By Ann Brunn
In an exhilarating 67-59 overtime victory over William Paterson University in Packer Hall on Saturday, Feb. 22, the women’s basketball team advanced to the New Jersey Athletic Conference semifinals. The Lions are seeking their first NJAC championship since the 2008-2009 season.
With less than a minute left to play in regulation, the Lions were down 56-52 when they rallied to force overtime. Their stifling defense and crucial offensive possessions propelled the College over William Paterson in the overtime period to reach the semifinals.
Junior guard Elle Cimilluca paced the Lions with a career high 21 points, six rebounds and five assists. With 10 rebounds, junior forward Shannon Devitt inserted herself into second place all-time in the College’s history. She has 857 boards for her career and is 106 rebounds from passing Candy Kaschak for the overall program record. Devitt also added 17 points and four blocked shots.
Senior forward Jen Byrne scored nine points, which put her in sixth place in program history in scoring with 1,280 points in her career at the College. She tallied six rebounds as well.
The Lions will head south to Rowan University on Tuesday, Feb. 25 for a pivotal semifinal game. The teams split the regular season series with Rowan winning on Dec. 4, 2019, and the Lions winning on Jan. 29. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
If the Lions beat Rowan, they would play the winner of Montclair State University and New Jersey City University on Friday, Feb. 28 in the championship game.