Women’s basketball Aims to Claim Their Throne Atop the Conference

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Published January 24, 2019
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The Montclarion

The Montclair State University Red Hawks women’s basketball team has been off to an impressive start of the 2018-19 season. In the past 17 games they’ve played, the Red Hawks are 11-6.

Some of the impressive wins the Red Hawks had this season were coming off a 15-point deficit against Rutgers University-Newark on Dec. 12, 2018 by the score 56-52 and a 58-52 victory on Nov. 20, 2018 against William Paterson University. During this season, their record against New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opponents is 7-3 and they hold an 8-1 record at home.

Some of the well-known players from the Red Hawks who have taken more of a role to the team are forwards/team captains Alexa McKinnon and Dominique Wirsing as well as sophomore guard Kim Calloway. In the Red Hawks’ 58-52 against William Paterson, McKinnon had 19 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Subsequently, she had 21 points and six rebounds in the Red Hawks’ 62-58 victory against their NJAC rival Stevens Institute of Technology.

Wirsing displays her ability to operate and orchestrate on both sides of the court. Wirsing is averaging 7.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. Wirsing had an incredible performance on Dec. 14, 2018 as the Red Hawks defeated Brooklyn College with the score 67-50. She finished the game with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four assists. Another great, versatile performance from Wirsing was the Red Hawks’ 73-58 win on the road against Kean University, in which Wirsing had eight points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals on Dec. 1, 2018.

Finally, there comes sophomore guard Calloway. Calloway is averaging 9.4 points, along with three rebounds per game. Since Calloway has become more of a focal point to the team, she has brought big contributions of her ability to score the basketball. In the Red Hawks’ 75-60 win against Drew University on Nov. 18, 2018, Calloway had 17 points and nine rebounds. Likewise, against New Jersey City University (NJCU) on Dec. 5, 2018, Calloway ended the game scoring 18 points, going three of four from three-point range.

Additionally, Calloway has not only improved on offense but also defense. During the weeks between Nov. 20, 2018 and Dec. 1, 2018 while the Red Hawks were challenging William Paterson, Stevens, Ramapo College and Kean, Calloway averaged 3.6 steals per game.

Some new players that the Red Hawks should pay much attention to are freshman guard Rylee Mulligan, sophomore guards Julia Sutton and Taylor Brown, and sophomore forward Kaylee Bush. During the season, Sutton’s best performance was against Rutgers-Newark, in which Sutton came off the bench and scored a season-high 21 points. Simultaneously, Bush came off the bench as well and had five points, 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Throughout this season, Brown has showcased her ability to not only shoot but score efficiently. Behind McKinnon, Brown is the second leading scorer of the team, averaging 10.3 points per game. Not only that, Brown is second best on the team in three-point percentage, behind freshman guard Trisha Peterson.

Brown has had eight games with 10 points or more this season. Some of her best games were against Hunter College, in which she had 17 points and seven rebounds and against Drew when she had 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The Red Hawks have eight upcoming games left this season, splitting them evenly at home and on the road. Of their four home games this season, they face The College of New Jersey, Kean Unviersity, Rowan University and Rutgers University-Camden with their four games on the road being against Ramapo College, NJCU, Rutgers-Newark and Stockton University. Some key matchups will be rematches against Kean and Rutgers-Newark.

The roster is filled with exceptional talent, operated by a tremendous coach in Karin Harvey as well as her staff. Red Hawks fans have a lot of great things to see from their current and upcoming players. As presently constructed, the Red Hawks have aspirations to have another great season and to compete down the road.

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