Tobie Ties Career High as No. 14 Montclair St. Tops Richard Stockton, 86-64; Clinches NJAC Tournament Bye

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Galloway Township, NJ – Junior forward Melissa Tobie (Elizabeth, NJ, Roselle Catholic) tied a career high with 32 points and added nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and three steals helping No. 12/14 Montclair State lock up a first-round bye in the NJAC Tournament with an 86-64 win over Richard Stockton on Saturday.

Junior guard Janitza Aquino (Kearny, NJ, Kearny) added 19 points as the Red Hawks extended their winning streak to six games as it improved to 20-2 overall, 14-1 in the NJAC. It is the 13th 20-win campaign in program history and the second straight, a feat MSU had not accomplished since registering three straight 20-win seasons from 1989-1991.

Montclair, which swept its season series with Richard Stockton, will host one of the NJAC Tournament semifinals on Tuesday, February 25. The conference tournament gets underway on Saturday, February 22.

Tobie, who moved into seventh place on the all-time MSU scoring list (1,319 points), matched the career high she set in January of 2012 when she had 32 in a win at home against Ramapo College. She shot 11-of-17 from the floor and was 8-of-10 at the foul line missing a second consecutive double-double by a rebound.

Tobie and Aquino combined for 26 points in the first half as MSU built a 43-35 halftime lead. For the second game in a row, Montclair netted the first six points, four by Aquino. The Ospreys (9-12, 6-8 NJAC), cut the lead back to a one point at 8-7 however Aquino scored on a layup and a three-point play by Tobie with 15:32 left gave Montclair a 13-7 advantage.

Stockton's Cara Parliament put in a layup with 11:46 to go getting the Ospreys within 18-15 however the Red Hawks responded with an 11-4 run over the next four minutes taking a29-19 advantage on a Tobie three-pointer. Stockton cut the gap to three points again pulling within 29-26 but a 12-2 run by Montclair widened the lead to 41-24 with 1:42 left in the half.

The Red Hawks shot 58 percent (15-of-26) from the field in the first half and took advantage of its margin at the foul line making 11-of-13 attempts while the Ospreys went 4-of-4.

In the second half, Stockton got within six twice, the last coming at 45-39 on Alex Nardoza's layup with 18:09 left. Nicosia Henry (Bolingbrook, IL, Bolingbrook)and Tobie answered with back-to-back layups and after another Osprey score, Tobie connected again pushing the lead back to double digits at 51-41. Stockton would not get any closer the rest of the way.

The Red Hawks then put the game away with 12-2 run, 10 coming from Tobie putting Montclair State in front 73-53 with 8:27 to play.

Henry finished with eight points and seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks with Kayla Ceballos (Brooklyn, NY, Christ the King) and Sarah Kluth (Lynbrook, NY, St. Mary's) each chipping in with six points apiece. Montclair finished the game 33-of-60 from the field, shooting over 50 percent from the field in a game for the third time this season.

Nardoza led Stockton with 21 points with Lauren Alwan adding 15 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

Montclair State returns home for a Wednesday, February 12 matchup against New Jersey City University at the Panzer Athletic Center beginning at 6:00 pm.