After losing their 12-game winning streak last week against Rowan University, the Montclair State University women’s basketball team made a comeback on Saturday with a win against Stockton University on senior day, the last home game of the regular season. The team beat the Stockton Ospreys 75-52 and are now 19-5 overall and 14-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).
This matchup also saw the final game for senior guard Cerys Maclelland and senior forward Alex McKinnon at Panzer Athletic Center. They were both honored before the start of the game by their teammates, parents and coaches.
Both seniors ended their final game at Panzer on a high. McKinnon scored 14 points and nine rebounds and Maclelland with two points and 10 assists, a season total of 130 assists.
The Ospreys opened up the scoreboard 30 seconds into the game after a basket from freshman forward Ionyonia Alves. The Red Hawks were quick to retaliate, scoring the next 10 points. The first to score for Montclair State was freshman guard Nickie Carter, soon followed by a McKinnon jump shot. Carter had one of her highest scoring games of the season with 24 points, and her most three-point field goals made with four total.
The Red Hawks kept the offensive and defensive pressure strong and closed out the first quarter at 24-12.
Carter once again opened the scoring for the Red Hawks in the second quarter with a layup followed by a good jumper from junior forward Kayla Bush. Bush collected eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for Montclair State. Bush was honored with Montclair State athlete of the week after her great performance versus the Ospreys.
The Red Hawks went into the half with a 43-25 lead after Carter scored the last 10 points of the game, two of the baskets being three-pointers.
The third quarter saw the Red Hawks biggest lead of the night, 65-30, after a layup by freshman forward Saniya Myers. The team outscored the Ospreys 22-7 in the third quarter, who only managed to lessen the score deficit by two after a layup by senior guard Lajerah Wright.
McKinnon opened the final leg of the game with back-to-back successful free throws. A three-pointer for the Ospreys followed from sophomore guard Hailee Porricelli, who was the only Stockton player to reach the double digits in scoring with 10. With 1:38 left in the game, the last two points of the quarter were scored by Stockton – who tried, but failed to surpass the Red Hawks.
Red Hawks junior guard Taylor Brown also had a standout game for Montclair State, with 15 points and nine rebounds.
This win secured at least a tie for second place in the NJAC standings, with Kean University closely behind at 13-4 and Rowan in first place and 15-2 in conference play. The first round of the NJAC playoffs start Saturday, Feb. 22. It has not been determined who the Red Hawks will play in that round.