The women’s basketball team split their twin bill, taking down Rowan University 75-50 before falling to William Paterson University 71-67.
The Lions first traveled to Glassboro, N.J., and soundly defeated the Profs by 25 points on Wednesday night. The Lions trailed 7-4 early in the game, but after going on a 9-0 run they never looked back.
“The bottom line is we stress defense,” head coach Dawn Henderson said. “We try to create opportunities for us on that end of the floor. Steals, blocks, turnovers are always what we’re looking for, and I think that is a key reason why we played so well against this good of a team.”
Junior center Hillary Klimowicz once again led the charge, scoring a team-high 20 points while nabbing 15 boards and swatting away four shots for the victors. Klimowicz seemed pleased with her performance, but mostly because of the team’s overall play.
“Rowan was a great game for us because our inside-outside game really came together,” Klimowicz said. “(Junior guard Alyssa Michella) was hot from the three-point line, helping to take away the pressure defense from the posts, which made it easier to score inside.”
The junior guard had a career game, knocking down five three-pointers en route to a 16-point, 9-rebound effort.
“She’s a great shooter,” Henderson said. “Not only that, but she’s been an even more consistent defender. I’m very pleased that she’s found her shot in the past few weeks to round out her game.”
Senior guard/forward Sara Best rounded out the double-figure scorers with 12 points of her own. She also attributed the win to the Lions’ team game.
“On offense, we’ve been focusing on running our plays and looking for weaknesses in the opposing team’s defense,” Best said. “Rowan didn’t have the height we have, so we used that to our advantage by looking down low and feeding the posts.”
The Profs may have been easily taken advantage of by the Lions, but the Pioneers of William Paterson University took them to the limit and eventually claimed victory.
In the tightly contested battle Saturday in Wayne, N.J., six ties, 11 lead changes and physical play all occurred during the first half.
After being tied 35-35 at halftime, the Pioneers regained the lead by eight points. However, the Lions stormed back and cut the deficit to one, leaving the score 53-52.
“We missed free throws, easy shots inside, we had a lot of turnovers and (William Paterson) had nine three-pointers,” Henderson said. “With the score as close as it was, if we could clean up one of the categories, we could have easily won that game.”
The College had four players in double figures, including Klimowicz, who led the way with 20 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in the loss.
With the loss, the Lions stand at 4-2 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) South Division and 13-5 overall, while the Pioneers improved to 5-1 in the NJAC North and 13-4 overall on the year.
“Can we do better? Sure. We just need to evaluate this game and apply what we’ve learned to the next game,” Henderson said.
The Lions will be back home tonight as they host NJAC rival Rutgers University-Camden at 6 p.m. in Packer Hall.