Junior forward Katie Sire drove to the basket and converted a layup through traffic – and the game stopped. There wasn’t a timeout or injury. Instead, Head Coach Karin Harvey presented flowers and the crowd gave Sire a standing ovation as Sire became Montclair State’s 20th player to notch 1000 career points.
Sire’s accomplishment came as Montclair State’s women’s basketball team earned a dominant 79-53 victory over Stockton University on Feb. 4. With the win, the Red Hawks avenged their loss to Stockton five days earlier and improved their regular-season record to 20-2.
“I didn’t know I was scoring [my 1000th point],” Sire said in a postgame interview with WMSC’s Nick Flaherty and Anthony Fastiggi. “It wasn’t something that was on my mind all game, which I think is a good thing. It took my a second. When the buzzer went off, I didn’t know what was going on or anything.”
“It means a lot. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates these three years. I’m thankful for them,” Sire told WMSC.
Sire – now the cornerstone of this year’s team – started all 33 games in her freshman year for Montclair State in a season which culminated in an NCAA DIII Tournament Final Four run. Since that point, Sire has improved her scoring output each season and emerged as one of the team’s most crucial leaders since the second half of the 2015-16 season.
Saturday’s game marked Sire’s sixth performance of at least 20 points since the start of 2017. In addition to Sire’s 24 points and 8 rebounds, junior guard Kate Tobie contributed 17 points and 10 assists in the Red Hawks’ win over Stockton.
Montclair State found themselves down 9-2 midway through the first quarter. However, the Red Hawks’ press stifled Stockton and they responded with a 19-3 run to end the quarter. Montclair State’s momentum continued as they prevented Stockton from scoring in the first six minutes of the second quarter.
The women’s basketball team took a 40-18 lead into halftime. During the break, Montclair Athletics celebrated women’s basketball almuni day as several former players – such as Melissa Tobie, Kayla Ceballos and Deonna Overton – were honored at halfcourt.
Tobie assisted on Sire’s 1000th career point four minutes into the third quarter. Montclair State’s defense suffocated Stockton and the Red Hawks held a 51-29 lead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Stockton then went on a 12-2 run and shrunk Montclair State’s lead to 11 before the end of the quarter.
Stockton couldn’t shrink the deficit any further, and the Red Hawks ultimately won 79-53. Montclair State will be back in action against New Jersey City University on Wednesday, Feb. 8.