Montclair, NJ – Junior forward Alex McKinnon scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds as Montclair State won its third straight, holding off in-state rival Stevens 62-58 at the Panzer Athletic Center on Monday evening.
Senior forward Domonique Wirsing added 18 points and four rebounds as the Red Hawks (4-1) improved to 9-2 overall against the Ducks (4-2) including wins in each of the last seven meetings.
MSU used a solid shooting touch in the first half as it sank 13-of-24 attempts from the field including 6-of-12 from behind the arc. McKinnon scored eight in a row for MSU with a three-pointer giving the Red Hawks a 10-5 lead with over four minutes left in the opening period. Wirsing later added a jumper and five in a row by Kim Calloway to close out the first quarter gave Montclair a 17-11 advantage.
Calloway began the second with another three and a jumper by Wirsing pushed the lead to 22-11 less than two minutes into the period. A Wirsing layup widened the advantage to 13 points midway through and her basket with 33 seconds helped MSU to a 32-20 lead at the break.
Stevens chipped away the lead in the third and pulled within 36-30 on a layup by Allie Moss with 5:38 to play. McKinnon sparked a 10-2 run over the next two minutes with Taylor Brown hitting a three for a 46-32 lead. The Ducks scored nine of the final 12 points to trim the deficit to 49-41 heading into the fourth.
McKinnon hit from behind the arc to begin the fourth extending the lead to 52-41 however Stevens embarked on a 13-4 run, whittling the lead to 56-54 with 3:36 left on a Moss layup. Rylee Mulligan countered with a jumper at the other end before a jumper by Anna Toke kept the game at a two-point margin.
Wirsing hit twice from the free throw line with 2:22 left bumping the lead to 60-56. After a series of misses on both sides, Moss sank a jumper with 31 seconds with McKinnon making one free throw for a 61-58 lead with 15 ticks to play. Stevens would miss twice with a chance to tie the game. McKinnon grabbed the rebound and was fouled with one second left. She would hit the second of two foul shots for what turned out to be the final margin.
Brown finished with 10 points and six rebounds for Montclair State, which got eight points and three boards from Calloway. Cerys MacLellan had eight rebounds for MSU.
The Red Hawks are back in action on Wednesday, November 28 hosting Ramapo College at 6:00 pm.