By Anthony Caruso
Angelica Esposito has had to carry the women’s basketball team in scoring the past two games. As her junior regular season is coming to a close, she wants to get to the playoffs.
Esposito and her teammates still have an opportunity to make the New Jersey Athletic Conference playoffs. At 10-10, they know they must win three to four of their remaining conference games to make it.
“We’re excited to be back at .500,” Coach Dawn Henderson said. “We tried a couple of different things, and it worked for us. We struggled and didn’t shoot particularly well at times. I’m glad they were rewarded for the hard work.”
The College lost 62-52 to Richard Stockton at the Sports Center in Galloway, New Jersey on Wednesday, Jan. 28. The team struggled to score 30 points in either half.
The Ospreys were up as much as 13 points in the first half. And although the College held a three-point lead at 11:35 in the second half, the gap gradually closed.
The team was led by Esposito, who had a team high of 15 points. She was followed by juniors Jess Lynch and Christina Merlin, who had 10 points each.
“My teammates did a good job in getting me the ball,” Esposito said. “We do a good job of sharing the ball. I was able to make the shots, while other days, it could be any one of my teammates.”
Freshman Nikki Schott contributed six points, while fellow classman Cindy Napolitano added five. Senior Jessica Goldbach scored four, while senior Kelly Coughlin had two.
For the home team, Sara Farrell scored 15 points, as well. Sasha Williams scored 13, while Lauren Alwan had 11.
However, later on the College defeated the Rutgers-Newark Scarlet Raiders, 65-57, at Packer Hall on Saturday, Jan. 31.
Rutgers-Newark led by as much as eight points with 4:58 left in the first half. The Lions also had an eight-point lead with 1:27 left in the game.
Jade Howard had 21 points for the Scarlet Raiders. Shala Glenn added 12 points, while Maria Simmons had seven points.
“(Howard) is a very good player,” Esposito said. “Luckily, we got her into foul trouble in the first half and early in the second half, so she was in and out. It was hard for her to be comfortable and get a rhythm. She’s a great player, and the best player on their team by far.”
Both Rutgers players Arianna Williams and Sharée Gordon scored six points. Jasmine Lombard had five points.
Esposito scored a career-high 23 points for the Lions. Freshman Charlotte Schum also scored a career-high 11 points, while Coughlin added another 11 points.
“We were very excited coming into this game,” Schum said. “We prepared very well, and we came out with a lot of energy. We had very good shots against their defense … and we looked for the open gaps. Once we had an open shot, we had to make it count.”
Sophomore Katy Amato scored six points, Lynch and Goldbach had four points. Cindy Napolitano had three points, while Merlin had two points, and senior Kylie O’Donnell one point.
The past two games, the team shot only 38 of 118 from the field. They were shooting just 31 percent over this two game stretch.
“When we were going back and forth, our shots weren’t falling in the first half,” Schum said. “We knew they would fall eventually.”