Montclair, NJ - Sophomore forward Mercedes Miller (New York, NY/Manhattan Center) scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half and also pulled down 13 rebounds as the third-seed Rams extended their season tonight with a win over second-seed Montclair State, 58-52, in the semifinals of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III Metro Women's Basketball Tournament at Panzer Gymnasium on Friday evening.
Dankery Perez (New York, NY/Manhattan Center) added 10 points and five rebounds as Farmingdale State (19-9) advance to the championship game where they will host fourth-seeded Kean University. Kean defeated first-seed Stevens, 72-70 in Hoboken in the other semifinal. The Rams, making its third appearance in the ECAC Tournament, is seeking its first Metro crown. Farmingdale State also defeated Montclair State for the second time this season. The Rams picked up an 80-75 win over the Red Hawks in Farmingdale, NY back in December.
Stephanie Machin (New Providence, NJ/New Providence) had a game-high 21 points and eight rebounds for Montclair State, which ended its season at 18-10. The Red Hawks were making its 12th appearance in the ECAC Tournament and seeking its first finals appearance since winning the title in 1999.
A back and forth affair that saw nine ties and five lead changes, Farmingdale State opened up the second half with a six-point spurt to take a 34-28 lead with 16:38 to play as Miller scored on a jumper. Montclair State would respond with a 10-2 run over next four minutes to take a two-point lead. Machin had six of those points, including a pair of free throws that made the score, 38-36.
Miller and Kristen Tong (Swanzey, NH/Monadnock Regional) each scored to put the Rams back on top, 40-38 before Garrabrant forged the ninth and final tie at 40-40 as she connected from short range with 7:54 remaining. Angela Williams (New York, NY/Murry Bergtraum) then buried a three-pointer to put Farmingdale State up, 43-40 and after a Garrabrant bucket, Williams struck again with another three as the Rams led 46-42 with 5:17 left. Tong extended the 48-42 with a jumper at the 2:28 mark.
The Red Hawks would get as close as four points on two occasions, the final time at 53-49 on a three-pointer by Horan. However, Farmingdale State closed out the game by hitting 5-of-8 attempts at the free throw line.
Williams finished with nine points and seven rebounds for the Rams, who were out rebounded in the game, 45-43. Melissa Harry (Baldwin, NY/Baldwin) added nine points and seven rebounds while Rochelle Clark (Bellport, NY/Bellport) registered seven points and six assists.
Horan had 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists for Montclair State, who also got eight points and 11 rebounds from Garrabrant. Ferin Catlett (Lawnside, NJ/Haddon Heights) had eight points.
Farmingdale State will host Kean University for the ECAC Metro Championship Crown at home on Saturday, March 4 in the Walter A. Lynch Sports Center at 7 p.m.