In their first game since Thanksgiving, the MSU women’s basketball team faced the Hunter College Hawks at the Panzer Athletic Center.
Monday night's match was Montclair State's fifth game against an out-of-conference opponent of the season. They hadn’t fared well having gone 1-4 thus far, including a tough loss in their first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tilt against New Jersey City University. But today, Head coach Harvey’s squad refused to die.
They got a spirited performance from their senior power forward Megan Duffy as well as 14 points from Madelyn McCrea and gritted out a win by the score of 83-79.
After the visiting Hawks hit a three-point shot to close to within three points of the Red Hawks with about 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Duffy was fouled at the other end of the floor and hit 1 of 2 throws to put the game out of reach.
The Red Hawks held on to win for the second time of the 2023 Division III women's basketball season so far, but it was anything but easy. Hunter College came in and gave the Red Hawks everything they had. The visitors even outshot the hosts 47-40% when it came to Field-Goal percentage and there were nine lead changes.
The hosts benefitted from point scoring from their bench because in addition to Shannon Hughes (had team-leading 26 points) and point guard Kendall Hodges who had 12 points and four assists, four Red Hawks contributed swishes off the bench. Madelyn McCrea led the way for the bench with 14 points.
It was a gritty battle where both teams contested points in the pain feverishly. On several occasions, a fight for possession resulted in a tussle that threw one player to the floor. Sophomore guard for the MSU Red Hawks, Shannon Hughes described what Coach Harvey prepared the team with heading into this game.
We we're waiting for this day. We've been doing really good defensively every game but we've been working on our scoring and our shooting. It finally came together tonight. We had four people on our bench score, and I think that really played a part in the win.
The Red Hawks came into this game well rested but frustrated by their 1-4 start to the season, but they got a lot of inspiration from their coaching staff.
Before the game, coach told us we have all the talent but we need to believe in ourselves, and we took that to heart. We talked about it at halftime, and we talked about it during the game and that was literally all we needed to win the game.
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