WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (njithighlanders.com) -- NJIT extended its win streak to three behind three double-figure scorers and two double-doubles from Danielle Tunstall and Milena Bajic in the Highlanders 61-52 victory over Hartford in women's basketball non-conference action at the Chase Arena at Reich Family Pavilion.
NJIT, which moves to 3-6 on the season, has won three straight (first time since 2016-17) and picked up its first road victory of the season while Hartford, still in search of its first win of the 2019 season falls to 0-9.
Trailing 30-27 at the half, NJIT outscored Hartford 17-5 in the third quarter, to push ahead, 44-35, and held off Hartford late in the fourth quarter by sinking six straight free throws in the final :25 to secure the 61-52 victory.
Senior forward Milena Bajic notched her third straight double-double of the season, netting a team-best 15 points and career-best 14 rebounds. Bajic has now posted a double-double in three-out-of-four games played this season. She finished 4-for-8 from the field and perfect from the free throw line, 6-of-6.
Classmate Danielle Tunstall recorded her fourth double-double of the season, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds, including a huge block on Jada Lucas three-point try with :18 seconds left.
Redshirt freshman guard Maddie Martin netted 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and was perfect from the free throw line, shooting 4-for-4.
NJIT's Kenna Squier chipped in eight points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out a team-best four assists while Samantha Schultz added seven points and four rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench for the Highlanders.
Hartford's Jada Lucas scored a game-high 20 points while Sierra Smith pulled down a team-best 10 rebounds.
Hartford got off to a quick 7-0 start in the opening three minutes. NJIT's Milena Bajic scored the first bucket for the Highlanders on a high-low execution from Danielle Tunstall which sparked six consecutive points, cutting the Hartford lead to 8-6 with less than six to play.
Bajic gave the visitors its first lead of the game on a trey ball from the top of the key for an 11-10 score and freshman Kenna Squier knocked down a jump shot inside the three-point arc with forty seconds remaining in the period, closing the Hawk gap to within two, 15-13.
In the second quarter, NJIT used an 8-4 spurt to knot the score at 23-all behind six points from Maddie Martin (all from beyond the arc) with 4:35 on the clock. The game saw three more ties with Hartford knocking down a three-pointer with less than thirty seconds to take a three-point lead at the half, 30-27.
At the half, Martin shared game-high honors, netting 10 points with Hartford's Jada Lucas. Martin finished perfect from the field (4-for-4) and (2-of-2) from three-point range in the first 20 minutes.
A big third quarter push by NJIT, saw the Highlanders outscore the Hawks, 16-1, in the opening 7:30, taking its biggest lead of the game, 43-31. The Hawks broke the scoring draught at 2:28 on the clock after a jumper by Lucas.
After a basket by Bajic to start the fourth quarter, Hartford used a 6-1 run, cutting the Highlander lead to six, 47-41, with less than seven to play. NJIT scored back-to-back buckets from Ellyn Stoll and Bajic but Hartford's Villalobos answered, knocking down a three-pointer, bringing the Hawks to within four, 53-49.
Tunstall's acrobatic layup with 1:21 on the clock and a pair of free throws by Squier and Martin with 18.4 left, pushed the Highlander lead to nine, 59-50. Hartford answered with a quick bucket on the opposite end but NJIT's Ellyn Stoll knocked down two free throws of her own to seal the game, earning the Highlanders third straight win of the season with a 61-52 victory.
NJIT will return to action at home on Tuesday when the Highlanders host Fairleigh Dickinson at 7pm inside NJIT's Wellness and Events Center. Last season, the Knights defeated the Highlanders in Teaneck, 64-43.
ABOUT THE ASUN
The ASUN Conference is an NCAA Division I league with nine member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The ASUN meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement through a true balance between student and athlete. Six ASUN schools reside in Nielsen Top 50 national media markets, and all nine are in top 80 markets. The ASUN includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Liberty University, Lipscomb University, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University of North Alabama, University of North Florida and Stetson University. Bellarmine University in Louisville, Ky., joins the ASUN for the 2020-21 academic year.
Tweets by ASUNWBB