Montclair, NJ – Junior Katie Sire scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds leading four players in double figures as No. 8/11 Montclair State held off Rutgers-Camden, 69-64 at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday evening.
Junior guard Kate Tobie posted 12 points, six rebounds and 11 assists for the Red Hawks, who remained unbeaten at 14-0 (7-0 NJAC) following the hard-fought victory. MSU is now 41-15 all-time against the Scarlet Raptors.
Junior guard Jovan Childers had a game-high 23 points for Rutgers-Camden (9-5, 3-4 NJAC) which dropped its second straight game.
The Red Hawks fell behind in the first quarter 16-11 with just over three minutes to play before scoring the final nine points of the period for a 20-16 advantage. Rachael Krauss had a three-point in the run with Yazmine Lacey and Taylor Harmon each scoring three.
Sage Bennett twice game MSU a six-point lead in the second quarter and a layup from Lacey with 2:21 to go widened the lead to 32-23. Krauss added a three-pointer inside two minutes with Tobie finishing off a break giving Montclair State a 37-26 lead with 79 seconds to play before halftime. Cara Racobaldo and Bennett traded free throws giving the Red Hawks a 39-28 lead at the break.
A three-pointer by Krauss gave MSU its largest lead at 12 points, 42-30 early in the third however Rutgers-Camden chipped away at the lead getting within four points twice, the last on a Childer's layup with six seconds left pulling the Raptors within 50-46 after three periods.
Sire began the fourth with a three-point to give MSU some breathing room and the lead would go back to 60-50 with 5:39 remaining on a layup from Lacey. Trailing by 10 with four minutes remaining, Rutgers-Camden made one final charge. Childres drove the lane for a layup with 1:11 on the clock making the score 64-60. After a Montclair miss, Ariel Robinson hit with 25 ticks for a two-point contest.
Sire was fouled immediately and made her two free throw attempts pushing the lead back to 66-62 with 24 seconds. Childers countered with a layup four seconds later getting the score back to 66-64. Down three with the ball, the Raptors had a great chance to tie however Gabby Greene's three-point attempt rattled off the rim. Michelle Obasi grabbed the offensive rebound however Rutgers-Camden was whistled for a traveling violation with six seconds. Sire capped off the game with two makes from the charity stripe.
Krauss finished with 11 points and five rebounds for MSU while Lacey chipped in with 10.
Montclair State returns to the court on Saturday, January 14 in Ewing, NJ against The College of New Jersey at 1:00 pm.