Pioneers bounce back to edge Lions

er the break and dropped to third place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). The Lions’ record stands at 8-9 overall and 3-4 in the NJAC.

In an upset on Saturday, the Lions were defeated by the William Paterson University Pioneers in a game that ended 61-57. The win improved the Pioneers’ record to 16-2 overall and 7-0 in the NJAC.

The teams were tied 21-21 at halftime until the College tallied 13 points in the time it took the Pioneers to add four. With 8:33 left in the game, the Lions were up 48-38.

A three-pointer by junior guard Michelle Pellichero capped off an impressive comeback and gave the Pioneers a 53-51 lead. After William Paterson tallied five more points, sophomore center Hillary Klimowicz and junior guard and forward Sara Best each added two points for the Lions, pulling their team within one.

Pellichero ensured that the Pioneers kept the lead when she successfully made three foul shots with seconds left in the game.

The Lions’ loss followed a 70-49 win over the Rutgers University-Camden Scarlet Raptors on Wednesday, Jan. 17. The win had improved the College’s record to 8-8 and 3-3 in the NJAC, while it brought the Raptors’ record to 6-9 overall and 1-4 in the NJAC.

The Lions took an early lead, scoring the first five points of the game. With the help of six points and three rebounds from Klimowicz, the College managed to increase its lead to 37-20 by the half.

In the second half, the Lions took charge again, going on an eight-point run at the start of the half.

On Saturday, Jan. 13, the Lions won at home 66-45 against the Rowan University Profs.

The Profs took an early 7-2 lead, but the Lions soon brought the score to 9-7 with 15:53 left in the first half. The Lions led 32-29 at halftime and never relinquished their lead.

The Lions also experienced a 66-57 loss to Richard Stockton College over the break. The Ospreys improved their overall record to 5-7 and 3-1 in the NJAC with the win.

The College held a small lead at halftime with a score of 31-28. Despite Best’s season-high 17 points and 11 points each by Klimowicz and sophomore guard Lisa Koch, the Ospreys outscored the Lions by 10 points in the second half.

On Jan. 8, the College defeated the Salisbury University Sea Gulls in a 70-62 game.

Five Lions players finished the game in double-digits. Senior forward Breanne Depken led the College with 12 points and 11 rebounds. She was followed by Klimowicz with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman center Alexandra Gregorek added 12 points and nine rebounds. Best and freshman guard Nicole Diaz finished with 10 points each.

The much-needed win followed two losses in the Gettysburg College Tournament and one loss in the Salem State College Christmas Tournament.

The Lions were defeated by Alvernia College 64-55 in their first game in the Gettysburg College Tournament. Alvernia’s record improved to 5-3.

In the consolation game, the College lost to tournament host Gettysburg by a score of 57-54.

Gettysburg was leading the game 30-23 at the half despite strong efforts from the Lions. In the final minute of the game, the Lions managed to tie the score up at 54.

Gettysburg ensured the win with a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left. A third successful free throw gave Gettysburg a three-point lead in the final seconds of the game.

The Lions won their first game in the Salem State College Christmas Tournament against Salem State College on Dec. 29. The 58-55 loss brought Salem State’s record to 6-2.

The Lions then were defeated by Kean University, 60-56, in their final game of the tournament.

Lions women’s basketball action continues this week with two key conference matchups. The College visits William Paterson tonight at 7 p.m. and Rutgers University-Newark on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.