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TCNJ Lions lose a heart breaker to the Ospreys in OT

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EWING — The College of New Jersey‘s women’s basketball has dropped to .500 with their latest loss. They are now on a three-game losing streak.

They lost to the Richard Stockton University Ospreys, 54-53 in overtime in a heart-breaking game at Packer Hall. The Ospreys got a questionable call late that gave them the win.

The Lions are now 9-9 overall on the season. They are 5-6 within the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

The Ospreys improved to 15-3 overall. They are 9-2 within the conference.

With 1.9 remaining in overtime, Angelica Esposito was called for a foul. Ospreys’ Sasha Williams went to the line with the game on the line.

“As I said to the kids, I didn’t see a foul,” Lions head coach Dawn Henderson added. “What made me upset about it, he (the referee) made a call against us in the final seconds of our last game. So, as much as that’s upsetting, there were other things that we could have done better in the game.”

She missed the first free throw from the charity stripe. Then, she made the second one.

Henderson called a timeout and got the ball from half court. She called the play for Cindy Napolitano receiving the last shot and she didn’t get it off in time.

The Ospreys outscored the Lions 6-5 in the extra session. Lea Mendolla had three, while Najha Treadwell had two and Williams had the point.

Esposito gave the Lions a 50-48 lead, before Treadwell tied it at 50. Then, Napolitano made a three to make it 53-40 then Mendolla made a three. Then, Williams sealed the Ospreys win with the final basket.

The Lions led for much of the game except in the fourth quarter when the Ospreys scored 14 points in the quarter. Marina Luklanov tied the game at 42 all with a three-pointer.

“They’re a really good team,” Esposito said. “They’re doing really well and we expected them to come back on us. I think it proves that we can play with anyone if we can play to our potential.”

The game was also tied at 44, 46 and 48. Esposito had to make a two-point basket to send the game into overtime.

Williams was a force in the paint, as she scored 22-points. Mendolla added 19-points.

Treadwell had six points, while Luklanov had five-points. April Peterson also had two points.

“They’re (Williams and Treadwell) tough and they’re very good players,” Henderson mentioned. “They have two shooters to balance it out. I thought we did the best that we could against them.”

Both teams scored 16-points in the third quarter. The Lions led 24-18 at halftime.

Esposito scored a game-high 24-points. Napolitano and Nikki Schott had 8-points each. Kim Dana also had six-points and Christina Merlin had four-points.

Jess Lynch had two-points and Katy Amato had a point.

The Lions largest lead was by nine-points in the third quarter at 9:45. There was two lead changes and five time the game was tied.

The Ospreys largest lead was at 5:11 in the first quarter when they led by three-points.

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