BLOOMFIELD, NJ – A fourth quarter filled with turnovers, indecision and missed shots enabled Clifton Mustangs to come from behind and rally past Bloomfield Bengals 45-40 in a Girls Varsity Basketball meeting Saturday at Bloomfield High School.
After a hard-fought 50-44 win over SEC Liberty Division rival Columbia Cougars on Tuesday at BHS, the Bengals looked to make it two in a row against non-division neighbors Clifton.
Bloomfield had been hot, winners of three of four overall, but perhaps let their guard down against the struggling Mustangs.
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It was a close game from the start, with Bloomfield maintaining a 1-point lead 13-12 after the first quarter, and 22-21 lead at halftime.
Bloomfield pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Clifton 15-10 to lead by 6 points, 37-31, after three frames.
Bloomfield enjoyed their biggest lead of the game, an 8-point margin, 39-31, only 30-seconds into the final quarter. Unfortunately, Bloomfield would not score again for more than 7 minutes as Clifton reeled off 13 unanswered points to take a 44-39 lead.
Clifton ultimately outscored the Bengals 14-3 in the fourth quarter to earn the 5-point comeback win, 45-40.
Junior guard Samantha Columna led Bloomfield with 11 points. Freshman Chiara Hilario had 9 points, while senior Sarah Edmond had 8.
Senior Giuliana Richards scored a game-high 15 points and had 7 steals to lead Clifton. Senior Shahd Badeer added 8 points and 12 boards.
With the loss, the Bengals drop to 7-4 overall and remain 5-1 in the division. Bloomfield sits in second place in the division behind 6-0 Montclair Immaculata.
With the victory, Clifton improves to 6-7 overall and remain 2-3 in the Big North Liberty Division.
The Bengals return to action on the road against Newark Academy this Tuesday, January 22, 4 pm in a division game in Livingston. Newark Academy is 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the division.
Later in the week, Bloomfield hosts Newark Collegiate Academy on Thursday, January 24, 4 pm at BHS, then visit Immaculate High School on Saturday, January 26 at 1 pm.