The Rowan men’s basketball team had to win all of their final three games to have a shot at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship tournament.
In what was the annual 7K Game at Esby Gym, a packed house got to witness Rowan (9-14, 6-10 NJAC) earn the first of those three necessary wins at home against Montclair State University, 85-84 in overtime on Wednesday night.
Montclair (11-12, 7-9 NJAC) now holds only a one-game lead over the brown and gold for the final playoff spot with two games to go.
It wasn’t a pretty win for the Profs, as they were out rebounded on the offensive glass by a 31-8 margin, but head coach Joe Cassidy said there were definitely some positives to take away from the win. One was the play of senior center Dan Brogan, who recorded only six points Wednesday but added seven rebounds and six blocks.
“Dan Brogan’s interior defense was the best inside defense we’ve had all season,” said Cassidy. “That is something we have sorely lacked all year.”
“I’m just going out there and doing what I can to get us to the playoffs at this point,” Brogan said on his big night. “That’s basically every guy’s standpoint; we’re all just trying to win out and make it to the playoffs.”
Freshman guard Nick DePersia also had a big night for the brown and gold, scoring 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting (3-of-6 3PT) including the game winning layup and-one play.
“It was a great atmosphere, and there were a lot of my friends and peers in the crowd, so we wanted to come out with a lot of intensity,” said DePersia. “I was feeling my shot in warm-ups and once the first [three-point shot] went in, coach always says to keep shooting, and that really propelled our offense in the first half.”
Senior forward Chris Gross added 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting, and junior forwards Shawn Wilson and Gary Carthan and senior guard Kris O’Connor contributed 10 points each.
For the Red Hawks, junior forward Brandon Channer recorded a double-double with 25 points (8-of-23 FG) and 12 rebounds.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Freshman guard Nick DePersia- 24 points (9-of-16 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists
@ Rutgers-Newark (17-6, 12-4 NJAC), Saturday 8 pm
Previous meeting: L 93-89 (Jan. 16)
For questions/comments about this story, email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @TheWhitSports.