By Malcolm Luck
Coming off a slow 1-3 start to open the season, the Lions bounced back to win their next two games, beginning with their overtime road win against conference rival Rowan University. The College left Glassboro, New Jersey with a 79-70 win, earning the team its second New Jersey Athletic Conference win of the year.
Senior guard Sam Famulare, the game’s leading scorer with 23 points, sank the first bucket with 9:51 to play in the first, claiming her first three points of the night. A back-and-forth first quarter ended with the Lions ahead by one and an early tally of 16-15.
Rowan outscored the Lions in the second quarter, finding themselves on the positive side of the game’s largest scoring lead after a fast break lay up with 1:34 remaining in the half. The Lions retaliated quickly, getting a bucket in the paint from junior guard Lauren Barlow and a pair of free throws from junior guard Samantha Bialoblocki, reducing their deficit to four points by halftime.
The second half was heavily contested, providing the fans with an entertaining match up from two of the best teams in the conference.
The College tied the game in the third quarter on Barlow’s first free throw and took command of a one-point lead with her second. Rowan answered on the next possession, draining a three-pointer to go ahead by two. The remaining 7:22 of the quarter saw four additional lead changes, until Famulare tied the game at 53 with a three-pointer and with five ticks left on the shot clock.
Rowan went ahead by six with just 4:02 to play in the game’s final quarter, but the Lions refused to back down. Following a timeout with 4:00 remaining, sophomore guard Elle Cimilluca ignited the passionate comeback with a three-pointer and with a little over three and a half minutes left in regulation.
Senior guard Kate O’Leary responded with a three-pointer of her own to tie the game at 63 with 2:31 remaining. Sophomore forward Shannon Devitt put the Lions on top with a close jumper, but Rowan eventually tied the game at 65, sending the Lions to their first overtime match of the year.
Unfamiliar territory did not phase the Lions, as they exploded offensively for 14 points in the five-minute overtime period.
The Lions ultimately sank six of their seven free throws in overtime to put the game to rest, outscoring Rowan 14-5 in the final period while improving to 2-3 on the season.
In large part to a dominating second quarter by the Lions, the next game demanded a little less drama as the team took on Rutgers-Newark at home.
Finding themselves down 13-8 after the first quarter, the Lions held Rutgers-Newark to five points in the second quarter while putting up 20 of their own.
Bialoblocki sank a three-pointer only a little over a minute and a half into the second quarter. O’Leary added a three of her own, followed by a jump-shot from junior forward Jen Byrne after an offensive rebound. Freshman guard/forward Rachel Gazzola drained a three of her own, putting the Lions up by six halfway through the quarter.
When the dust settled, the College entered halftime with a commanding 10-point lead and never looked back, as they went on to win by a final score of 61-52.
The team continued its winning streak on Monday, Dec. 3, defeating Morivian College 80-56.