North Branch, NJ – On Tuesday November 20th, the Women's Basketball team defeated Lackawanna College by a final score of 79-74 in RVCC's Gymnasium. The win puts the Lions at 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Region XIX while Lackawanna drops to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in Region XIX play. While it was just a regular season game on a typically cold night in November, the win was anything but ordinary. The Lions haven't beaten Lackawanna in over 10 seasons, and have consistently struggled to keep the game within 30 points. However, things were much different on that fateful night before Thanksgiving Break!
The Lions came out strong, only to see Lackawanna surge back and take a 10 point lead early in the second quarter. This is when the experience of the Sophomores, and the leadership of a talented Freshman, really showed as the team wouldn't allow the Falcons to pull ahead any further. RVCC knew that in order to hang with the much bigger and more athletic Falcons, they had to rebound to have a chance. And rebound they did! Sophomore, Moira Phillips and Freshman, Morenike Akinrefon, each pulled in 10 boards on the night. Akinrefon was also huge on the offensive end as she contributed 15 points to secure her first double double of the season.
The Lions trailed 35-30 at halftime, but came out scorching in the third quarter. The Lions outscored the Falcons 32-15 in the third to take a 12 point lead into the fourth quarter behind a barrage of 3 pointers. Sophomore, Olivia Nilsen, connected on a season high 7 three pointers, 6 in the second half, as she finished with 23 points to lead the charge. Fellow Sophomore, Adrienne Amey, connected on a timely three pointer in the third as well to help add to her total of 7 points on the night. As scorching hot as Nilsen's shooting was during that ten minute period, it was Freshman, Precious Allah, who put the Lions on her back and carried them to victory. The Neptune native was unstoppable in every facet of the word. She shot 40% from downtown, connecting on 2 of her 5 attempts. She was unbelievably efficient from the floor as she shot the ball at 53% on the night and was a blistering 10-12 from the charity stripe. While she led both teams with 30 points on the night, it wasn't just her scoring that helped RVCC secure the win. Allah finished with 8 boards, a team high 4 dimes, and 2 steals on the night. When the Falcons made their final comeback push in the waning minutes of the game, it was Allah that demanded the ball and controlled the tempo for the Lions. While Allah's performance was one for the ages, it was a full team effort that helped RVCC make a bit of history. Sonia Guiste came in for limited minutes and gave the Lions exactly what they needed and gathered 4 boards and a bucket. Sophomore, Lauren Armellino, has consistently been a jack of all trades and the ultimate team player for the Lions the past two seasons, and it showed on Tuesday night. Armellino had a pivotal play in the first half in which she earned a defensive foul against Lackawanna's premier post player, taking her out of the game for the rest of the half. On paper it was just another win, but for the team in white, black, and green it was much, much more.
After the long break the Lions are back in action this Tuesday, November 27th at 5 PM as they travel to take on the Manor College Blue Jays in Jenkintown, PA.