The Lions are just one game away from determining whether they will qualify for post-season play after the team’s loss to Kean University on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The women’s basketball team fell 87-52 to the Cougars despite riding high on a 82-38 road win against Rutgers University-Camden on Friday night. The win against the Scarlet Raptors put the Lions to 6-5 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). However, the team’s loss to Kean caused the record to become 6-6 in the NJAC and 13-11 overall this season.
On Friday, the Lions took control of the court as sophomore Hannah Tait led the team with 15 points going 6-8 from the floor. By the half the women’s team held a comfortable 49-19 lead over Rutgers University-Camden. Juniors Kelsey Kutch and Stephanie Prall were right behind Tait.
Kutch netted 14 points and Prall scored a solid 12 pints to help the team grab the win. Sophomore Jessica Imhof also contributed nine points, and junior Jamie Cresbaugh hit a career high of eight points. The Lions achieved a season best with a total of 82 points for the win over the Scarlet Raptors.
Kean University, the No. 1 team in the Division III Atlantic Region, proved to be a much tougher game for the Lions on Saturday. The Cougars took the win 87-52 for the team’s 23rd straight win, leaving them with a record of 12-0 in the NJAC and 23-1 overall.
The Lions felt the competition as the Cougars pulled ahead 43-28 by halftime. Junior Tiffany Patrick of Kean had a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Prall led the Lions with a career-high 14 points against the Cougars. Junior Keri Washington and sophomore Jessica Imhof each netted nine points. Washington also snagged five rebounds. However, the Lions offense was no match for Kean University’s top NCAA Division III defense.
“Kean is a dominant force this year in Division III basketball,” said freshman Megan Hartline. “They have a lot of talented young players and we knew it would be tough to pull out a win against them. But it’s hard to beat a team with a player who shoots 50 percent from the three-point line and another who is a deadly threat in the paint.”
Senior Melissa Beyruti of Kean University is currently three three-pointers shy of the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) record of 392, which was originally set by Laurie Koehn of Kansas State University back in 2005.
The 87-52 loss now sets the Lions up for a must-win game against Richard Stockton College on Wednesday, Feb. 17 in order for the women’s basketball team to continue into post-season play.
“The key to winning the game on Wednesday is within our team,” Hartline said. “We need to play our game, together. Heart and desire are going to lead us to the win and carry us through to the playoffs.”