenging start to this game, trailing by 9 points before scoring. The Roadrunners effortlessly sank shots, while the Red Hawks struggled to get into any sort of rhythm, falling behind by as many as 15 points in the first quarter.
Freshman Amanda Castro, who scored 13 points, emphasized the team’s defense is the major issue.
“I feel like sometimes we don’t stick to our game plan,” Castro said. “It is more about executing on defense. We need to get stops to be able to continue on the offensive end, so it is definitely a defensive issue that prevented us from pulling out the win.”
The second quarter was not much better for the Red Hawks. The team continued to trail behind however, they managed to put up significantly more points in this quarter, 14, compared to just eight in the first. Despite never taking the lead, the Red Hawks showed spirit and fought to stay in the game.
After being down 33-22 at the half, Montclair State continued to chip away at Ramapo’s lead during the third quarter. The Red Hawks capitalized on the absence of Ramapo’s star player, senior Jada Thompson, who exited the game in the second quarter and did not return after limping off of the court.
Slowly but surely, the Red Hawk’s efforts began to pay off. At the end of the third quarter, sophomore Alexis Strollo hit a pivotal three-pointer at the buzzer from deep range and cut the Roadrunner’s lead to just 8 points.
Montclair State lost their momentum shortly after the start of the fourth quarter. Things began to fall apart quite quickly, as their defense conceded 24 points in the quarter alone. Despite their best efforts, Montclair State has now lost four of its last six meetings against Ramapo.
On top of it being senior night it was also National Girls & Women in Sports Day.
“I think that women growing in sports is amazing! I look up to a lot of WNBA players, college players, Caitlin Clark and all of them,” Castro said. “They’re great idols for us, and I think it’s going to grow and grow, and we’re going to get stronger and stronger.”
With a current record of 8-15, the Red Hawks hope to finish the season strong with two games remaining, first against Kean University on Saturday, Feb. 10 and Rowan University on Wednesday, Feb. 14.