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Thursday, March 6, 2003

Etown Falls to Montclair State, 74-69, in First Round of NCAA Tournament; Blue Jays Conclude Season 18-9

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. --- Montclair State (22-5) came from behind to defeat Elizabethtown, 74-69, in the first round of the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament in Upper Montclair, NJ, Thursday. Etown concludes the 2002-03 season with an 18-9 overall record with the loss.

The Blue Jays cruised out to a 34-23 lead by halftime, and they went up 42-28 with 16:19 left in the game to force a Montclair State timeout. From that, point, Montclair State took control of the game, and by the time Etown called a timeout at 13:01 remaining, the Red Hawks trailed 42-40 after a 12 point run. The run continued, and the Red Hawks tied the game at 42-42 13 seconds later.

Montclair State went up 46-45 at 11:20 remaining, and the Red Hawks held the lead until 5:45, when Etown tied the game 59-59. Etown took a 65-64 lead when Jon English (Haddonfield, NJ/Haddon Township) converted one of two foul shots at 2:37. A Jon Connor (Hershey, PA/Hershey) three-pointer at 2:22 gave Elizabethtown its last lead of the game, 67-65. A Montclair State three-point play at 2:08 gave the Red Hawks a 68-67 lead, which they stretched to 71-67 on a three-pointer at 1:12.

English led Elizabethtown in scoring with 19 points, and Connor added 14 points, going four-for-five from three-point range and five-for-six from the field. He and Brian Loftus (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks West) each led Etown in rebounding with five boards. Loftus added eight points, and Chad Heller (New Holland, PA/Garden Spot) scored 11 points.

Jerome Trawick led Montclair State with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Ben Martinez added 16 points, including 14 in the second half, and Michael Gluck scored 13 points.