Despite getting 29 points from sophomore guard Nick DePersia, the Rowan men’s basketball team fell to Montclair State University on Saturday, 83-77.
Senior captain Shawn Wilson, who leads the team in scoring, only saw 14 minutes of action having fallen into foul trouble early.
The loss landed Rowan at 12-8 with a 7-6 New Jersey Athletic Conference record. With the win, the Red Hawks find themselves tied for fourth with the brown and gold in the NJAC standings, while also sweeping Rowan in the season series. The defensive showing wasn’t of head coach Joe Crispin’s liking, as the Red Hawks shot over 60 percent from the field.
“We could’ve scored more points and at the end of the day, if Shaun Wilson would’ve played his normal amount of minutes, we would’ve done that,” Crispin said. “We want to play fast and when you do that you give up a few more layups. The way you play defense differs for each team and sometimes it’s a hard adjustment to make, and it’s one we failed to follow through on.”
With only five games remaining in the season, the Profs look ahead to facing The College of New Jersey. The Lions defeated Rowan in their first matchup 87-79, handing the brown and gold their first conference loss of the season in December. TCNJ is second in the conference with a 15-5 record and 11-2 NJAC mark.
Rowan has to defend better than they did against the Red Hawks if they want to find success, according to Crispin, seeing as the Lions are second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage.
“This is the best three-point shooting team in the conference, and Saturday’s wasn’t,” Crispin said. “Taking away the three especially in the half court. We want to push pace like always and try to make the game faster. They are a good team, but if we put things together, we are very capable of beating them.”
This game will be one of two-straight in the Esby gym, and playing at home has been a strong-suit for the brown and gold. They’ve won four in a row in Glassboro and hold a 5-2 overall home record.
“Being at home does seem to be our strength so far. I mean, we are 4-6 away, so apparently being at home makes a difference,” Crispin said. “The most important thing is finding our stride. We just haven’t had the full game we are looking for. We have to figure that out so that we are in the playoffs, and we can make some noise. Our goals are still in-tact, so I’m hoping we can finish well. This week is a big one.”
The brown and gold continued their hot-streak at home winning their fifth-straight game in Glassboro against TCNJ, 88-74. Nick DePersia led all scorers with 21 points. The Profs are now 13-8 overall and 8-6 in the conference.
They play New Jersey City University on Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
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