The women’s basketball team participated in the 20th annual Marymount University Tip-Off Classic in Arlington, Va., winning in the first two rounds before dropping the championship game to host Marymount.
The Lions, coming off two huge victories, took the loss to the Saints 60-48. The defeat puts the College at a 2-1 record while Marymount stays undefeated at 3-0. The Lions will get a shot at retribution against their title-game foes as they play once again in Arlington on Dec. 16.
In the title fight, junior center Hillary Klimowicz led the way for the College as she added a double-double by scoring 13 points while grabbing a career-high 14 boards. Klimowicz also swatted away seven shots and was named to the all-tournament team.
Sophomore center Alex Gregorek contributed as well, netting 10 points and nabbing five rebounds. She was also named to the all-tournament team.
Adding seven points and six rebounds was freshman forward Kelsey Kutch.
“The loss was hard, of course, but we kept in mind that it was only the third game of the season,” Gregorek said. “I think that the fact that we made it (to the championship game) was very important. We showed some flashes of the team we can become and our potential is certainly there; we just need to reach it.”
“The loss to Marymount was tough but not heartbreaking,” sophomore guard Karen Lassoni said. “We did a lot of great things like play great defense and run through our offenses. This tournament showed that we have all of the pieces to the puzzle, and we are on our way to putting them together.”
The Lions can take consolation in the fact that they asserted full control over the first teams they played in the tournament.
In the first two rounds of the Tip-Off Classic, the Lions easily defeated King’s College 69-60 and routed Denison University 66-53.
Klimowicz once again led the way as the junior combined for a total 45 points and 21 rebounds in the two contests. Gregorek had a career-high 14 points while pulling down seven rebounds. Both centers showed their dominance in the tournament, according to Lassoni.
“We are focusing on getting the ball to our bigs who are dominating in the paint every game,” Lassoni said. “It appears to be working, not to mention we are getting great looks from the rest of our offense too.”
“Career-highs” was the theme of the tournament as junior guard Alyssa Michella posted 16 points and nine rebounds in the game against King’s, both career bests.
Rounding out the Lions’ effort was a two-game, 28-point effort by Kutch and a combined nine-rebound, 12-assist performance by junior guard Lisa Koch.
“Our team has great chemistry,” Gregorek said. “With such a small team, we are able to understand how each of us plays, including our strengths and weaknesses.”
“It is a great thing to see several of our players in double figures,” she added, “as it shows that not only is more than one player in the team is a threat, but we all are.”