Wednesday women: Reaching higher ground

More news about: Calvin | Montclair State

Janitza Aquino scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the second half of Montclair State's victory at Stockton.
Montclair State athletics photo

Montclair State narrowly beat Richard Stockton to capture the top seed in the NJAC tournament while No. 6 Calvin had an easier time beating its archrival for the MIAA title.

No. 7 Montclair State and Richard Stockton both struggled from the floor in the first half, shooting a combined 21 percent. The Red Hawks held the Ospreys scoreless for the last nine minutes of the first half but only led 17-14 at the break.

Montclair State was still in front 48-43 with five minutes left, when its offense went cold. Richard Stockton rallied within one and grabbed a rebound off a missed Montclair shot with 25 seconds let. The Ospreys got two shots to win the game, but a scoop shot from Alex Nardoza rimmed out and Sasha Williams' put-back fell short. Montclair's Kayla Ceballos grabbed the rebound, got fouled and sunk two free throws to secure the Red Hawks 50-47 victory. Recap

The teams split their regular season series and could see each other again in the NJAC title game. They had already secured the top two seeds and byes into the NJAC semifinals.

No. 6 Calvin beat No. 13 Hope in the final seconds of their first meeting back in January, but the Knights had a much easier time at home, topping Hope 61-44 to claim the MIAA title. Calvin frustrated the Flying Dutch with its pressing defense and held Hope to 25 percent shooting, including 2-for-19 from three. Hannah Acre led the Knights with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

No. 1 Thomas More clinched the top seed in the PAC tournament with a typically dominant 80-39 win over Chatham. The Saints finish the regular season at second place St. Vincent whom Thomas More beat by 17 on January 17.

No. 3 St. Thomas was finally pushed by one of its conference foes, but the Tommies were equal to the task and beat second-place Bethel 81-77. Maggie Weiers scored 23 points for St. Thomas which had a single-digit margin of victory for just the second time all season.

UW-Whitewater kept its postseason hopes alive with a 66-64 comeback victory at No. 24 UW-Oshkosh. The Warhawks trailed by eight at the half, but shot 62 percent in the second half. Brooke Trewyn had 15 points in the second half and 18 in the game for Whitewater. The Warhawks clinched a spot in the WIAC tournament while Oshkosh dropped a game behind UW-Superior, which beat UW-Stout 67-58.

A pair of ranked teams that already secured top spots in their conference tournaments saw their long winning streaks come to an end.

Marymount beat No. 16 Salisbury 70-63 and denied the Sea Gulls a perfect run through the CAC. The Saints' starting backcourt of Kievanna Lacey, Kiki Laux and Leah Hurst combined for 51 points. Johns Hopkins ended McDaniel's long winning streak with a 61-52 win on the Green Terror's floor. Ciara McCullagh led the Blue Jays with 12 points and 17 rebounds.

Beyond the Top 25, Luther kept pace with Dubuque in the race for the IIAC's top seed. The Norse topped Wartburg 67-57 while Dubuque beat Buena Vista 90-65. Ohio Northern stifled Baldwin Wallace in the first half and claimed a critical 63-52 win over the Yellow Jackets. The Polar Bears held Baldwin Wallace to 11 first half points, and remain one game in front of John Carroll for first place in the OAC.

Christina Marquette became Oberlin's all-time scoring leader in the Yeowomen's narrow 66-64 loss to Ohio Wesleyan. Marquette has 1,702 points and 904 rebounds in her career.