Ewing — The night was dedicated to senior center Hillary Klimowicz.
Klimowicz, who has been sick with a cold and missed the previous two games with a rib injury, scored 13 total points in nearly 20 minutes. Her final shot, a bank shot, placed her on a historic list with other great former Lions women’s basketball players.
Klimowicz became just the 12th player in their women’s basketball history to surpass the 1,000-point mark. Her 10-point second half helped The College of New Jersey Lions roll past the Dickinson College Red Devils, 56-32, last night in a non-conference meeting at Packer Hall.
The win improved the Lions to 10-and-3 overall, including a 7-game win streak. The Red Devils dropped to 5-and-5 overall, including a 2-game losing streak.
She finished with 1,001 points in 66 career games.
“It’s exciting,” said Klimowicz. “I’m the 12th player (to reach 1,000 points). That’s pretty exciting. I have to thank my teammates because they like to give me the ball.”
Klimowicz became just the 4th player to surpass the 1,000-point mark since the 1999-2000 season, joining Jen Hutchinson, Liz Martin, and Adrienne Warner. She said she was able to surpass the 1,000-point mark in high school at Scotch Plains-Fanwood.
“The high school (1,000-point game) was a very big rivalry game with Shabazz,” said Klimowicz. “And we went up 6-0 and they stopped the game to give me an award. I was kind of upset because we ended up losing. I liked how they did it here. That was nice.”
After the game, the whole team took a picture with Klimowicz holding the game ball. She would later take pictures with family members holding the same basketball.
“She hasn’t practiced or played in 10-days,” said TCNJ women’s basketball head coach Dawn Henderson. “She’s just solid and makes everybody rise to another level. She’s been sick and hasn’t practiced. We wanted to get her in there for a few minutes here and there. Alex (Gregorek), who we haven’t really talked about, done a great job. She was the Player of the Week last week in the Conference.”
Klimowicz will miss the next game on Wednesday night at the Rowan Profs. Rowan is a Conference opponent, which the Lions are currently 2-1 against so far this season.
On Saturday night, the Lions face another Conference opponent in Rutgers University at Newark.
“It’s a tough week for us,” said coach Henderson. “We’re at Rowan — Hillary won’t be there. She won’t be there, because she has an interview for grad school and they won’t change it, which is beyond me. Rowan is Rowan. The College of New Jersey and Rowan is always a battle. They’re tough. And Rutgers-Newark is tough as well. They’re always competitive. It’s a big week for us and we want to do good in January no matter who we play.”
TCNJ would go on a run in the second half to outscore the Red Devils 38-17 in the second half. The Lions shot 53.6% from the field in the second half and 33.3% from the three-point line. The Lions shot only 29.6% in the first half from the field.
TCNJ’s Kelsey Kutch lead all scorers with 14 points, who had a perfect first half and went 6-for-7 from the field, in 29 minutes. Stephanie Prall had 9 points in 22 minutes, while Keri Washington had 7 points in 17 minutes. 5 other TCNJ players had at least a point in the game.
Dickinson’s Brooke Muller had a team-high 10 points in 29 minutes. Carole Dempsey had 8 points in 36 minutes, while Alesha Sisco had 6 points in 28 minutes. 3 other Dickinson players had at least a point in the game.
“They were a little slim,” said coach Henderson. “They only had 8 kids and they have a lot of injuries. Dickinson is well coached and they defend hard. They’re always a very, very good team. But they’re always going to battle.”
Both teams battled to a very close first half. It was 18-15 at the end of the first half, the closest score this season so far for the Lions at halftime. The majority of the Lions have been blowouts so far, except for a 4-point loss to Mount Saint Mary College in the early part of the season.
“I think we had 14 turnovers in the first half,” said coach Henderson. “That pretty much had to do with the close first half.”