CALDWELL, N.J. – The Caldwell College men’s basketball team completed its non-conference schedule with a narrow 75-73 defeat to Dowling College Sunday afternoon in the George R. Newman Center. The loss drops the Cougars to 7-4 overall, while the Golden Lions improve to 10-1.

With Caldwell trailing by seven with one minute remaining in the game, junior guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) drained a three-pointer to make the score 74-70 Dowling. On the next possession, sophomore forward Billy McDonald (North Haven, CT / North Haven) stole the ball, and sophomore guard Dawan Lighty (Paterson, NJ / Kennedy) converted a conventional three-point play to pull the Cougars to within one, 74-73 with 43 seconds left.

Again the Caldwell defense came up big, as junior forward Michael Balkovic (Neptune, NJ / St. John Vianney) stole the ball with seven seconds on the clock. Walker drove the length of the court and got to the basket, but his shot was off the mark. Following a Caldwell foul and a free throw by Donte Adams, the Cougars had the ball with 0.5 seconds left. But a court-long pass did not connect, giving Dowling its seventh win in a row.

The Golden Lions made their first four three-point shots, and Darien Davis scored 18 first-half points as Dowling took a 39-37 lead at the half. The lead grew to eight points before Caldwell used a 12-4 run to tie the score at 60-60 with 7:34 to play. The score remained knotted at 63-63 when Leon Taylor scored six points in a 7-0 run that put the Golden Lions on top, 70-63 with four minutes left. Dowling maintained its seven-point lead until the Cougars made their comeback attempt in the game’s final minute. 

Game Highlights
  • Balkovic led Caldwell with 15 points to go with 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals
  • Sophomore forward Terik Bridgeman (Harlem, NY / Nia Prep) also tallied a double-double with 14 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks
  • Lighty ended up with 12 points
  • Walker contributed 10 points and four assists without a turnover
  • Davis led all scorers with 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field
  • Taylor added 20 points and five assists for Dowling

Upcoming Game
Caldwell resumes its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference schedule on Jan. 2 at Nyack College.