By Sean Martin, Assistant Sports Director & Upon Further Review Host
The Montclair State women’s basketball team received double digit point outputs from Kate Tobie, Katie Sire, Taylor Harmon, and Zoe Curtis on their way to a 55-48 win at home in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. For the second game in a row, with their last being the NJAC Championship game, MSU got off to a hot start.
Six first quarter points from Zoe Curtis set the tone for a 16-11 Red Hawks lead at the end of the first quarter. The SUNY Wildcats focused their defense on sharpshooter Rachael Krauss and sophomore Katie Sire, which forced Montclair to find other players to step up. Little did they know, this has been the theme all season long.
The veteran Curtis went on to score a game high 18 points, as Montclair State led 27-20 at the half. Just before the half, though, the Wildcats would seize some momentum that took them into the third quarter on a hot streak.
A 5-0 run by SUNY Polytechnic near the end of the third, fueled in large part to Stevie Ray’s second triple of the period, saw Montclair State’s lead sit at just 40-32 with ten minutes to play. To start the final quarter of play, the Wildcats run would continue until they were within one point.
Leading just 40-39, the Red Hawks desperately needed a spark. The offense had went cold, as Ray continued to keep her team alive as the Wildcats’ leading scorer. While she finished with an impressive 18 points to match Curtis, Zoe got the last laugh – sinking a three in transition from the corner at the 5:19 mark of the quarter to give MSU life.
The Red Hawks, from this point on, would go 8-9 from the free throw line to ice another thrilling victory at the Panzer Athletic Center. It was a familiar script for Karin Harvey’s squad, as they battled through foul trouble and other adversity to come out victorious and survive and advance in the NCAA Tournament in which the Red Hawks reached the Final 4 last season.
While the national semifinals are still well out of site, Montclair State will continue to take things one game at a time – picking right back up tomorrow night back at home against Albright.
Albright earned an impressive 76-46 win over Husson in the first game of tonight’s double header. Tip off between the Lions and Red Hawks will come at 5 right here on WMSC!
Here is Coach Harvey discussing tomorrow’s second round game:
Coach Harvey discusses tomorrow's game vs Albright in the second round. pic.twitter.com/vNnXBC4icf
— WMSC Sports #PackPAC (@WMSCSports) March 5, 2016