By Dylan Calloway
While students have been away, the Lions have been working to keep themselves in a good New Jersey Athletic Conference standing.
The Lions are currently ranked seventh in NJAC play with a 5-6 conference record. Winter break was filled with ups and downs for the team, but the highlight was handing Montclair State University its first loss of the season. Montclair was leading the NJAC with a 14-0 record and are ranked No. 8 nationally.
The Lions attained the win through a tough defensive effort. They held the Red Hawks to a season-low 40 points.
The game also marks the first time the Lions have beaten the Red Hawks since January 2010, breaking a 10-game losing streak. It is also the second time the College has beaten a nationally ranked opponent this year.
Junior forward Nikki Schott was named the NJAC’s Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for her performance against Montclair State University and Rutgers-Camden, where she put up double numbers in both games and added solid defensive work to help the Lions earn a win in both games.
In their most recent game, a rematch against Kean University, the Lions lost by a solid 34-point performance by Cougars sophomore guard Marajiah Bacon, the NJAC’s leading scorer this season. During the game, Bacon scored her 1000th career point. The Lions were leading by two with only three minutes remaining in the game, but the Cougars went on a 10-2 scoring run that took back the lead and sealed the loss for the Lions.
From tip-off, the team had been playing the game from behind until halfway through the second quarter. From then on, it was a back and forth game that neither team could gain control of until the last minute.
Despite the loss, the team got good performances out of its players with sophomore guard Kate O’Leary and junior forward Chiara Palombi leading the team with 15 points each. Junior guard Charlotte Schum chipped in with a season-high 12 rebounds.
With the game against Stevens Institute of Technology on Monday, Jan. 23, cancelled due to inclimate weather, the rest of the season will consist of conference games only.
The Lions will be looking to make a push to put themselves into playoff contention when they host Stockton University in Packer Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. Later in the week, they will play on Saturday, Jan. 28, against New Jersey City University in Packer Hall at 3 p.m.