By Dylan Calloway
The Lions split last week’s games, beating William Paterson University, 50-37, on Wednesday, Feb. 8 and losing to Montclair State University, 56-47, on Saturday, Feb. 11.
With one game left in the regular season, the Lions sit on a three-way tie for fifth place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Only the top six teams qualify for the NJAC tournament.
On Wednesday, the Lions took on the Pioneers and won by double digits with a score of 50-37. The Lions defense was a key factor in the victory, as the Pioneers only shot 27 percent and scored a season-low 37 points. At one point in the first half, the Pioneers managed just one basket in twelve minutes.
“We played very well up at William Paterson,” said head coach Dawn Henderson. “It’s always a tough place to play and I thought we handled the pressure very well.”
Junior forward Nikki Schott led the team in points, with twelve total, and grabbed seven rebounds. She also swatted away 3 shots in the first half. Additionally, sophomore guard Nicole Shatsky drained eight points in the fourth quarter and extended the Lions lead.
After the win against William Paterson University, the Lions took on the NJAC leading Montclair State University, whom they upseted earlier in the season. The Red Hawks won this time around, beating the Lions, 56-47.
The Lions came out strong, ending the first quarter with a 16-10 lead. The second quarter saw a strong reversal by the Red Hawks, as they went on a 20-3 scoring run. The Red Hawk’s lead accumulated to 20 points in the third quarter. The Lions later countered with a 13-0 run, putting them back in contention. With three minutes to go, the Red Hawks defense secured their victory by not allowing the Lions to score once.
“We came out very strong against a very good Montclair team,” said Henderson. “It went back and forth for a while. They took a big lead and we fought back. Competitive fire drives any comeback and this team really is competing hard for a playoff spot.”
Sophomore guard Kate O’Leary scored 12 points to lead the team in scoring while Schott went a perfect 5-for-5 and ended the game with 10 points.
On Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 6 p.m., the Lions will host Rutgers University-Newark in their final regular season game. The last time the two teams competed, the Lions came away with a 59-47 victory.