The Montclair State women’s basketball team defeated the Ramapo Roadrunners, 57-46, and earned their sixth consecutive victory on Wednesday night. Senior guard Rachel Krauss scored a team-high 15 points and continued her hot streak as Montclair State won their second New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game.
The Red Hawks outscored Ramapo by an average of 26 points in two games last season, but things weren’t as easy early on in their first matchup of the 2016-17 season. The Roadrunners clogged the lane early on and both teams were locked in a defensive battle. Montclair State ended the first quarter with a 10-8 lead – despite shooting 37.5 percent from the foul line and 14 percent from beyond the arc.
The Red Hawks’ offense heated up in the second quarter behind seven bench points – four points from freshman forward Alex McKinnon and three points from sophomore guard Kiarra Dillard – and a pair of threes from senior guard Rachel Krauss. Montclair State took a 30-19 lead into the second half, and continued to build on their lead.
The bench, lead by junior forward Yazmine Lacey, propelled the Red Hawks forward. Lacey feasted on her opponents and tallied seven points and four rebounds in the third quarter alone. Montclair State scored 19 points in the third quarter and lead 49-31 going into the game’s final 10 minutes. The women’s basketball team didn’t look back and ultimately defeated Ramapo, 57-46.
The Bench Emerges
Montclair State’s bench outscored Ramapo’s bench, 25-15, and bench players like Lacey, Kiarra Dillard and McKinnon had some of their best performances of the season. Beyond their offensive contributions, Lacey and McKinnon pressed effectively and played solid man-to-man defense in the third quarter. The Red Hawks were less dependent on junior forward Katie Sire for offense, and their bench was a big reason why.
Krauss Continues Her Sharpshooting
After exploding for 24 points on Monday night, Krauss shot 50 percent from three and all 15 of her points came from beyond the arc on Wednesday night. Krauss’s shooting provides the team with a big lift, and she’ll look to continue her hot streak against Rutgers-Newark on Saturday.
Too Bad Lacey Doesn’t Face Ramapo Every Game…
Lacey had a breakout perfomance in which she nabbed eight rebounds against Ramapo last year and, on Wednesday night, she had her best outing of the 2016-17 season. In addition to her seven points and six rebounds, Lacey was a factor on the defensive end. Head Coach Karin Harvey pointed to Lacey as a player to watch for before the season, and Lacey’s arrow is definitely pointed up.
Stellar Defense Continues
The Red Hawks have held their opponents to 32.6 percent shooting from the field and 21.8 percent shooting from three over the first four games of the 2016-17 season. Both numbers are an improvement from last year, and Montclair State is shaping into an elite defensive team (if they aren’t there already).
The women’s basketball team will travel to face Rutgers-Newark on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.