Melissa Tobie scores 18 of her 30 pts. in second half to lead Montclair State
MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- Junior forward Melissa Tobie scored 18 of her 30 points in the second half and overtime as No. 8 Montclair State erased a 10-point deficit in the final five minutes topping Cabrini 78-73 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship at the Panzer Athletic Center on Saturday.
Junior guard Janitza Aquino added 20 points as the Red Hawks (27-2) battled back from 16-points down in the second half to advance to the NCAA sectional tournament for the second consecutive season.
Cabrini, which never trailed in the game until the final seconds of regulation, led 44-28 with 15:44 remaining as Keys hit two free throws. After Montclair managed to whittle the lead under double-digits, Keys hit again from the charity stripe giving the Cavaliers a 60-50 lead with 4:58 remaining.
The Red Hawks, who struggled from the floor throughout, finally found its shooting groove as Tobie scored on a layup and Aquino connected from behind the arc cutting the deficit to 60-55 with 3:19 remaining.
Tobie came down with a rebound at the other end and Montclair, which had never led in the contest, had an opportunity which it took advantage of as Aquino made a perfect pass underneath to Tobie for the layup and a 64-62 lead with seven seconds to go. But the Cavaliers came down and after a timeout, perfectly executed an inbounds play to Keys, whose layup with 2.3 seconds left tied the game at 64-64 and sent the contest into overtime.
Aquino, who had seven points in the extra period, gave the Red Hawks at 67-64 lead with a 3-pointer 20 seconds in but Annie Rivituso countered with two free throws and then hit two more after a Tobie layup as MSU held a 69-68 lead with 1:42 to play. Cabrini turned the ball over and that set up the biggest play of the game as Jenny Malone deposited a 3-pointer from the right corner extending the MSU lead to 72-68 with 43 ticks showing.
A three-pointer by the Cavaliers went off the mark with Tobie grabbing the rebound. She fed the ball to Aquino, who appeared to be fouled near midcourt. However, the expected call never came and Aquino drove in for an uncontested layup with 16 seconds left making the score 74-68. Undeterred, Cabrini answered back on a Keys layup with 10 seconds and after two Tobie free throws made the score 76-70, Dana Petersen hit from 22-feet out with three seconds to go giving Cabrini a chance.
But Aquino ended that with two foul shots as Montclair State won its first overtime game since 2009 while also extending its current home winning streak to 34 games.
Montclair State, which shot just 35 percent (26-of-74) for the game, saw Tobie post her third 30-point game this season as the NJAC Player of the Year, finished a rebound shy of a double-double and added five blocks and four steals. Aquino had four assists while Henry grabbed a team-best 10 rebounds along with six points and four steals. Freshman Rachael Krauss was the third player in double figures with 10 points and four rebounds off the bench. Malone had six rebounds.