Caldwell Cougars Handle Concordia in Men’s Hoops, 85-74

Credits: Matt McLagan

BRONXVILLE, NY - Five players scored in double figures, as the Caldwell College men’s basketball team beat Concordia College, 85-74 in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference game Tuesday evening in the Meyer Athletic Center. The Cougars improve to 15-9 overall and 11-6 in the conference, while the Clippers drop to 4-20, 4-13 CACC.

First Half
Concordia led by as many as seven points in the first half and held a 31-27 advantage with 4:25 remaining in the half. A three-pointer by sophomore guard Salvatore Vitello (Bridgewater, NJ / Bridgewater-Raritan) capped an 8-0 run that helped Caldwell take a 37-33 lead at the half. The Cougars shot 41.4 percent from the field compared to 33.3 percent for the Clippers, as junior forward Michael Balkovic (Neptune, NJ / St. John Vianney) scored 11 points.

Second Half
Momentum stayed with Caldwell into the second half, as junior guard Wyatt Polk (Haddonfield, NJ / Haddonfield) scored six points in a 12-3 run that put the Cougars up, 49-36. Concordia was able to come within four points twice, the last time following two free throws by Chris Gordy that made the score 63-59 with 5:49 to play. But junior guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, NJ / St. Peter’s Prep) scored eight straight points, including six from the free throw line, to give Caldwell a 71-59 edge at the 4:40 mark. 

Concordia never came closer than seven points the rest of the way, as the Cougars completed the season sweep. Caldwell shot 50.0 percent from the field and 20-of-22 (90.9 percent) from the charity stripe after halftime. 

Game Highlights
  • Balkovic ended up with 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor and 13 rebounds for his third straight double-double
  • Walker hit 9-of-10 from the line en route to 18 points 
  • Sophomore forward Terik Bridgeman (Harlem, NY / Nia Prep) tallied 14 points and seven boards
  • Polk had 11 points
  • Sophomore forward Billy McDonald (North Haven, CT / North Haven) scored 10 points in the win
  • Concordia was led by Norman Pope with 18 points

Upcoming Game
The Cougars host Wilmington University in the final regular-season game on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. in the George R. Newman Center.

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