Montclair, Montclair State
Irving Callender (Photo courtesy of Montclair State Athletics)

Montclair State men's basketball edges Rowan 74-73

The Montclair State Red Hawks (7-5) took on Rowan University (12-3) at the Panzer Athletic Center, Wednesday night.

The Red Hawks edged Rowan with a final score of 74-73. Irv Callander IV sealed the deal by hitting back to back free throws with eight seconds remaining. Callander finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds for the night. 

Rowan led for a majority of the game, up 39-34 at the half as well as possessing a 69-61 lead with roughly six minutes left in the game. Shortly after, Montclair hit back to back three pointers by Devin Cooper (18 points) and Kieran Flanagan (5 points), to cut the lead down to two. 

In the final minute, Rowan’s leading scorer Andrew Seager (18 points) hit the teams final bucket, giving them a two points lead as the Red Hawks got fouled on back to back possessions and hit three out of four foul shots to close out the game. 

"This was going to be a tough, grind it out type of game,” Montclair State head coach Justin Potts said. “We didn’t bring our best stuff, didn’t shoot great but they were down a couple guys and we just stayed the course.”

Potts alluded to Rowan guard Hafeez Melvin, who was inactive due to injury. Melvin averaged 11 points per game in 2021. Without him present for Rowan’s offense, it made up for Montclair’s dismal shooting (8-36) beyond the arch. 

Rowan still sits atop the NJAC standings with a 12-3 record overall. Due to tiebreaks being decided by conference record, this is a huge divisional win for the Red Hawks who bump up to 7-5 overall. Rowan is now 5-3 in conference play while Montclair is 4-4.

Both teams will hit the road for the weekend as Rowan will travel to face Ramapo while Montclair State will take on Jersey City University.

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