By Anthony Caruso
Posted: February 19, 2014 at 11:02 pm EST
Ewing – The College of New Jersey women’s basketball team is hoping they will get another shot at Montclair State University.
The Lions are 0-2 against the Red Hawks this season. Yet, that is not affecting their mindset should they meet again in the NJAC Championship game.
The Red Hawks defeated the Lions, 63-49, last night at Packer Hall.
The loss snapped the Lions 7-game win streak and dropped the Lions to 18-7 overall. The win for the Red Hawks gave Montclair a 9-game win streak.
The Red Hawks have not lost since January 18th against Kean University. In that game, the Red Hawks lost 74-69.
The loss is the second for the Lions at home this season. This is the first loss at home for the Lions since November 20th when the Lions lost 86-81 to Moravain College.
This final regular season game was senior night for four seniors. Those seniors, included Colleen Duffy, Liz West, Kelly Roddy, and Tiffany DeTulio.
“Wow,” said Roddy. “It was emotional. From Day One, I can’t say enough about this team. I honestly don’t want to be a senior right now. I would rather be a sophomore or junior, because we have so much talent. I can’t believe this is my last home regular season game. I can’t imagine playing without my fellow seniors.”
The Lions return to Packer Hall on Tuesday night in the New Jersey Athletic Conference semi-final match. The Lions will find out who they will play next on Saturday afternoon.
“This next week ahead of us is huge,” said Roddy. “We are thinking we are going to play William Paterson again. It’s going to be the third time that we play them. It’s tough to beat a team three times.”
While the Red Hawks led throughout, the Lions believe that it was their mistakes that gave Montclair the lead.
The Lions trailed by as many as 15 points in the second half when the game was tied at 45-30. They would cut into the lead; however, they could not get the lead lower than 10 points.
Janitz Aquino led the Red Hawks attack with 21 points, and Melissa Tobie scored 20 points. Kayla Ceballos had a hot streak late, where she scored consecutive baskets to get 12 points.
“We tried to game plan against Aquino and Tobie,” said Lions coach Dawn Henderson. “If we move our feet on defense, maybe we would do a better job against Tobie. We did a better job in the final 12 minutes against her.”
Nicosia Henry scored 4 points, and Rachael Krauss and Zoe Curtis scored 3 points for the Red Hawks.
The Red Hawks shot 40% from the field and 35.3% from three-point range. The Lions shot just 34.5% from the field, and just 14.3% from three-point range.
“We are so close to them,” said coach Henderson. “Ok, it was 14-15 points, whatever it was. I honestly feel we are so close to them. We made some mental mistakes – too many mistakes, and we gave up too many three’s. We had 18 turnovers, but when we broke the press, we broke it with short passes. If we eliminate some mistakes and turnovers, we are going to be right with them.”
The Lions would have to shoot better from three-point range if they are going to have any hope of beating the Red Hawks if they meet again. The Lions would need to shoot at least 30% or better from three-point range.
DeTulio is one of the Lions three-point shooters, but she was held to just one three pointer made. The Lions shot 3-of-21 from three-point range.
DeTulio led the Lions with 11 points, and was the only Lions player in double figures. Fellow seniors had 18 points overall, including West with 6 points, Roddy with 7 points, and Duffy with 4 points.
Underclassmen Kylie O’Donnell scored six points, while Kelly Coughlin had 5 points, Christina Merlin and Jessica Goldbach scored 4 points apiece, while Angelica Esposito scored a basket.
The Lions had three leads in the game. But none after the game was tied at 9-9.
Montclair State took an early 3-0 lead, then the Lions made it 4-3 after back-to-back baskets. Roddy gave the Lions a 9-7 lead, before Tobie scored to make it 9-9.
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