The Montclair State University women’s basketball team had several opportunities to seal a victory in their first home game of the season against the Ramapo College Roadrunners, but throughout the crucial moments in this game, the Red Hawks failed to execute.
After climbing back for an early first-half deficit, the Red Hawks would cap their comeback off with a three-pointer by senior guard Trisha Peterson to give her team a 59-58 advantage with just over four minutes to play. This team all had the momentum to win their first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game.
Unfortunately, the Roadrunners pulled out all the stops late in the game and ended with a 73-66 victory, their first victory against the Red Hawks in over a decade.
Before going into how the Red Hawks fared in their home opener for the season, one stat sticks out like a thorn, and not in a good way; Ramapo had 20 turnovers in the game, three more than the Red Hawks overall. Montclair State only converted 13 points from those turnovers, and Ramapo converted a sizable 22 points from the Red Hawks’ turnovers.
Throughout this game, multiple Red Hawks had more than one steal like junior guard Nickie Carter, wherein some of her fast break efforts, put on some fancy moves and created space for herself at the rim. However, it seemed like every time she had the perfect opportunity, the finishing result fell flat.
Peterson spoke on those missed shots and how they can improve going into their next game.
“We have a big game on Saturday, so these next couple days of practice, we are going to be doing a lot of drills,” Peterson said. “They’ll involve finishing, running our offense through and basically playing around the rim and finishing plays.”
Something else Montclair State could not execute throughout this game was shooting the ball, specifically shots beyond the arc. The Red Hawks shot 29% from deep, while Ramapo shot over 50% from three-point land, even with 11 fewer shots than Montclair State.
Senior guard Julia Sutton started the game with a deep mid-range jump shot and a corner three that went straight into the net. After that, the ball would only hit the rim.
For the game, Sutton went four of 16 from the field, and after that corner three in the first quarter, she missed her next seven three-pointers. Junior forward Trinity Stackhouse is not down on how Sutton played in this game but knows how special this team can be.
“Our team is so dynamic, that even if certain players can’t score or grab rebounds, other players on the team can contribute,” Stackhouse said. “And as a senior, Julia does such a good job at finding and understanding what certain players need and providing that; she even stays after practice and helps players with what they need.”
Someone else who had a stellar performance for the Red Hawks was sophomore forward Megan Duffy, who made her presence known in the paint throughout the whole game. In a Nov. 23 contest against Kean University, Duffy scored a career-high of 22 points, but in this game, she bettered herself right away.
Duffy ended this game with 23 points, posting up the Ramapo centers and finding ways to get shots up for the Red Hawks. After suffering a season-ending injury in the 2021 season, Stackhouse spoke on Duffy’s progression from freshman year to now, and how much she is contributing to the team.
“Duffy has continued to improve over the years, with last year being the [COVID-19] year, she didn’t get a chance to show her full potential on the court,” Stackhouse said. “But this year, she is proving that she is a hard worker and does so much for this team offensively.”
With the defeat, the Red Hawks drop to 1-4 and 0-2 in the conference. Their next game is in Ewing, New Jersey against The College Of New Jersey.