By Jordan Washington
The Lions had two big games this week. The team went up against William Paterson University for the final game of the season and played its first playoff game against Montclair State University.
The Lions suffered a tough loss against Kean University on Feb. 9, but they had another chance to get a win at home against William Paterson on Feb. 13.
Unfortunately, a poor three-point shooting night led to a third straight loss. This was a game of runs as each team went back and forth trying to get the best of one another.
Junior guard Randall Walko came out hot making shots and he ended up being the team’s leading scorer with 25 points.
The Lions owned the first half, especially with an 11-0 run to put them up 28-25 at one point.
The Lions felt good going into halftime with a five-point lead, but the second half was not a good of a turnaround for the team.
The score was close and it was a tied game with eight minutes left.
After trading threes, the Lions saw themselves down five and never were able to recover.
William Paterson went on an 8-0 run in the final minutes to take control of the game and win 91-78.
This afforded the Lions the sixth seed in the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament and a date with the three seed Montclair State on Saturday, Feb. 16.
In the quarterfinals of the NJAC conference tournament, the team looked to bounce back following three straight losses in a game that could have ended its season.
The leading scorer in the NJAC, Walko, poured in 31 points, making it his fourth 30-plus point game of the season. It was tight at first and both teams were firing on all cylinders.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent and each made runs, but Montclair State led by five at the half.
Following the intermission, the College found itself down by 10 points early in the second half.
However, the Lions were not going down without a fight and scored seven straight points.
Walko did what he does best, hitting a three to put the team up.
Following back and forth baskets, the Lions saw themselves down by three. Walko then got a three-point play to tie the game.
In a tight game, Montclair State came down and hit a clutch baseline jumper with 1.2 seconds left on the clock to seal the Lions’ fate 67-65.
Despite ending the season with a heartbreaking loss, the Lions can look back on some exciting victories and great moments.