Lions improve in the NJAC standings

By Otto Gomez
Staff Writer

The Lions continued their hunt for a playoff spot with three more New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) games in a span of six days and came out with a 2-1 record.

This stretch was particularly difficult because of the traveling, as they beat Montclair State University, 93-76, at home on Monday, Feb. 1, and then traveled to Glassboro, N.J., and scored another win against Rowan University on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 90-82. The team finally returned home to go against New Jersey City University on Saturday, Feb. 6, losing, 81-56.

With their win against Montclair, the Lions were finally able to have a winning NJAC record at 7-6. The team’s offense was firing all day, as they finished with 93 points.

Sophomore center Steven Kelly goes for a layup. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore center Steven Kelly goes for a layup. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

“We wanted to get off to a strong start after digging ourselves in a hole the last couple of games,” head coach Matt Goldsmith said.

Sophomore guard Eric Murdock, Jr. continued the success he’s been having all season with a near triple-double, netting 21 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. Five other players from the College reached double-figures scoring after a strong finish in the second half. Once they finally broke through, the team never looked back as they finished the contest with a 93-76 victory.

The Lions continued their strong offensive performance as they beat Rowan, 90-82, at home on the night of Wednesday, Feb. 3.

This time, it was the other guard named Eric who led the team in scoring, as junior Eric Klacik finished with 21 points on a career-high five three-pointers made.

When asked about his two guards with one name, Goldsmith said he was very proud of what they have done.

“They’ve been great all year,” Goldsmith said. “They stepped up as captains and have completely led this team to where we are now.”

He added that he’s very excited for next year as they both will continue to lead the team in the future.

After coming back home for their Saturday game, the Lions squared off against New Jersey City University, the best team in the NJAC. Due to New Jersey City’s strong squad and the team’s tough road schedule, the Lions fell, 81-56.

Sophomore guard Kevin Johnson attempts to get past a Gothic Knights defender. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Sophomore guard Kevin Johnson attempts to get past a Gothic Knights defender. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

The game had a playoff feel to it early on. The Gothic Knights raced out to 20-8, but Murdock imposed his will at both ends of the floor to carve into the deficit. The College kept pace, but had trouble finishing, shooting just 33 percent in the period.

The College continues a game ahead of sixth-place Montclair State University in the NJAC standings and since the top six teams make the playoffs, the Lions are doing just fine. They plan to improve their 8-7 NJAC record on Wednesday, Feb. 10, as they take on Ramapo College in Packer Hall.