The Signal

Serving the College since 1885

Monday April 15th

Women’s basketball takes two crucial conference victories

<p><em>Fifth year guard Julia Setaro attacking the rim (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multiamedia Coordinator).</em></p>

Fifth year guard Julia Setaro attacking the rim (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone / Multiamedia Coordinator).

By Tyler Morello
Staff Writer

The College’s women’s basketball team was victorious in their two games this week. On Feb. 7, they dominated first place Stockton University to retake the top spot of the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings, and then traveled to Mahwah, New Jersey on Feb. 10 to defeat Ramapo College in a tough back-and-forth battle.

The Lions won against Stockton 72-36 earlier in the season, but the Ospreys got out to an early lead to start off this game. The College found themselves in a 10-4 hole, but ended the first quarter down 12-9. They then outscored the Ospreys 15-8 in the second quarter to go up 24-20 at the half, thanks to freshman guard Grace Kowalski scoring eight first half points.  

The Lions put their foot on the gas the rest of the game and did not give up their lead once. They could not miss in the second half as they shot 48.5 percent from the field and an impressive 52.6 percent from three. For the total game, the Lions shot 44.1 percent from the field and 48.1 percent from three. 

Thanks to their hot scoring in the third quarter, they were able to continue their shooting in the fourth. The College has been commanding the fourth quarter over their last couple of games, showing they are able to prevail when it matters most. The lead ballooned to 21 with the final score ending up 70-49.  

The team is used to getting great production from the bench, but the Lions scored 47 bench points as a unit on Feb. 7, which is quite notable. Kowalski finished the game with 14 points, while junior Arianna McCleod led the game with 17 and senior Isabella Cafaro had an 11-point 10-rebound double-double. Junior Ella Van Dine added 5 points as well.

Grace Speer led the Ospreys with 12 points, with Emma Morrone and Imene Fathi each chipping in for 9. Stockton was held to 30.6 percent from the field and only 20 percent from three by the College’s fantastic defense.

The Lions then took on Ramapo College on Feb. 10 for their final away game of the season. Ramapo came into the game 10-6 in conference play and were 10-2 when defending home court. 

The Lions found themselves in another tight game in the first half. Neither team was able to create much cushion from each other, as the lead changed many times throughout the game. The largest lead of the game was only eight when the College was up late in the first quarter. Despite the early lead, Ramapo was able to respond right before the half to make the score 31-30.

The third quarter had four different lead changes and six ties before the Lions went up 54-50 thanks to a three-pointer by senior Izzy Leazier with three seconds left on the clock. The College scored 23 points in the quarter, but was not able to stop the Roadrunners' offense, giving up 20. 

Ramapo took a 61-60 lead at the 6:19 mark in the fourth, but the Lions took it right back and did not give it up for the remainder of the game. The final score was 74-68 as the College was able to sink their late game free throws to seal the win. As a team, they were able to capitalize on their foul shooting, as they shot 25 of 31 from the stripe. 

The Lions were led by junior Nina Branchizio with 14 points and four assists, with contributions from seniors Julia Setaro and Kaitlyn Deiter, adding 11 and nine points, respectively. Jackie Ventricelli played a great game for Ramapo, pouring in 27 points with five assists.    

After these two crucial wins, the Lions find themselves tied at the top of the NJAC standings with the best point margin in the league with 11.2. Their final game of the season is Feb. 14 at Packer Hall for their senior night.


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