Lions bow down to Cougars again

The women’s basketball team swarmed Ramapo College but still could not unlock the combination to beat first-place Kean University in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) action.

The Lions stand at 9-13 for the season and 4-6 in the NJAC.

With one win this week or a Rutgers University-Camden loss, the Lions can clinch a berth in the NJAC Tournament, slated to begin on Feb. 20.

Senior forward Breanne Depken netted 12 points and sophomore center Hillary Klimowicz added 10 to lead the College to an 80-50 win over visiting Ramapo.

The victory snapped a four-game losing skid for the Lions, and their 80 points marked the highest point total of the season.

Klimowicz grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked six shots in addition to her 10 points. Freshman guard Erin Drulis added nine points, while freshman center Alexandra Gregorek had eight points and four rebounds. Senior guard Margo Buchalski also added eight points.

The Lions jumped out to a 34-22 halftime lead that the Roadrunners never challenged the rest of the way.

The sharp-shooting of Ramapo senior guard Kelly Bartz was not enough to overcome the team’s shooting deficit, as it was held to a 23-percent showing from the field. Bartz netted a game-leading 17 points, including four baskets from beyond the arc. The Lions also forced 25 turnovers in the game.

The Roadrunners are 5-16 overall and still winless in the NJAC at 0-9.

The Lions had no answer to the Cougars as they lost 68-59. The contest was back-and-forth for much of the first period, with the College holding on to a small lead for the first 11 minutes.

Kean took the lead on a three-pointer at the 8:25 mark, but back-to-back layups by Klimowicz sent the Lions on a 7-0 run to regain a lead the Lions would take to the locker room.

The College could not extend its 28-27 halftime lead, and the Cougars went ahead for good on a three-pointer at 10:17. The bucket triggered a 9-1 run for the Cougars, who extended their lead to 10 with less than four minutes remaining. The Lions could not overcome the deficit and dropped their third contest to the Cougars this season.

Klimowicz led the Lions with 20 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five blocks. Freshman guard Nicole Diaz added eight points and three rebounds, while sophomore guard Alyssa Michella had five points and seven rebounds.

In non-conference action on Monday night, the Lions dropped a heartbreaking 49-47 decision to visiting Marymount University. Neither team could get its shooting rhythm going in the first period, as the Lions made only 7 of 37 attempts, including only 1-of-14 from three-point range. The Saints were only 7-of-24 from the field. The first half also featured a combined 24 turnovers.

Marymount held a 20-15 advantage at the half and extended that lead to 25-18 before the College went on a 9-0 run to go ahead. The rest of the game was back-and-forth, featuring nine lead changes and seven tied scores.

Down 49-47 with five seconds remaining, the Lions got the ball to junior guard/forward Sara Best, who netted a basket that would not count, as it came a second after the final buzzer.

Best led the College with 10 points and six rebounds, while Gregorek added nine points.

Fans were asked to wear pink during the game to support breast cancer research. Fans who wore pink received free admission while the cost of their ticket was donated to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

The College sits in third place in the NJAC South Division at 4-6 and the top three teams in each division – North and South – compete in the tournament from which the winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The Lions return to action as they host the Ospreys of Richard Stockton College tonight at 6 p.m. and visit the Rowan University Profs on Saturday at 3 p.m.