By Jerry Del Priore
At a mere five-foot-two, Montclair Immaculate Conception (NJ) point guard Nasira Williams can be overlooked when it comes to being an offensive threat on the hardwood.
But that didn’t stop the dynamic junior from scoring a contest-best 19 points and earning the game’s MVP, in Immaculate’s 47-39 win over NYC’s PSAL’s Midwood at the Rose Classic Super Jam at Nazareth High School Monday.
“She’s tough. She makes really good decisions,” the well-known Immaculate head coach Joe Whalen said of Williams’ offensive basketball abilities. “She’s got to handle the ball, probably 99 percent of the time. She’s also our best shooter, so it challenges to have her bring it up and get it back into her hands. We opened her up for some looks, but it’s demanding, it really is demanding.”
Fortunately for Immaculate (11-4), the younger Williams wasn’t the only player that registered significant points. Senior Taylor Williams contributed 12 points for Immaculate in the victory.
The Hornets (7-7) led, 10-9, in the first period. Immaculate kept the contest close, however, trailing by a score of 22-20 at the end of the first half.
Williams posted six of the team’s 11 points to remain within striking distance of Midwood, behind, 32-31, in the third quarter.
Williams nailed a three-pointer that gave Immaculate a 34-32 advantage with 6:32 left in the fourth period.
But Hornets senior guard Tina Chen drained a trey of her own to retake the lead for Midwood at 35-34 with 5:39 to go in the tilt.
Immaculate went on a 6-0 run — highlighted by four successful free throws by senior Taylor Williams — over a three-minute period, to surge ahead 40-35 with 2:39 left in the game.
Hornets senior forward Jada Kelly cut the advantage to 40-37 with 1:28 ticks left on the clock.
However, Williams poured in six points down the stretch to seal the deal for Immaculate. The older Williams grabbed a contest-leading 12 rebounds.
Six-foot-two senior Hornet forward Suzan Morshed, who won her squad’s MVP, dropped in a team-high 11 points.
Immaculate beat host Columbia today, 65-37. Junior Azatah Lawrence scored a game-high 25 points.
Immaculate returns to action Thursday against Newark Academy at home at 5:30 p.m., while Midwood hits its own court Friday at 5:00 p.m. versus Bronx’s Truman.
Watch as Immaculate frees up Nasira Williams for the shot behind the arc.