No. 22 Montclair State Heads Into Holiday Break At 11-0 After Topping Mt. St. Mary, 53-37

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Newburgh, NY – The Montclair State women's basketball team closed out its pre-Holiday schedule on Tuesday evening and remained unbeaten at the No. 22/24 Red Hawks knocked off Mt. St. Mary College, 53-37 at the Kaplan Center.

Sophomore forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ, Roselle Catholic) finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, four assists and eight steals as MSU moved to 11-0 on the season, the second-best start in program history. Only the 1970-71 squad, which finished 12-1 had a better start as that team won all 12 games before losing in the season finale.

One of the nation's leaders in scoring margin at 29.7 points per game, had its closest margin of victory this season but managed to get the job done as they defeated Mt. St. Mary (5-5) for the second time in three years upping its record against the Knights to 4-6.

Montclair State jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first five minutes of the game before Mt. St. Mary battled back with a 17-9 run to get within a point at 20-19 with 2:06 to go in the first half.  Senior forward Taylor Jeffers (Franklin Township, NJ, Franklin) connected on a jumper and sophomore guard Janitza Aquino (Kearny, NJ, Kearny) converted a layup as the Red Hawks led 24-19 at the break.

In the second half, a layup by Nicosia Henry (Bolingbrook, IL, Bolingbrook) gave MSU a 31-21 lead, a double-digit advantage it would virtually hold the rest of the way. Mt. St. Mary would get within 33-26 with 12:41 left however Jen Kuczynski (Springfield, NJ, Jonathan Dayton) drained a three-pointer to push the lead back to 10 points and ignite a 20-4 run over the next eight minutes as Montclair built a 53-30 lead with 4:38 remaining.

Henry finished with 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals for Montclair State, which used another outstanding defensive effort to offset a tough shooting night as the Red Hawks shot just 32.3 per cent (21-of-65) from the field. Montclair forced the Knights into 33 turnovers turning those miscues into 29 points.   

Aquino had nine points while Jeffers chipped in with six points and a team-best seven rebounds.

The Red Hawks are now off until Saturday, December 29 when they host the MSU Holiday Tournament at the Panzer Athletic Center. Montclair State faces Washington College (MD) in the first game on Saturday at 6:00 pm with Widener taking on Vassar in the second contest at 8:00 pm. The consolation and championship games are set for Sunday, December 30 at 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm, respectively.