By Malcolm Luck
Despite already earning a first round bye in the upcoming New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament, the Lions refuse to ease up on their opponents.
On the heels of double-digit-point performances from sophomore forward Shannon Devitt, senior guard Sam Famulare, junior forward Jen Byrne and junior guard Lauren Barlow, women’s basketball dominated conference opponent William Paterson University in the regular season finale by a final score of 64-48 on Feb. 13.
Famulare opened up scoring for both sides by drilling a three-pointer following several empty possessions. After an offensive board on the next possession, she drained one more to tally the sixth of her 11 points on the day.
For the remainder of the quarter, Devitt asserted her dominance on the court, scoring the next 10 points for the College while grabbing five boards in the process.
Barlow sank a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter to put her squad on top 19-7.
William Paterson held close midway through the second quarter, reducing its deficit to as few as eight points with 6:28 remaining in the half. Any attempt at a comeback was quickly thwarted by a hot stretch from freshman guard/forward Rachel Gazzola.
Gazzola drilled a three-pointer 15 seconds later to stretch the Lions’ lead to 11. After a layup from Byrne on the next possession, Gazzola followed up with a mid-range jumper and another three-pointer on back-to-back possessions to go ahead by 14. Another late three from Barlow sent the Lions to the locker room with a 17-point advantage.
A closely contested second half was not enough to bring William Paterson back from a deep deficit.
In the end, Devitt, Famulare, Byrne and Barlow collectively scored 54 of the team’s 64 points. Barlow’s 16 points were good for her season high while Devitt also topped her season high mark in rebounds with 20.
Coming up for the Lions is the semifinal round against University of Rutgers-Newark tonight at home at 7 p.m. Rutgers-Newark is coming off of a 65-47 win over University of Rutgers-Camden in the first round of the NJAC tournament, while the College is looking to defeat Rutgers-Newark for the third time this season following previous wins at home on Dec. 1 and on the road on Jan. 28.