Rutgers-Newark Women’s Tops, 70-62

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NEWARK, NJ – The TCNJ women’s basketball team returned from an extended vacation hiatus with a solid 70-62 victory over Rutgers-Newark in NJAC action on Wednesday night. Izzy Leazier had a career-high 22 points.

TCNJ made its mark in the first and third quarters, shooting 50% or better in each of those periods while keeping Rutgers-Newark under 30% in those two quarters. TCNJ took a 17-9 after the first quarter as they held Newark just 28.6 percent from the floor.

TCNJ took a 29-23 halftime lead and a strong third quarter propelled the Lions to victory. In the third quarter, TCNJ shot 58.8% (10 for 17) while Newark was 21.1% (4 for 19).

TCNJ held Newark without a basket for more than four minutes in the third quarter, pushing their six-point halftime lead into double-digit range. Mollie Brueggemeier got a steal and a quick layup with 2:50 left in the third to make it 41-30.

After Newark scored to bring it back to nine, the Lions finished the quarter on a 9-2 run. Emily Toy scored four runs on the run, and Arianna McCleod followed by a layup with 1:14 to play to make it 47-34. Nina Branchizio capped the scoring with a three-pointer with just five seconds remaining to send TCNJ into the fourth with its biggest lead of the night to that point, 50-34.

In the fourth, Newark cut the TCNJ lead to five at 57-52 with 3:38 remaining, but Leazier hit a three-pointer with 2:59 remaining to push the lead back to eight points. Sidney Blum followed by four straight points on a layup and two free throws to make it 64-52. Newark brought it back to within a game of six points in the final half minute, but he couldn’t get closer. The Lions went 8 for 10 from the boards in fourth.

Leazier’s 22 points mark his career high halfway through his second campaign. It’s his third double-digit game of the season, with his previous high of 11 points against Rutgers-Camden on Dec. 1.

TCNJ returns to action Saturday at home against William Paterson at 1 p.m.

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