Lions split at season-opening tournament

The College’s women’s basketball team opened their season going 1-1 at the Chuck Resler Invitational hosted by the University of Rochester last weekend.

The Lions dropped a 65-41 decision to the 2004 NCAA Division III National Runner-Up, Bowdoin College, on Friday afternoon. They were, however, able to recover in the consolation round by scoring a last-minute basket to give them a 48-47 victory over the State University of New York at Geneseo, claiming third place in the tournament on Saturday afternoon.

In both games, the Lions were led by senior guard Theresa DiMedio. She posted a game-high 17 points on Friday, and was the only player in double digits. She also led the team in scoring on Saturday with 12 points.

Junior forward Erin Frank also made it into double digits in her performance on Saturday, scoring a career-high 10 points.

Both Frank and junior center Danica Miller had great efforts on the boards. Miller led the team Friday with seven rebounds in her first career start as a Lion. Frank matched a career-best six rebounds on Saturday.

The Bowdoin Polar Bears opened up the game with a 9-0 run in Friday’s game before the Lions could get on the scoreboard with a free throw by senior guard Sofia Ojeda and a jumper by DiMedio to close the gap to 9-3 with 13:40 remaining.

However, Bowdoin continued to pull away and led by 12 (21-9) with 5:32 left in the first half. The College came within nine as DiMedio completed the three-point play with 2:45 on the clock. The Polar Bears closed out the stretch with a 7-4 spurt to take a 30-18 lead into halftime.

The Lions committed 12 of the 19 turnovers in the first half and also had a hard time connecting from downtown, going 0-for-8. The squad finished with an abysmal 5.6 three-point field goal percentage for the game.

In the second half, Bowdoin continued its dominance. The Polar Bears notched their biggest margin of the game, leading 59-34 with 4:52 remaining in the game.

The Lions improved in Saturday’s game against Geneseo. Although the Lions had a 23-17 lead at halftime, there were nine lead changes in the game, and the game was tied five times.

With the score tied up at 44 with 1:56 left to go, Geneseo’s senior forward Jessica Chambers made a jumper, putting Geneseo ahead by two. DiMedio was ready with an answer when she shot a jumper at 1:17 and tied up the game.

With 0:34 left in the game, Frank found herself on the foul line and managed to sink both shots, putting the Lions ahead 48-47. But the game wasn’t over yet.

It was Geneseo’s time on the foul line when Chambers was fouled. She made the second of two free throws with 15 seconds on the clock, pulling the Blue Knights within one. Chambers then intercepted DiMedio’s pass at mid-court with 10 seconds left to play.

Geneseo’s senior guard Felisa Brown missed a jumper off the left baseline with three seconds left, but the Lions knocked the rebound out of bounds.

The Blue Knights in-bounded to Chambers who collided with a Lion player and was unable to get a shot off before the horn sounded, leaving the Lions ahead.

DiMedio was named to the Chuck Resler All-Invitational Team after collecting 29 points in two games for the Lions.

“Our schedule, as always, is extremely tough,” head coach Dawn Henderson said. A year ago, the Lions finished with a 19-9 overall mark and the Lions also earned the program’s second New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship.

“We are very excited about our season,” Henderson said. “We are a very different looking team than we have been in the past four years. I think that we are a much more dynamic team.”

The Lions lost their NJAC season opener against Rowan University 65-49 last Tuesday. DiMedio again led the team in scoring with 11 points, and a career high of 12 rebounds. Sophomore forward Breanne Depken followed with a personal best of 10 rebounds.

Junior guard Tiara Simpkins and junior guard Alexa Shields added nine and seven points, respectively.

The effort of the Lions was not enough of overcome the amazing game played by Rowan’s senior guard Jamie McCormack who had 22 points, shooting 10 for 16 from the floor and two for two from the line. She also totaled seven assists and had four steals.

In the first half, the Lions took the lead 7-4 at 17:11 after a three-pointer by Shields. The Lions had an 11-point lead at 9:48, but this would be the last time they would hold the lead. In the following three minutes Rowan scored 11 unanswered points to tie the score. The Profs ended the half with nine more points to lead 34-25.

In the final half, the Profs gradually pulled away to lead by 22. The closest the Lions came after that was 16 points at the end of the game.

The Lions play today at Richard Stockton College for a conference game at 6 p.m.