They say bad things happen in threes, but the Rowan men’s basketball team has flipped that around by winning their third game in a row on Saturday. The Profs pulled off an impressive double-digit win over previously undefeated Neumann University by the score of 109-97.
The first half for the brown and gold primarily consisted of around-the-rim play opposed to their usual style of spreading the floor and shooting threes. In the first half of their first three games of the season, Rowan averaged just over 17 three-point attempts, shooting 36.5 percent. In the first half versus Neumann, they accelerated their tempo and shot an impressive 54.5 percent on six of 11 shooting from beyond the arc.
Despite Rowan’s consistent play all throughout the game, free throws were a huge problem. So far this season, they’re shooting just 61 percent, and made just five out of 11 free throws in the second half.
“Sometimes with free-throws, when guys start missing shots, they overthink it,” said head coach Joe Crispin. “I tell them, just shoot the shot. If it goes in, it goes in. We need to be, at least, in the 70 to 75 percent range from there.”
Although Crispin was concerned about the team’s lack of success from the free-throw line and their interior defense, he praised the team’s offense, saying “at the end of the game, we did what we set out to do offensively. We didn’t stagnate.”
Despite Rowan’s speed on offense over the course of the game, Neumann was able to counter and were able to score with ease at points of the game.
“We gave up a lot of easy buckets,” Crispin said. “We want teams to shoot quick, but not with easy layups.”
On Wednesday night, the Profs took on 1-3 Rutgers-Camden, who got outscored 183-160 and swept by Rowan two games to nothing in the season series last year.
So far this season, three out of the Scarlet Raptors’ four games have been decided by double digits, two of which resulted in losses.
In their four games this season, Rutgers-Camden is allowing 81.2 points per game. Opponents are shooting a staggering 45.3 percent from the field and 75.8 percent from the charity stripe.
Junior guard Anthony Harris leads the team in points averaging 17 a game, which is good enough for third in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). Meanwhile, fellow junior forward Isaac Destin leads the team in rebounds and is second on the team in scoring too, averaging 13.8 points per game. He is tied for seventh in the conference.
Rowan senior forward TJ Booth doesn’t see the team’s free throw woes as a problem against Rutgers-Camden. He also believes the team can and will lock down defensively on the NJAC’s eighth-ranked scoring team.
“We can score, we just have to lock down defensively,” Booth said. “I don’t see the free throw issues being a problem. We’ll get it together, it’s just a mental thing right now.”
Of note, Booth was just named the NJAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. In two games last week, he averaged 18.5 points and 8.5 rebounds. More importantly, Rowan won both games. Currently, he is second in the conference in three-point percentage (.667) and ranks second on the team in points per game with 12.8.
Rowan won their fourth game in a row with a dominating 93-68 victory over the Scarlet Raptors. At one point, the Profs led by 30 points as Ramon Wright, Booth and Austin Kearney all secured double-digit rebounds apiece. Kearney and Booth had double-doubles, as Kearney scored 12 and Booth led the team with 16. Walter Harvey dropped 12 points, respectively.
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