By Kevin Hornibrook
The women’s basketball team lost 38-52 to Montclair State at home on Saturday, Feb. 1, snapping a three-game win streak and dropping to a 13-7 record on the season. The loss moved the Lions to a 10-3 conference record, while Montclair State stays tied with Rowan atop the standings with their 11th straight win.
TCNJ had won the previous three contests against Montclair State, including a 64-62 win against their rival earlier this season.
After a slow start, the Lions put together a 7-0 run to close the quarter, and moved into the second quarter with momentum only down by one point. After the break, the College slipped behind by 10 points going into halftime.
All four of the College’s points in the second quarter came from junior forward Shannon Devitt, including the 1,000th of her career on a layup with just under three minutes left in the half. She accomplished the feat in her 75th game.
Montclair State began the third quarter by expanding their lead to 13, which was answered by an 8-2 run from the Lions, led by sophomore Rachel Gazzola, who finished the game with a team-high 15 points. However, the Lions couldn’t capitalize on free throws and open jump shots, allowing Montclair State to maintain an 11-point lead to end the third quarter.
When the College would build momentum to mount a fourth-quarter comeback, Montclair State would rise ahead with timely three-pointers. The Lions’ struggle on the boards made it impossible to get back in the game, while Montclair State out-rebounded them 19-7 in the final quarter.
Montclair State’s conference-leading defense held TCNJ to their second lowest scoring performance of the season. The Lions, who entered the game shooting 28.4 percent from three as a team, shot 2-21 from beyond the arc — a strikingly low 9.5 percent.
The team looks to bounce back against Rutgers University-Camden on Wednesday, Feb. 5.