October 29, 2020
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Lions struggle early in NJAC competition

By Anthony Caruso
Staff Writer

The College’s women’s basketball team has lost all three games over the past two weeks, all within a week span before the players and coaches went on Thanksgiving break.

The first two losses came on the road, the first being on Tuesday, Nov. 17, against Moravian College, 76-53, and Saturday, Nov. 21, against Montclair State University, 66-48. The final came in the team’s home opener against Rutgers-Camden on Tuesday, Nov. 24, falling short, 74-71.

Coach Dawn Henderson thinks a few things are keeping the Lions back in their games.

“It’s a combination of things,” she said. “We’re young and we’re trying to figure that out. We’ve also played very good teams — and a few of them got away from us. Widener got away and we could have upset Scranton.”

The game against Moravian was close in the first half, before the Greyhounds pulled away in the second.

The Greyhounds scored 48 points in the final two quarters, while the Lions scored just 23. The College shot 26.7 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from the three-point line. They were 16 of 18 from the free throw line for 88.9 percent.

Junior guard Taryn Corrigan led the College with 12 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal. Forward Christina Merlin and guard Angelica Esposito, both seniors,  had eight each and Merlin also had five rebounds. Esposito added six rebounds and an assist in the game.

Junior Kim Dana and sophomore Cindy Napolitano, both guards, had six points each. Dana also had three rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Charlotte Schum, senior Jess Lynch and junior Gina Barrett, all guards, contributed two points each, while sophomore forward Nikki Schott had a point.

The Lions will try to regroup after a difficult stretch of games to start the season. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
The Lions will try to regroup after a difficult stretch of games to start the season. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

On Saturday, Nov. 21, the Lions dropped to 0-4 on the season when they lost their first conference game of the season against the Montclair State Red Hawks.

The Lions led going into halftime, as the score was 36-29. The team had a game-high 22 points in the second quarter.

Much like the game against the Greyhounds, the Lions were outscored in the second half. The Red Hawks outpaced the College, 37-12, in the final two quarters, as they could only muster five points in the third and seven in the fourth.

In this game, the Lions were 32.2 percent from the field. However, they were just 12.24 percent in the second half. They were 32 percent from the three-point line and 2-3, for 66.7 percent, from the free throw line.

Esposito and Schum led the team for 10 points each. Esposito also had five rebounds and two assists, while Schum had three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Napolitano added nine points, while Dana had five and Merlin and Corrigan had four each. Napolitano added two boards, while Dana had three rebounds and four assists. Lynch, Scott and freshman forward Allie Dunn had two points each.

On Tuesday, Nov. 24, the Lions played their first home game of the season against Rutgers-Camden, but fell short as the final buzzer sounded.

The Scarlet Raptors held a 39-32 halftime lead, but were outscored, 39-35, in the final two quarters of the game.

With 15 seconds left, Esposito made a three-pointer to cut the Scarlet Raptors’ lead to 72-71. Schum fouled Raptors’ forward, senior Kamari Talley, who made back-to-back free throws.

Instead of taking the final shot, Esposito passed the ball to Napolitano, who was not guarded by two players, and missed a three to end the game.

The Lions shot 50 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the three-point line. They were seven of nine, making for 77.8 percent, from the free throw line.

Esposito led the team with 19 points, and added five rebounds and two assists. Lynch added 14 points with six rebounds, an assist and a steal. Dana had 13 points with three rebounds, four assists and a steal.

Corrigan came off the bench with seven, while Amato added four. Merlin and Napolitano added three each, as Schott and freshman guard Kate O’Leary had two each.

“It’s hard to be 0-4, 0-5 as doubt starts to creep in,” Henderson said. “When doubt creeps in, you lose your composure. I thought we lost it a little bit towards the end of the first half. I also thought we lost our composure a little bit in the middle of the second half. That’s going to hurt you, so we’re a work in progress.”

The team continues its season on the road against Stockton University on Wednesday, Dec. 2.

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