MONTCLAIR, N.J. – Junior Gian Paul Gonzalez (North Haledon, N.J.) tallied 17 of his team-high 24 points in the first half and Montclair State University came back to defeat Plymouth State University, 87-77, at the Steve Adubato One-on-One Classic men’s basketball tournament held at MSU’s Panzer Gymnasium.
Gonzalez went 10-for-10 from the free throw line and also collected a team-leading 11 rebounds in leading Montclair State to a victory in its 2004-05 season opener, after the Red Hawks finished 13-10 overall last winter. The Classic closes Sunday when MSU hosts Centenary College at 3:00 p.m.. Centenary fell to Plymouth State, 116-79, on Friday evening in both teams’ 2004-05 opener.
PSU senior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine), who scored 24 points in the win over Centenary, poured in a game-high 27 points against Montclair State, including the Panthers’ first 18 points of the afternoon, in staking PSU to an 18-7 lead. Pelotte shot 9-for-19 from the field on the day, including 6-for-11 from three-point range, before fouling out with 1:51 remaining in regulation, just three seconds after Gonzalez recorded his fifth foul of the day.
Junior Rashad Butler (Nassau, Bahamas) scored 21 points for the Red Hawks and added nine rebounds, five assists and four steals, while senior Michael Gluck (Union, N.J.) finished with 13 points and six boards.
Sophomore Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) registered 13 points and six rebounds for Plymouth State, and classmate Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) added 11 points and a team-best eight boards.
The Panthers led by as much as 27-10 before the Red Hawks used a 12-2 run to pull within 31-26 with just under six minutes remaining in the opening half. MSU then stretched that run to 19-4 to take a 35-33 lead with 3:36 remaining, en route to a 43-37 halftime advantage.
PSU scored the first nine points of the second half to go up, 46-43, but Montclair then tallied the next six points, taking the lead for good on a jump shot by Butler with 15:55 left. MSU then held PSU without a point for nearly five minutes on the way to a 64-52 advantage with 6:48 left.
Plymouth State, 1-1, returns to New England and visits Castleton State (Vt.) for a non-conference game Tuesday night (7:30 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Montclair State Sports Information)
— 30 —