No. 11 Montclair State Pushes Past Moravian 69-51 Behind Aquino's Career-Best 29 Points

More news about: Montclair State

Montclair, NJ – Junior guard Janitza Aquino (Kearny) scored a career-best 29 points while junior forward Melissa Tobie (Roselle Catholic) added 22 as No. 11 Montclair State bridged the first and second half with a 16-point run en route to a 69-51 victory over Moravian at the Panzer Athletic Center on Tuesday evening.

Senior guard Nicosia Henry (Bolingbrook) grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds for the as the Red Hawks (8-1) won the initial meeting between the two schools.

Senior guard Katie O'Rourke (Palmyra, PA / Palmyra) posted her fourth career double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds for the Greyhounds (8-2), who fell for the first time since its season opener against Trinity (TX) on November 15.

A back-and-forth first half featured five ties and five lead changes with neither team trailing by more than four points. Two free throws by Moravian's Laura Jordan (Easton, PA / Easton) put the Greyhounds up 26-25 with 1:31 left before Montclair State began its decisive spurt. Tobie began the run with a layup and Aquino finished off a fast break before another layup by Tobie with 11 ticks to go before halftime gave the Red Hawks a 31-26 lead at the break.

Montclair extended that lead with the first 10 points of the half. Tobie and Sarah Kluth (St. Mary's) connected on back-to-back three pointers and a steal by Kluth led to a jumper by Aquino with Henry adding the final bucket giving MSU a 41-26 lead with 18:05 to go in the second half.

The Greyhounds chipped at the lead and got within 45-36 on a layup by Alesha Marcks (Northampton, PA / Northampton) with 14:21 left however Jen Kuczynski (Jonathan Dayton) answered a with a basket behind the arc and a three-point play by Aquino with 10:36 left put Montclair State in front 55-38.

Moravian made one last run scoring eight straight to get within 57-48 on two foul shots by O'Rourke with 5:34 to play however Aquino countered with two free throws for MSU and Tobie and Henry each added layups restoring the Red Hawk lead to 63-48 with 3:27 remaining.

Aquino finished with five rebounds and three assists while Tobie snared eight boards and had five assists, three blocks and two steals. Henry, who posted the first 20-rebound game by a Red Hawk since Kisandra Ayanbeku had 20 versus Rutgers-Newark in 2011, collected seven points.

Montclair State is now off until Saturday, December 28 when it takes on Westfield State at 4:00 pm in Puerto Rico. The Red Hawks will also face Salisbury the following day at the same time. Moravian is not back on the court until 2014 when it hosts the Moravian Winter Classic on January 4. The Greyhounds take on John Jay in the first round at 7:00 pm.