SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – After a 17-day layoff for the holiday break, Rochester's defense turned in a strong performance as the Yellowjackets defeated Montclair State University, 61-53, in the Puerto Rico Clasico on Tuesday afternoon.
Rochester entered the game ranked #21 by d3hoops.com and Montclair was ranked ninth. This was Rochester's fourth consecutive game against a team that reached the NCAA Division III playoffs last season. The Yellowjackets finished that run 3-1, losing to SUNY Geneseo in the semifinals of the Wendy's Classic and then claiming three straight wins: over St. John Fisher (for third place in the Wendy's Classic), at Ithaca, and now against Montclair. The Red Hawks advanced to the Final Four in the 2014-15 campaign.
The Yellowjackets improved to 8-1. Montclair lost its second in a row (8-3). The Red Hawks lost to Lebanon Valley College on Monday afternoon. Rochester plays Ramapo College on Wednesday at 1 p.m. Ramapo, like Montclair, is a member of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Three players hit double figures for Rochester. Al Leslie had 13 points. Kayla Kibling scored 12, and Lauren Deming added 10.
After Wednesday's game with Ramapo, Rochester has one more game before the University Athletic Association season starts. The Yellowjackets will host Hamilton College at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, January 5. (The men play RIT at 6 p.m.). Men and women open the UAA season at Emory on January 9. Rochester plays its first three UAA games on the road – visiting Emory, Brandeis (January 15), and NYU (January 17). The home UAA opener is Friday, January 22 against Case Western Reserve University.