Women’s basketball passes first test

TUESDAY, 10:30 p.m. — Sophomore center Hillary Klimowicz posted her second double-double – 19 points and 10 boards – in as many games as the women’s basketball team crushed Montclair State University 60-39 in the first round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs on Tuesday night. With the win, the third-seeded Lions advance to the conference semifinals to play top-seeded Kean University in Union, N.J., on Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Red Hawks scored the game’s first basket, but the Lions responded with a 10-0 run sparked by six points from Klimowicz. Montclair got back within three before the College responded with an 11-0 run to put the score at 23-9 with 8:27 left in the first half. The College took a 25-14 lead into the locker room.

The Lions netted the first eight points in the second half to put them in full control of the game.

Senior forward Breanne Depken netted 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds and tallied a career-high eight steals. Junior guard/forward Sara Best added eight points and nine boards, while sophomore guard Nicole Diaz netted seven points.

The Lions held defending NJAC Player of the Year senior Stephanie Machin to only three points, while holding all Red Hawks under double digits in scoring. The Red Hawks shot an abysmal 18.2 percent for the game, while the Lions hit 39.2 percent of their shots. Freshman guard Jackie Berry led Montclair with seven points.

The Lions flourish in the underdog role, as this marked the second year in a row they sent the Red Hawks home early as the lower seed. The College won that contest 49-43, also in Montclair’s Panzer Gym.