Alumnae game spoiled as Lions drop to Pioneers

Junior guard Katie Occhipinti dishes a pass. (Tom O’Dell / Photo Editor)

The women’s basketball team had a double header on Jan. 15 that started with fun and ended with misery.

The early contest was an alumnae game, a lighthearted contest putting past Lions against current members of the team. The next contest came against conference rival William Patterson University at the College, but it wasn’t as much fun for the Lions, who lost to the Pioneers 72-53, its second loss in as many games.

Many of the Lions put up a solid effort. Junior guard Jessica Imhof led the scoring with 13 points and five assists for the night.

Senior center Alex Gregorek almost matched Imhof’s performance with 12 points and five assists. Fellow senior guard Keri Washington also had a strong night, putting up nine points and two assists.

“The loss to William Patterson does not lower our team’s expectations for the season,” Imhof said. “We fought hard and will continue to do so until we reach one of our goals of being in the NJAC finals. We believe in each other and our ability to win big games.”

While the Lions put up a fight, junior forward April Smith outscored all players from both teams, recording 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Pioneers, the majority of her tally coming during the final 20 minutes of the game. Freshman guard Floriana Borova of the Pioneers tallied 12 points while junior guard BriAnna Lucas posted six assists and five steals.

The Lions began with an early lead over William Patterson, leading 17-16 midway through the first half.

The Pioneers exploded towards the end of the half, which continued through the end of the game, while Imhof and freshman forward Liz West tried to close the gap with an eight-point streak.

“For the second half of the season I expect our team to step up and continue to play well,” Washington said. “We just need to close out games and we will be fine. A tough loss to Willy P however we are right there, very close to where we need to be.”

Their first game of the semester will be on Saturday, Jan. 22 at Montclair State University.