The Red Hawks fall to a 2-4 overall record, as they were defeated by the Scarlet Raiders of Rutgers Newark. They now stand winless in NJAC conference play. With this loss the Red Hawks slide onto a two game losing streak, with both losses being by fifteen points or more. The beginning of this season has been full of obstacles for the Red Hawks. Starting from their first conference loss at the final buzzer against the Profs, to now losing their head coach, Ted Fiore, of fourteen seasons. After a long Red Hawk career, Fiore will not coach the rest of this season due to health related issues. Darren Rowe, assistant coach of MSU for 14 seasons is the interim head coach.
The game started with the Scarlet Raiders controlling the first five minutes of the game. At 14:20 left in the first half, freshman forward, Kevin McGorry, gave the Red Hawks their first lead with an elusive turn-around base line jumper. He went on an offense flurry as he scored 10 of the Red Hawks first 12 points. The Red Hawks fought hard to keep the game even, then took control again at 7:05 as junior forward, Daniel Singleton, hit a pair of free throws to make the score 21-19. This would be the last lead the Red Hawks would have for the night. In the next four minutes and five seconds, the Scarlet Raiders went on a 14-0 run to make the score 33-21. Junior forward, Michael Spencer, was fouled and snapped the Raider run as he went one for two from the line. His second attempt was missed, but the ball was tipped out to forward, Chris Torres, who drove to the basket and scored two. The score was 24-33 with 2:29 left in the first half. Just as the Red Hawks were gaining momentum, Scarlet Raider sophomore forward, Christian Garcia, scored another four points as he hit a free throw and hit a 3 pointer with seconds left on the clock. At halftime the Raiders led 40-26.
Down by 14 points the Red Hawks were motivated to make a run and take back the lead, they just needed to find a catalyst. They would find that spark in sophomore guard, Kenny Rubenstein, who erupted in the second half. At 17:18 after a Red Hawk made basket, Rubenstein was fouled after stealing the Raiders’ inbound pass, and he connected with both free throws. He then scored seven more Red Hawk points as he hit another pair of free throws, a three pointer, and a lay-up as he drove through the Raiders’ defense off a fast break. His scoring raid forced the Raiders to call a timeout at 14:10, and the Red Hawks were only down 8 points. With a Dwight Bostic lay-up and a pair of McGorry free throws, the Red Hawks came within four points with the score being 45-49. The Raiders were flustered but they did not back down. They then forced the Red Hawks into turnovers and bad shots which resulted in an 11-2 Raider run. Once again Rubenstein came up big, and hit a big step back 3 pointer to make the score 60-50 with 9:29 left in the game. The Red Hawks came within six points later in the half, but were unable to stop the Raiders from scoring. The final score was 77-60. In the second half the Red Hawks shot only 30 percent from the field, compared to the Raiders’ 60 percent. Raider players Christian Garcia and Al’Don Muhammad combined for 47 points on 66 percent shooting. Kevin McGorry was the Red Hawk leading score once again with 20 points, and Ken Rubenstein followed him with 15 points of his own.
The Red Hawks will take the floor again at Panzer Athletic Center on Wednesday, December 5th , where they will take on the Ramapo Roadrunners at 8:00pm. They look to snap a 2 game losing streak and to record their first NJPAC win of the season.