High scores lead to high spirits for Lions

During Winter break, the women’s basketball team continued to do what it does best: score points, play stellar defense and win games. It did the latter in six of its Winter break games, including dominating Richard Stockton College at Packer Hall on Jan. 19 with a season-high 83 points.

“Scoring 83 points is high for any college basketball game, but with the talent on our team it doesn’t surprise me,” sophomore guard Karen Lassoni said. “Everyone seemed to be in a zone.”

The Lions downed the Ospreys by a score of 83-54, topping their previous collective scoring performance of 81 against Widener University just days earlier. Their high-powered offense shot over 50 percent from the floor, had five players in double figures and was led by sophomore center Alexandra Gregorek.

Gregorek notched 16 points, including 10 points in the first half. Junior guard Alyssa Michella and senior guard/forward Sara Best each posted 14 points overall, while freshman forward Kelsey Kutch put up 13 points of her own. Junior center Hillary Klimowicz tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds en route to her 12th double-double on the season.

With the win, the Lions improved to 12-4 overall, and 3-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC).

Three days earlier the Lions faced one of their toughest tests of the season as they fell to the No. 11 ranked Cougars of Kean University 60-44 in Union. The loss was the first in the NJAC for the College.

The Cougars led by just one point with seven minutes to go, but the Lions did not score once the rest of the game. Kean went on a 15-point run to clinch the 16-point victory.

“Kean was a tough loss considering last year we lost to them four times,” Lassoni said. “But that game will not stop us from growing and moving forward as a team.”

The potent offense of the College had only one player post double digits, as Klimowicz had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat.

The loss to the Cougars snapped the Lions’ five-game win streak.

“Naturally, we were a little upset after losing (to Kean), but there were a lot of good things that happened during that game as well,” Klimowicz said. “They just ran us into a drought at the end of the game that we weren’t able to get out of.”

Despite the defeat, the Lions had overall success during the break, including winning the Gwynedd-Mercy College Classic.

First, the Lions easily defeated Widener 81-57. Four Lions scored in double figures, including Gregorek, who put up a 15-point effort. Klimowicz and Best added 14 points apiece, and Michella contributed 13 points.

The Lions then took down host Gwynedd-Mercy 54-40. Klimowicz posted yet another double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds on the way to being named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. Through the two games, the Lions’ starting center shot 16-18 from the field, averaged 10.5 boards per game and notched five blocks.

Best was also added to the All-Tournament Team, as the veteran posted 12 points and seven rebounds in the title game.

The Lions’ other two victories occurred at home, where the College dropped the Sea Gulls of Salisbury University 47-36 and defeated the Elizabethtown College Blue Jays 72-64.

“Each and every game, we grow and improve as a team, and it’s been an awesome season so far,” Michella said. “The 12 of us have an amazing bond and we all have a common goal, which is to win and to do it together. We all know how much potential we have and feel that the sky’s the limit for us.”

The College’s next contest is tonight at 6 p.m. against host Rowan University.