The Red Hawks released a three-point barrage on Rutgers-Newark as they pulled away with a 62-50 victory on Jan. 27. Sophomore Erica Snow and junior Rachel Krauss combined to shoot 8-14 from three and provided over a third of the team’s total points.
Montclair State had as bad of a start to the first quarter as a team could have. The Scarlet Raiders jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead and turned the ball over on five of their first eight possessions. Head coach Karin Harvey went to the bench early to get something going on either end of the floor and subbed in Snow less than five minutes into the first quarter.
Snow immediately drained a three on the ensuing offensive possession. Krauss followed up with a three of her own to cut the score to 11-6. Sophomore Katie Sire made a layup after a steal by sophomore Kate Tobie and narrowed the lead to two. In under two minutes, the Red Hawks put their slow start behind them and got back on track.
Since the injury to senior Kayla Ceballos, Snow’s increase in minutes has been coupled with a larger role on the team. She scored over 10 points for the first time in her career two games ago, but she put forward her most impactful performance to date.
When the game was close and the Red Hawks were slipping on offense in the third quarter, Snow nailed a three and gave the team a spark. Snow came up huge again in the fourth quarter with back-to-back threes to put the game nearly out of reach.
“She’s such a good basketball player and really, really smart,” Harvey said. “She points out stuff to me that I don’t even see. She’s a tremendous shooter and she’s really worked on her defense and there’s not another player that I would be happier for.”
Krauss hit just as many threes as Snow and it’s clear that the team gets energized when they get on a roll from behind the three-point line.
The Red Hawks sometimes looked lackadaisical on defense and often left Harvey bewildered on the sidelines. For the most part, however, the team put together sequences of strong defensive play when they needed to. They held the Scarlet Raiders to 28 percent from the field in the second half and played smothering defense that is more typical of Montclair State basketball.
The Red Hawks lost their previous game to Kean University and missed their final eight shots of the contest. Their victory over Rutgers-Newark was different, as the team grew stronger as the fourth quarter came to a close.
“They did a really good job of staying together,” associate head coach Courtney Cunningham said after the game. “[At] any break of play, they brought it in and made sure to talk and stay positive. Shots started to fall, we started getting stops and I thought we did a really good job.”
he Red Hawks will be back in action on Jan. 30 against Ramapo College and have seven games remaining in the regular season.