The Montclair State University women’s basketball team entered the game ranked ninth in the country, but they fell 65-58 to Moravian College. This Nov. 30 game was the first loss for the Red Hawks, as they struggled to find continuity on offense.
Breaking from their usual habit of going down early, the Red Hawks got off to a hot start. A couple of steals and easy transition baskets ignited a quick 6-2 run in the first few minutes of play.
The team’s stellar play subsided in the following minutes, but the team was able to crash the offensive boards and play swarming defense to keep Moravian College in check. Montclair State notched six offensive rebounds, including one that led to a wide open three-pointer for junior guard Rachel Krauss.
The Red Hawks took a 17-12 lead heading into the second quarter. However, the team’s offense stalled despite receiving eight points and seven rebounds from sophomore forward Katie Sire, who scored only eight points total in her past two games.
Montclair State only made three out of their 18 field goal attempts. Further compounding their offensive problems, they were held without a basket in the final five minutes of the second quarter.
Montclair State took a 23-22 lead heading into halftime, but they saw their slight lead quickly slip away in the third quarter. The Greyhounds jumped out to an 8-0 run to start the third quarter. Meanwhile, the Red Hawks’ offensive woes continued, as they didn’t hit their first basket until almost four minutes passed in the quarter.
Montclair State’s defense usually keeps them in games, but they surrendered 25 points to Moravian College in the quarter. Moravian hit three out of four three-pointers and led 47-39 after three periods of play.
Even with all of their offensive struggles and a fourth quarter deficit, the Red Hawks quickly went on a 9-0 run to start the quarter and regained the lead. The team reasserted themselves on defense and forced five turnovers over the quarter’s first five minutes. Junior guard Zoe Curtis made a layup with 3:37 remaining to knot the game up at 52-52.
However, Montclair State made only one of their final nine shots of the game and eventually lost 65-58 to the Greyhounds.
Although the Red Hawks average about 68 points per game, their offense has yet to find its rhythm. The team has relied on the three point shot, but only shot 14.3 percent from three against Moravian. It was more apparent against a tougher team, but Montclair State struggles to find good offensive looks when their threes aren’t going down.
The Red Hawks still look like they are coping with losing two of their offensive stars from last year, as was to be expected, but it’s still early in the season. They are only five games in and have the rest of the season to work out the kinks on offense.
Montclair State will be back in conference action when they play at Rutgers-Newark on Dec. 2.