Photo Credit: Mark Carosiello

Montclair State Cruises Past Rivals William Paterson

The Montclair State Red Hawks (18-3) defeated the William Patterson Pioneers (9-12) by a score of 99-81, Wednesday night, at the Panzer Athletic Center in Montclair, NJ. 


The Red Hawks came out fearless and aggressive, pushing the ball down the floor with the passing and ball handling of Keyon Price to open shooters like Steve Breeman and Mike Jackson. The Pioneers did a good job of responding in the first five minutes, tying the game at 12 all but then Price, Breeman and Jackson led a 17-2 run that made the Pioneers regroup, down 29-14. 


William Patterson managed to muster up a 9-0 response with their top talent led by Cody Ripato and leading scorer Shawn Summers. They eventually cut the lead to four with two minutes remaining in the first half. Just before the half ended, Montclair State’s Kyree Henry had a three possession sequence that helped the Red Hawks separate from the Pioneers. A missed shot which led to a fastbreak pull-up three he converted. Then, he stole the ball himself and managed to get to the line as the clock wound down. What was just a tight knit game quickly became a Red Hawk 43-33 lead at halftime.


This clearly upset the Pioneers as they returned from the locker room playing angry. Summers managed to cash in on a couple buckets and a solid defensive effort from Ty Montgomery led to a couple fast break opportunities for them that spurred a 13-3 run. 


William Patterson scratched and clawed on both ends of the floor for the opening six minutes, making it a 60-56 game. The game changer in this game was Price hitting a simple three-pointer at the top of the key with the shot clock expiring. While this play only made it a 63-56 game with 13:10 left in the game, it was a six-point momentum swing that took the air out of the Pioneers. 


Before Price hit that shot, the Red Hawks' possession was dead in the water and that three-pointer was lightly contested instead of a highly contested shot with the clock expiring. Pioneers head coach Brian Chapman was screaming with three seconds left on the shot clock, “Close out! Close out!” and called a timeout after that play in disbelief as his players strolled dejected to the bench. If that didn’t happen, William Patterson could've made it a two-point game and an entertaining game down the stretch. However, it sparked a 17-2 run by Montclair State that window dressed the scoreboard as an easy 99-81 victory. 


Montclair State (18-3) has a huge game this Saturday against Stockton University (at Galloway) who has the same record. This game will break the tiebreaker for first place in the NJAC. Stockton knocked Montclair State out of the playoffs last year and beat the Red Hawks easily, in Montclair 71-55 a month ago. William Patterson (9-12) will look to snap a four-game losing skid Saturday against TCNJ (7-14) at Ewing.