ORANGEBURG, NY - The Caldwell College men’s basketball team avenged a loss to Dominican College 11 days ago with a 74-73 victory in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference contest Wednesday night at Dominican’s Hennessy Center. The Cougars improve to 10-6 overall and 6-3 in conference play, while the Chargers drop to 11-5, 7-2 CACC.
The result also is the 499th career victory for Caldwell head coach Mark Corino, who is looking to become just the third men’s college basketball coach in New Jersey to reach the 500-victory milestone.
Dominican, which defeated Caldwell, 74-66 in the Cougars’ most recent game, took control early with a 21-10 lead over the first eight minutes of the first half. The lead was still 11, 27-16 with 9:16 on the clock, when Caldwell reeled off 19 straight points, including six from sophomore guard Dawan Lighty (Paterson, NJ / Kennedy), that put the Cougars on top, 35-27. The advantage grew to as many as 12 points before Caldwell took a 44-35 halftime lead. Lighty and sophomore forward Billy McDonald (North Haven, CT / North Haven) each scored nine points as the Cougars shot 50.0 percent from the field in the first half.
Momentum was with Caldwell early in the second half, as a jumper by sophomore forward Terik Bridgeman (Harlem, NY / Nia Prep) and two lay-ups from junior guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) extended the lead to 50-35. But the Chargers fought back with an 11-0 run that included two threes from Khaleev Ginyard and another from Joe Clinton to make it a four-point game, 50-46 with 13:43 to play. After Dominican cut the deficit to three, four points from McDonald and a pair of free throws by Walker pushed Caldwell’s lead to 62-53 with 9:41 remaining.
With the lead at eight points following a Lighty three-pointer at the 5:21 mark, the Chargers made one last push with six straight points that made the score 70-68 Caldwell with a minute left to play. Both teams came up empty on their next possessions, with Bridgeman blocking a lay-up attempt by A.J. Burton. Lighty was fouled and made both free throws, then Ginyard drained a three with nine seconds left to make the score 72-71. After Lighty hit two more from the line, Clinton was fouled and made both free throws with three seconds on the clock to cut the Cougars’ lead to 74-73. But it was not enough, as Caldwell hung on to win and earn the season split with the Chargers.
The Cougars held a 44-34 advantage in rebounding while hitting 18-of-19 from the charity stripe
Lighty led the way with 21 points, including a perfect 11-of-11 from the line
McDonald finished with 15 points
Walker registered 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists
Bridgeman tallied a career-high five blocks to go with nine points and 10 rebounds
Ginyard and Clinton each had 15 points for Dominican
- Justin Turner added 11 points, 11 boards and seven blocks
The Cougars will take on USciences in another CACC road game on Saturday, Jan. 25, beginning at 3 p.m. in Philadelphia, Pa.