Women’s Basketball Stifled by The College of New Jersey at Home, 50-37

A late scoring outburst from TCNJ gave the Pioneers their third consecutive loss.


Alex Evans, Opinions Editor

The William Paterson University Pioneers (13-10, 8-8 NJAC) lost to The College of New Jersey Lions (11-11, 8-8 NJAC) by a score of 50-37 Wednesday night at the Rec Center. The Pioneers failed to contain a much bigger TCNJ team on the boards and had trouble getting their shots to fall all game.

William Paterson trailed by as little as one point early in the fourth quarter, but TCNJ hit two big three-point shots to go up 41-34 halfway through and scored 13 of the next 14 points to thwart any chances of a Pioneer comeback.

The Lions got off to a 25-14 lead by halftime after William Paterson shot just under 11 percent from the field in the second quarter. However,  the Pioneers were able to string together a few nice possessions and ended the third quarter on an 11-4 run to come within four points of TCNJ.

Despite struggling to get anything going on offense for a majority of the game as a team, junior forward Tori Woetzel led the Pioneers in scoring with eight points and shot 30 percent from the field, while freshman guard Gabby Harris scored seven points and shot 18 percent from the field. As a team, William Paterson shot 27 percent from the field and just 18 percent from three-point range.

The Pioneers couldn’t capitalize off of TCNJ’s mistakes, scoring only seven points off of turnovers to TCNJ’s 14. TCNJ also outscored William Paterson’s bench, 22-13, resulting in a big run by the Lions in the fourth quarter to lock up the win. Junior forward Nikki Schott led TCNJ with a game-high 12 points.

TCNJ’s movement off of the ball and height advantage on the Pioneers created numerous second and third chances on the boards for them, and they made the Pioneers pay for it. They outscored William Paterson by four points in the paint and out-rebounded them by six, but Woetzel led both teams in total rebounds with 11, followed by nine from TCNJ junior guard Charlotte Schum. Woetzel also tallied a game-high five blocked shots.

William Paterson’s offense never got rolling, and they missed mid-range shots that they usually make. Their 37 points was the lowest point total of the season for a team that averages 66 points per game. They haven’t scored under 50 points in a contest since their 45-point performance in a Nov. 22 loss to Ramapo College.

Coming back after a tough loss to a team at home is always a difficult task, but the Pioneers don’t have any time to worry about the past with just 10 days until the New Jersey Athletic Conference tournament kicks off. TCNJ’s win tonight tied them with the Pioneers for fifth in the conference at 8-8, and the Pioneers need a strong final two games to make sure that they qualify as one of the top six teams in the league.

To finish off the regular season, William Paterson hits the road to take on Rutgers-Camden (13-10, 7-9 NJAC) on Feb. 11 before returning home to face Kean University (15-8, 12-4 NJAC) on Feb. 15