Caldwell, N.J. (2/7/18) The Chargers were coming off of a full week without playing a game when they visited the Cougars of Caldwell University on Wednesday. The Chargers, 15-7 (9-4 CACC), were looking to bounce back from their double-digit loss to Felician last Tuesday night. The Chargers entered the game with the Cougars in sole possession of second place in the north division of the conference standings with the Cougars right behind them. The Cougars, 11-12 (8-6 CACC), are on the Charger's heels in the standings and after falling to the Chargers in their first meeting this season, this was an important game for both teams.
The Chargers started the game off strong and continued strong play for the duration of the first half. The Chargers used an 11-4 run to extend their lead over the Cougars to their largest lead of the half of 17 points. The Cougars struck back to end the first half off on a good note by using a 16-8 run over the Chargers to get themselves back into the game. Both teams went into the break with the score in favor of the Chargers 41-30.
Sayon Charles (Staten Island, N.Y.) had a strong first half by leading all scorers with 13 points and pulled down two rebounds for the Chargers. Michael Richardson (Hackensack, N.J.) provided a boost of the bench by scoring nine points all from three-point range shooting three for five from beyond the arc. Ian Gardener (Norwalk, Conn.) also had a solid first half by scoring eight points and pulled down five boards and added three assists for the Chargers. Gardener went six for six from the free throw line. Ruud Lutterman led the Cougars with 9 points in the half by going four for four from the field.
The Chargers continued to control the game once the second half started by keeping a good distance from the Cougars for most of the half. The Cougars were able to cut the deficit into single digits but the Chargers answered to keep their lead over the Cougars at double-digits. Caldwell cut the deficit to five points but the Chargers extended their lead back out to nine points. Down by nine, and with just over five minutes to go, the Cougars made their move to close the gap. The Cougars used a 12-2 run to take their first lead of the game with only 15 seconds left.
The Chargers regained a one-point lead over the Cougars with 9.8 seconds left to go in the game. Richardson was sent to the foul line for two free-throws. Richardson nailed both attempts to give the Chargers a 68-67 lead with ten seconds left. The Cougars had a chance to win the game with the final possession but a three-point attempt by Zay Jennings was no good and the Chargers held on for the win.
Charles finished the game with 20 points which led all scorers for the game. Richardson added 16 points for the Chargers including the two free-throws which put his team ahead for the final time of the game. Jonathan Garcia (Springfield, Mass.) scored nine points and added three steals, two rebounds, and one assist in the win.
The Chargers will be back in action on Saturday February 10th when they host Wilmington University at 3:00 PM and will be looking to build off of the win over Caldwell.