Men’s basketball shoot for their first 5-0 start since 2012, host TCNJ on Wednesday night

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For the Rowan men’s basketball team, the style of play they bring to the court has resulted in nothing but wins.

Literally. 

The Profs reeled off their fourth straight win to start the season, defeating New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rival Rutgers University-Camden, 86-75 on Saturday night. 

The Brown and Gold are rolling to say the least, as the 4-0 start is Rowan’s best since they won six consecutive to begin the 2012 season, where they finished 17-9. 

Rowan has been scoring with ease, averaging 97.8 points per game, and have been adept defensively, holding opponents to just under 81 points per game. Their scoring output dwarfs the second-leading scoring team in the conference, New Jersey City University’s (NJCU) 79.6 points per game.

The Profs owe their success to their play-style. Their aggressive full-court press disrupts the opposition’s rhythm and it shows on the stat sheet. They are averaging 13.5 steals per game and just under four blocks per-game, good enough for first and second in the conference, respectively. Senior guard Ramon Wright has been an important anchor for the unit, averaging one block and 1.8 steals per game.

“I’ve always been the player that fills in wherever the team needs,” Wright said. “I can be the Draymond [Green] of the team,” referring to the NBA’s Golden State Warriors’ do-it-all utility player.

The uptempo offensive attack that features reliant on passing and unselfish play has yielded positive results as well. The Brown and Gold average almost 20 assists per game and have four players averaging at least 10 points per game. Head coach Joe Crispin credits the pace to his team’s early season success.

“The pace is the key to us,” Crispin said. “You’re not going to stop us from scoring. That’s our identity. We know how to score.”

The team also put on an impressive shooting display from downtown, shooting an effective .378 percent from beyond the arc. Senior guard Nick DePersia put in a stellar performance against Rutgers-Camden, hitting 7-12 shots from the three-point line for 26 points.

“We want to be an up-and-down team,” DePersia said. “Coach wants everyone to be free and be aggressive… He gives us the green light and the chance to just let it fly.”

Rowan hosts The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Lions are 1-3 and are 0-1 in the NJAC and have two losses by more than 15 points. 

UPDATE:

Rowan lost to TCNJ, 79-75 with the help of a strong 43-26 first half performance from the Lions. The Brown and Gold head to New Jersey City University (NJCU) for another NJAC matchup on Saturday. Tipoff is at 3:00 p.m.

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