Red Hawks Knock Off Undefeated Roadrunners for 4th Straight Win

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Published January 16, 2019
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The Montclarion

The Montclair State University Red Hawks dominated the game in all aspects en route to a 74-40 victory against the Ramapo College Roadrunners. The game increased the Red Hawks’ winning streak to four.

Red Hawks forward Alex McKinnon finished the game with 14 points, plus eight rebounds. Also, Red Hawks forward Dominique Wirsing scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore guard Kim Callaway had nine points, along with an impressive number of steals with five to round out the stars for the Red Hawks.

Red Hawks started the first quarter with a tremendous step-back shot from guard Taylor Brown with 8:18 remaining. Later, Callaway showed remarkable defense by grabbing a steal, followed by her scoring a fast break layup. During the quarter, Wirsing showed some impressive footwork and skill with an excellent post move. The Red Hawks finished the first quarter with a 14-9 lead.

In the second quarter, the Red Hawks showed more consistency on the offensive side of the court. Red Hawks head coach Karin Harvey discussed their strategy on offense.

“We wanted to press them,” Harvey said. “In the first quarter, we took some good shots, but we didn’t capitalize. However, as the game progressed, we started making our shots.”

While the second quarter was proceeding, after the Roadrunners scored the first couple of points, the Red Hawks were able to have a 10-point lead after McKinnon converted a layup, plus an and-one with 7:02 left in the quarter. Earlier, Brown made another step-back shot, followed by a layup and an and-one from Wirsing.

Red Hawks pushed the lead and ended the first half to 16 with two consecutive 3-pointers from Callaway and freshman guard Rylee Mulligan.

Once the third quarter began, the Red Hawks continued to put their foot on the gas, as Ramapo College continued to struggle from the field, only making 20 percent of their shots in the quarter. A jumper from freshman guard Julia Sutton with 1:01 remaining in the quarter extended the Red Hawks’ lead to 26.

Montclair State benefited greatly from great defense throughout the game. Callaway explained defense is something the team values greatly.

“The defense is something that is a part of our culture and quite frankly wins games,” Callaway said. “When you make a mistake on offense, [it] is easier to have the next play mentality and get it back on defense.”

The Red Hawks finished the game by holding the Roadrunners to only nine points in the fourth quarter. While the Red Hawks were up 61-33 with seven minutes left, coach Harvey decided to rest the entire starting lineup.

Red Hawks freshman guard Kelly Smith came off the bench and scored six points. Smith would finish the game with eight points and four rebounds. In addition, Red Hawks freshman guard Trisha Peterson also scored five points by hitting an impressive mid-range shot, followed by a three-pointer with 1:09 left on the clock. The Red Hawks seized the victory, 74-40.

After the game, McKinnon talked about the team’s energy and rebounding.

“We focus a lot on rebounding in practice,” McKinnon said. “Our motto is to defend, rebound and run the ball, and by doing that, we know that is how we will get our offense. I think by us knowing how crucial that is for us, we try and make it a big focus in games.”

McKinnon and the Red Hawks used that same approach when they went on the road to challenge the Kean University Cougars last Saturday. Red Hawks won the game by the score 73-58, extending their winning streak to five.

In the game, McKinnon had a terrific and versatile game, scoring 19 points, five rebounds and four assists. Wirsing had eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Brown also contributed 13 points, six rebounds and four steals.

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