Jan. 21, 2010

Courtesy of William Patterson Athletics

No. 21 William Paterson (17-1, 6-0 NJAC) established a new school record with its 15th consecutive men’s basketball victory, defeating host Montclair State (9-8, 2-5 NJAC) by a 54-43 score Jan. 20 at Panzer Athletic Center.

Senior guard Joseph Ellis (Newark, N.J./Newark Science) scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, helping the Pioneers to overcome a two-point halftime deficit and better the program’s previous 14-game record win streak established from Jan. 16 – Feb. 24, 1984.

Senior guard Tim Lucas (Old Bridge, N.J./Old Bridge) finished with 12 points for William Paterson, and senior forward Daniel McRae posted 10 points, seven rebounds and six blocked shots for Montclair State, which dropped its fifth straight.

Montclair State led 24-22 at halftime thanks in part to 52.4 (11-21) percent shooting from the field. However, the Pioneers limited the Red Hawks to just a 3-of-16 (.188) effort to start the second half. After MSU’s John Byrne sank a three-pointer to put Montclair in front 27-22, William Paterson ripped off eight straight points to take the lead for good, part of a 30-9 run that eventually put the Pioneers ahead by a 52-36 count with 5:22 remaining.

Ellis scored the first eight points in the burst, including the first four from the foul line. He then added a three-pointer with 16:29 to go as the Pioneers moved in front 29-27, and his fifth free throw in the run put WP ahead by three (30-27, 14:21).  Rodney Freeney answered for Montclair State to make it a one-point contest, however Lucas countered with a jumper and three-pointer, and Shaun Canty (Englewood, N.J./Paramus Catholic) hit two from the charity stripe, as William Paterson led 36-29 with 11:28 to play.

McRae, who finished one blocked shot shy of the Montclair single-game record, hit two free throws to get the Red Hawks within eight at 42-34. But Lucas drained a three on the next possession and Eric Moore (Dover, N.J./St. Benedict’s Prep) followed with another the next time down as the Pioneers grabbed a 48-34 lead with 6:33 remaining.

Moore finished with 11 points for William Paterson, which got six points, nine rebounds and four blocks from Abdoulaye Ouedraogo (Newark, N.J./Newark Science). The Pioneers also out-rebounded Montclair 35-34 and shot 15-of-19 (.789) at the line compared to 6-of-9 (.667) shooting by the Red Hawks.

Freeney had 12 points for MSU, while Sean Young collected eight points and four rebounds off the bench.

William Paterson will return to action Saturday, Jan. 23, at home against Rutgers-Camden at 1:00 p.m.  In lieu of admission charges, the Pioneers will ask all in attendance to instead donate to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief Fund.  In addition, several free events will be held to celebrate “Take a Kid to the Game Day” and “National Girls and Women in Sports Day.”  Details are available at wpupioneers.com.