Camden, NJ – Senior Zoe Curtis scored nine of her 12 points in the fourth quarter as No. 15/16 Montclair State outscored Rutgers-Camden by seven in the final period for a 76-72 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams on Wednesday evening.
Junior Katie Sire scored a career-high 30 points along with 10 rebounds and Rachael Krauss set a new MSU career mark for three-point field goals as the Red Hawks rallied from three-down heading into the fourth to improve to 23-2 on the season and finishing 16-2 in NJAC play.
The Red Hawks, who captured their fifth straight conference regular-season crown last week, will be the No. 1 seed in the upcoming NJAC Tournament and face either No. 4 seed Rowan or fifth-seeded William Paterson in a semifinal contest at the Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday, February 22 at 7:00 pm.
For the second time this season, the Red Hawks got all they could handle from the Scarlet Raptors (14-11, 8-10 NJAC). In January, Montclair defeated Rutgers-Camden 69-64 but Wednesday night found itself down 60-57 entering the fourth quarter.
Curtis would come up clutch with three consecutive three pointers to begin the quarter. The first tied the game at 60-60 and her second after a Camden bucket gave Montclair the lead with 9:20 left. The Raptors' Caroline Santiago put the hosts back in front with a layup but Curtis answered with her third three-pointer giving MSU a 66-64 advantage with 8:25 left.
Sage Bennett, who finished with eight points extended the lead to four points before Camden answered with five in a row for a 69-68 lead with 5:56 to go. Krauss drilled the last of her five three-pointers 1:32 later putting the Red Hawks back on top 71-69. It was the fifth three-pointer of the game and the 179th of Krauss' career surpassing the Montclair State career mark held by Janitza Aquino (2011-2015).
Gabby Greene answered with a three-pointer of her own vaulting Rutgers-Camden back into the lead but Bennett sank one at the line tying the game at 72-72 with 1:54 left. MSU missed a chance to go ahead at the line and the Raptors got the ball back with 48 seconds. Junior Kate Tobie then came up with a huge steal that led to a layup by Bennett with 24 ticks getting MSU the lead.
Rutgers-Camden had a chance to tie however a short field goal attempt was missed with six seconds. Sire iced the game making two at the line with a second left for the final margin.
Sire added two assists and two steals to complete her evening. The junior was 11-of-19 from the field and hit all six of her attempts at the foul line. Tobie recorded six assists, two blocks, four rebounds and three steals while Taylor Harmon chipped in with seven points.