#17 Montclair St. Knocks Off Kean in NJAC First-Place Battle, 75-58

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Montclair, NJ – Junior Katie Sire recorded a huge double-double performance with 27 points and 16 rebounds as No. 17 Montclair State bounced back from its first loss in a big way with a 75-58 win over Kean University at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday.

Junior Yazmine Lacey scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds off the bench for the Red Hawks (15-1, 8-1), who grabbed sole possession of first place in the NJAC with the victory while also sweeping the season series with the Cougars (11-6, 7-2 NJAC).

Kate Tobie registered a double-double for MSU with 12 points and 10 assists, her second contest this season with 10 or more helpers.  Zoe Curtis was the fourth player in double figures for Montclair with 10 points along with three rebounds and two steals.

The Red Hawks never trailed in the contest and took a 16-8 lead in the first quarter as Lacey scored on a layup with 4:06 left in the opening period. Lacey's layup doubled the lead to 20-10 with 89 seconds left with MSU settling for a 21-13 advantage after one period.

MSU methodically widened its lead in the second half with a 14-4 run over the first six-plus minutes. Sire and Lacey had four points each as Montclair led 35-17 with 3:23 to go before halftime.

Leading 37-25 at the half, the Red Hawks scored just four field goals in the third however it managed to maintain its 12-point lead thanks in part to 13-of-14 shooting from the foul line. Sire had four of those foul shots that helped Montclair State to a 56-48 lead heading into the fourth.

A basket by Marajiah Bacon, who finished with 31 points, got the Cougars within 58-48 however MSU put the game away with a 13-3 run capped by a Sire layup making the score 71-53 with 4:20 remaining.

Sage Bennett added five points and eight rebounds for Montclair, which enjoyed a 54-38 advantage on the boards. The Red Hawks were also 22-of-28 at the foul line compared to 11-of-19 by the Cougars.   

Montclair State is back in action on Saturday, January 21 hosting Rutgers-Newark at the Panzer Athletic Center beginning at 3:00 pm.