Lions take care of business and advance

Nothing can stop the momentum of the College’s women’s basketball team after the show they put on this week. Though they dropped one game to Montclair State University, they have steamed right ahead into the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament and have come out victorious in the first of those games, beating Richard Stockton College in a playoff game by a score of 69-57.

The team defense was in lockdown mode in the Lions’ NJAC win. (Warren Fields / Staff Photographer)

The Lions played their first game of the past week against New Jersey City University on the Lions’ home court, which they dominated 66-31 — their largest margin of victory this season. The team’s offense was on fire during this game, knocking down nine three-pointers.

As soon as the game began, the Lions took control and never relinquished it to the Gothic Knights. Come halftime, they led 34-17. They were able to capitalize on the Gothic Knights’ inability to net their field goals, hitting only three in 17 attempts.

Junior guard Colleen Duffy shined brightly in her first collegiate start, securing eight points for her team on two three-pointers and two free throws. Freshman forward Christina Merlin also had an impressive game, grabbing four rebounds in 10 minutes. A total of nine players were able to score in the second half of the game, boosting their score well above that of their opponents.

The high scores of the game came from Duffy and junior guard Tiffany DeTulio, each with 13, while junior guard Kelly Roddy finished with 12.

The team felt confident going into their games at the end of the week.

“We’re in a really good position,” Merlin said.  “With us being such a young team, we’ve all stepped up and taken on roles to help get us to where we are.”

The second game of the week, and the final game of regular season play, came in a loss against Montclair State University. This loss snapped the College’s four game winning streak, but did not dash their spirits.

The Lions came out strong in the first half of this game, leading in the first few minutes. However, the Red Hawks tied the score at 8-8 and it was a struggle from there. Their opponents went on a 15-2 run, distancing themselves from the Lions until the very end. Montclair beat the College 76-47, ending their perfect season on top of all the charts.

But the Lions did not let this loss negatively affect them. It just gave them more fuel for the fire. Their first NJAC tournament game came against Richard Stockton College and the Lions were victorious. This was the first postseason win for the College since the 2008-2009 season.

It was back and forth play throughout the first half, with the Lions entering halftime on top by a score of 34-25. In the second half, the College began pulling away and they expanded their lead to 17 points.

Roddy led the team with seven rebounds, five assists and nine points while sophomore guard Kylie O’Donnell came up with four assists and six points. The College will advance in the tournament with a game at William Paterson University on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. in the semi-final matchup.