By Malcolm Luck
In the midst of winter break, the women’s basketball team ventured into the heart of its schedule, yielding a 7-5 record since Dec. 5 and ultimately bringing the team to an 11-8 overall record for the season.
The Lions rode the tail end of a six-game win streak on Dec. 5, winning the fourth consecutive game in the stretch. The last three games of the win streak came against New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents University of Rutgers-Camden, Montclair State University and New Jersey City University.
The team quickly found itself in a slump, dropping four of its next five contests beginning on Dec. 29. In a poor offensive affair against Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the team lost 56-46. Smith College continued the trend by handing the Lions a 72-67 loss on Dec. 30.
The Lions started the new year with a 71-53 victory over NJAC rival Ramapo College on Jan. 5, but dropped the next two games to William Paterson University and Kean University.
It took an overtime win against Stockton University to get the team back on track on Jan. 16 in an attempt to shift the momentum. Following a postponement against University of Rutgers-Newark, the squad managed to win two of its next three games, beginning with a one-point victory against Hunter College on Jan. 21.
The College found itself on the wrong side of a one-point margin just two days later at home against Rowan University on Jan. 23. The first matchup against the conference opponent resulted in an overtime victory for the Lions earlier in the season on Nov. 28.
The defensive tone for the game was set in a first quarter that yielded only 15 combined points from the two teams, giving Rowan an 8-7 advantage after the first period.
The Lions responded offensively in the second quarter, in large part due to junior forward Jen Byrne, who scored the first three field goals to keep the College in the game.
Despite being down five points with less than three minutes remaining in the half, a three-pointer from junior guard Cailey Gibson and free throws from senior guard Nicole Shatsky tied the game at halftime
With 44 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, the Lions found themselves up by one point after Byrne’s missed free throw. A pair of clutch late free throws by Rowan put them back on top while the College could not find the bottom of the bucket as the final buzzer sounded, ultimately handing the Lions their eighth loss of the season.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, the team responded by putting up its most dominating defensive display of the season.
Against conference rival Montclair State, the Lions held their opponent to just 33 points. Following a slow offensive start by both teams in the first half, an offensive explosion in the third quarter set the tone for the remainder of the game on the back of sophomore forward Shannon Devitt’s 16-point second half performance.
A seven-point halftime lead was blown open in the third quarter. The Lions took advantage of a two-for-one opportunity at the end of the third quarter to go up by 16 points and essentially seal Montclair State’s fate. The game’s final tally was 54-33 in favor of the Lions.
On Monday, Jan. 28, the team topped Rutger University-Newark by a score of 45-43. With the regular season finale two weeks away, the College looks to create momentum in the final stretch of the season against a slew of conference opponents.
The Lion’s next game will take place tonight at 6 p.m. as the they takes on Rutgers University-Newark.