The Montclair State University Red Hawks women’s basketball team concluded their game against Rowan University with a 69-55 victory on Feb. 2. Red Hawks’ guard Kim Calloway led the way with 16 points, four rebounds and two steals. Red Hawks’ forward Alex McKinnon finished with 11 points and four rebounds while guard Taylor Brown had nine points along with six rebounds.
Meanwhile, Rowan’s Nicole Byrne had 13 points, as well as forward Ayanna Johnson’s eight points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
The Red Hawks have now won two consecutive games. They put their record to 14-8 overall, followed by moving their New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) record to 10-5.
The last time these two teams met was on Jan. 5 when the Red Hawks traveled to Glassboro, New Jersey and beat Rowan with the score 72-61. McKinnon and Calloway each had 17 points that game.
In the first quarter, the Red Hawks started off with a tremendous pace on offense. With 7:16 left in the quarter, after an air ball from a three-point attempt from Brown, Red Hawks’ guard Cerys MacLelland grabbed the offensive rebound and capitalized by converting a layup.
Later in the first quarter, after an incredible block from Red Hawks’ forward Kayla Bush, Brown scored on a fast break. At the time, the Red Hawks had a 13-4 lead by having an 11-0 run.
Rowan responded by three-form guard Olivia Rulon with 3:55 left, followed by a layup from Johnson. Rowan’s 5-0 run decreased the Red Hawks’ lead to 15-9. Late in the quarter, Rowan’s Byrne made a midrange jumper to put the Red Hawks’ lead to four. The quarter ended with the Red Hawks having a 15-11 lead.
In the second quarter, Calloway pulled up from behind the arc and converted a three-pointer with 8:42 remaining. Calloway discussed how the Red Hawks executed their offensive strategy.
“I think we all worked together as a team and took some of the best shots,” Calloway said.
After the three-point attempt from Calloway, the Red Hawks had a nine-point lead and an early 5-0 run. Midway through the quarter, both teams struggled to find some rhythm on offense by missing shots and turning over the ball.
With 4:20 remaining, Brown made a three-pointer to put the lead at 25-15 for the Red Hawks. At the end of the quarter, both teams scored from the foul line. The Red Hawks secured a 27-22 lead at the end of the first half.
In the first half, Calloway set the tempo with seven points and two steals. Meanwhile, for Rowan, Johnson scored eight points and seven rebounds. Rowan and Montclair State had problems shooting from the field. During the first half, the Red Hawks shot 37 percent, while Rowan shot 30.8 percent.
In the third quarter, the Red Hawks showed some urgency when Red Hawks forward Domonique Wirsing scored a layup, plus an and-one with 9:29 remaining. However, Rowan scored back-to-back baskets from Rulon and Dominique Peters to put the Red Hawks in the lead 30-28.
The Red Hawks scored five unanswered points from a layup by MacLelland and a three from McKinnon. The momentum gave the Red Hawks some spark and subsequently Calloway converted from downtown to put the lead to 10.
Throughout the quarter, things were going the Red Hawks’ way. Once Rowan called a 30-second timeout, Red Hawks’ guard Julia Sutton was fouled while making a layup and scored on her free throw attempt.
Following that play, McKinnon again hit a three from the corner to put the Red Hawks in the lead 46-31 with 4:16 in the quarter. The Red Hawks outscored Rowan 25-11 as the quarter concluded. Montclair State finished the quarter 55-37.
As the fourth quarter was approaching, Sutton gave the Red Hawks the largest lead of the game by draining a three to put the Red Hawks lead 60-39. Rowan showed some resiliency as the game was wrapping up.
Unfortunately, the deficit was too much for them to vanquish. Eventually, the Red Hawks would defeat Rowan to have their winning streak at two. The Red Hawks now have beaten Rowan for the second consecutive time this season.
After the game, Brown discussed her rebounding performance.
“We knew we had to come in today because Rowan has some excellent post players,” Brown said. “Coach [Karin] Harvey did a great job executing some strategies and thanks to my teammates.”
Brown also noted how the Red Hawks look to move on as they face other teams throughout the season.
“Looking forward, we’re going to come out and play with the same tenacity as we normally do,” Brown said.