BROOKLYN, NY — NJIT picked up its first road win of the season, led by a season-best 21 points from graduate student Tatianna Torres in the Highlanders' 72-51 victory at LIU Brooklyn in women's basketball non-conference action at the Steinberg Center Sunday afternoon.
NJIT (2-8) snaps a three-game skid while LIU Brooklyn (0-9) remains winless on the season.
NJIT led 21-20 at the end of the first quarter and held the home team to single digits (six) in the second quarter, taking a 38-25 advantage heading into the half.
LIU Brooklyn's best scoring quarter was the third stanza, 20-16, but the Highlanders again kept the Blackbirds to just six points in the fourth quarter, outscoring the home team, 18-6, to secure the first road win of the 2018 season.
Torres scored 12 of her 21 points in the first half, finishing 9-for-18 from the field, including six rebounds and six assists.
Junior forward Danielle Tunstall posted her second double-double of the season, producing 18 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Tunstall led all players with 11 boards as the Highlanders outrebounded the Blackbirds, 39-28.
Graduate student Kelly Guarino and Ellyn Stoll netted 11 points each in the win.
Jeydah Johnson was the lone double-figure scorer for LIU Brooklyn with 20 points, finishing 8-for-13 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc. Freshman Brandy Thomas, who entered the game tied for first in the nation in double-doubles, was held to just eight points and three rebounds.
NJIT got off to a hot start to open the game, hitting 4-of-6 from the field and jumping out to a 9-3 advantage over LIU Brooklyn. The Blackbirds used a 6-2 spurt sparked by a jumper by Johnson at the 6:26 mark, pulling within two of the Highlanders, 11-9.
LIU Brooklyn cut the visitors lead to within one, 12-11, with 4:32 on the clock after a bucket by Thomas. NJIT took a five-point lead, 20-15, after a short 6-2 run, with less than two minutes to play in the quarter. The Blackbirds scored the final four points of the first quarter, cutting the Highlander lead to within one, 20-19.
NJIT scored the first seven points of the second quarter, increasing the Highlander lead to eight, 27-19. LIU Brooklyn went scoreless in the first five minutes until Johnson knocked down a three-pointer from the wing to break the scoring drought.
Torres scored the next four points, pushing the Highlander lead to six, 31-25, under the five minute media. NJIT scored the final seven points of the second quarter, taking its biggest lead of the game, 13, 38-25.
Torres shared game-high honors with Johnson from LIU Brooklyn with 12 points. Guarino was the other double-figure scorer at the half with 11 points on 3-of-5 from three-point range.
NJIT continued its momentum in the third quarter, scoring the first six points – four of which from sophomore Stoll, taking a 44-25 lead.
LIU Brooklyn's Johnson scored five points in less than two minutes, to keep to the Blackbirds within distance of the Highlanders, 49-34. The Blackbirds cut the Highlander deficit to single digits, 54-45, thanks to a last second shot at the buzzer to close the third quarter by Tia Montagne.
NJIT started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run (five points by Torres), extending its lead to 62-45 and the Highlanders never looked back securing 72-51 victory.
As a team, the Highlanders dished out 13 steals and registered 11 steals in the win.
NJIT will close out its 2018 road schedule when the Highlanders visit Colgate on December 14 at 6pm.
NJIT has not played Colgate since the 2012-13 season when the two squads split the season series. The Highlanders grabbed the late-game victory in the second meeting with a winning three-pointer from Martina Matejcikova with eight seconds left on the clock.
Torres Leads NJIT To First Road Win of the Season vs. LIU Brooklyn