Turning winning into a habit: Lions take two

Ask head coach Dawn Henderson what type of win she prefers and she’ll tell you the same thing every time:

If the little things are done right, the type of win doesn’t matter.

“As long as we do what we’re supposed to do, then we should be able to win,” Henderson said.

The Lions took their coach’s words to heart last Wednesday, as they recorded their biggest win of the year over the Scarlet Raptors of Rutgers University-Camden at Packer Hall.

The Lions took down the Scarlet Raptors by a final score of 67-29.

“Obviously, these types of wins are nice in knowing you’ve got it in the bag and you take them any way you can,” Henderson continued, “but it’s even better if we execute on the court as well.”

The loss was the worst of the year for the Scarlet Raptors, as they were held to their lowest point total in a half all season, a miniscule nine points on 10 percent shooting.

It also marked the lowest point total the Lions allowed all season.

“Our defense has really improved since the beginning of the season and that’s been showing in a lot of our games,” senior guard/forward Sara Best, who scored 14 points in the win, said. “We’ve been out-rebounding most of the teams we’ve played as well, and it shows.”

Junior center Hillary Klimowicz once again paced the Lions’ explosive offense, as she recorded her 15th double-double of the season with 16 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.

She also reached the 900 career points mark, including her 275 points scored at St. Joseph’s University.

When asked about her milestone achievement, Klimowicz gave most of the credit to to her fellow players.

“It’s pretty exciting, but I don’t think about points too much,” Klimowicz said.

“This mostly means that the guards are doing a good job of getting me the ball,” she continued.

The veteran Klimowicz had help on the offensive end from one of the young Lions, freshman forward Kelsey Kutch, who netted 15 total points.

Sophomore center Alexandra Gregorek also contributed for the College, as she posted a 10-point and seven-rebound performance.

With everyone putting in their fair share in the points category, Henderson wanted to emphasize they did not want to “run the score up.”

“We were just pushing the ball and trying to work our offense,” she said. “We did not want to try and show up the other team in any way whatsoever.”

The Lions provided yet another blowout in their second game of the week.

The College soundly defeated New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival New Jersey City University (NJCU) 62-41, behind Klimowicz’s 23 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks on the night.

Again, Klimowicz passed the credit to those who have helped her achieve on the court.

“Everyone on the court does a solid job setting me up for success in the games,” Klimowicz said.

“It’s easy to put the ball in the hoop when I receive a perfect pass from a guard on the wing or a high-low pass from the other forward in the game,” she added.

With the win, the Lions have reeled off victories in nine of their last 11 contests and are now 6-2 in the NJAC and 15-5 overall.

The College showed that defense is just as important on the court, as they combined on eight blocks while holding NJCU to 22.4 percent shooting from the floor.

At one point, NJCU went 13:47 without a bucket.

“The idea is that a team should only be able to get one shot off a possession, if that, against us,” Klimowicz said. “With that (mentality), defense is a do-or-die aspect of the game for our team.”

The Lions are scheduled to head back on the road Saturday, Feb. 9, as the College goes head-to-head with the Roadrunners of Ramapo College.

The game is slated for a 1 p.m. start.