CALDWELL, NJ - Junior forward Michael Balkovic (Neptune, NJ / St. John Vianney) scored his 1,000th career point as the Caldwell College men’s basketball team beat Nyack College, 76-67, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference game Tuesday evening in the George R. Newman Center. The win is the Cougars’ third in a row and improves their record to 12-6 overall and 8-3 in league play. The Warriors fall to 7-12, 5-7 CACC.

First Half
Caldwell took control of the game midway through the first half with a 19-5 run, including six points from junior guard Wyatt Polk (Haddonfield, NJ / Haddonfield), that put the Cougars on top 41-28. The lead grew to as many as 15 points before the hosts took a 47-33 lead at halftime. Junior guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) scored 13 points in the first half, while Khalid Samuels carried Nyack with 19 points.

Second Half
With Caldwell up 49-37 with 18 minutes to play, the Warriors used a 10-2 run sparked by threes from Samuels and Isaiah Roberts to make it a four-point game, 51-47 with 14:28 on the clock. The Cougars still held a four-point lead with 5:15 remaining when Polk made back-to-back baskets and Balkovic notched his 997th and 998th points on a lay-up for a 66-56 advantage. Balkovic reached the milestone on a lay-up with 2:29 left that made the score 70-62. He is the 15th men’s player at Caldwell to score 1,000 career points. Nyack never came closer than seven points the rest of the way, as the Cougars earned a split in the season series with the Warriors.

Game Highlights
  • Walker finished with 16 points and three assists
  • Balkovic contributed 14 points and seven rebounds
  • Sophomore forward Terik Bridgeman (Harlem, NY / Nia Prep) recorded five blocks for the third consecutive game and added 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds
  • Sophomore guard Dawan Lighty (Paterson, NJ / Kennedy) had 13 points and five assists
  • Polk registered 12 points and six boards
  • Samuels finished with 27 points while making seven three-pointers for Nyack

Head Coach Mark Corino Honored
Before the game, Caldwell head coach Mark Corino was honored by President Dr. Nancy H. Blattner and Vice President for Enrollment Joseph Posillico for winning his 500th career gameon Saturday at USciences. Corino is the third men’s college basketball coach in New Jersey and the 14th active Division II coach to win 500 games.

Upcoming Game
Caldwell hosts Philadelphia University on Saturday, Feb. 1, beginning at 3 p.m. in the Newman Center.