Men’s basketball controls their destiny with three games left in the season

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Jerry Price (center) looks for a passing option against TCNJ. Price was named NJAC athlete of the week for men's basketball. Wednesday Jan. 29, 2020. Ben Stephens/ Staff Photographer.

Jerry Price and the Rowan men’s basketball team had a good week as they stunned Stockton on the road beating them 97-76 and then had an even bigger win over Montclair State 94-86.

That win put them in the sixth spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) basketball standings which means they are in position to be in the 2020 NJAC basketball championship tournament with three more games to go in the regular season.  

Last year, they won it all to become NJAC champions for the first time since 1999. They have made the playoffs all three seasons since Joe Crispin took over and he is looking to make this the fourth.

Players like senior guard Price, senior guard Maliq Sanders and senior forward Austin Kearney will surely help this team get to where they want to be at the end of the regular season. 

“We have to keep doing what we’ve been doing,” Price said. “Keep fighting in practice, keep getting each other better and continue to have each other’s backs.”

Price was awarded NJAC Athlete of the Week on Feb. 10 with his performance in Saturday’s game against Montclair State. He played 37 minutes, scored 25 points and had four steals. He also scored 20 points against Stockton last Wednesday. 

Price isn’t the only one putting up great numbers. Kearney and Sanders both played great on Saturday. Kearney recorded a double-double and Sanders scored 20 on the Red Hawks. Everyone is coming together here in the last stretch trying to sneak into the playoffs. 

“It’s not just one person. One night it’s going to be Maliq Sanders, the next night it’s going to be Matt Green, then you see Brian Thatcher have a good night last weekend. We have so many pieces, you never know whose night it’s going to be. That’s the great thing about our team,” Price said.

Rowan has three games left on the regular-season schedule. Two out of the three are on the road. They will play at William Patterson Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Rutgers-Newark Saturday, Feb. 15, then back home for senior night Feb. 19 to vs. Kean. They beat all three of these teams earlier in the season. 

If you win, you’re in. Rowan controls their own destiny. After this long season of ups and downs, Rowan can sneak in as the sixth seed. It’s easier said than done but these players know what they have to do. 

“There is no pressure,” Price said. “Honestly, it’s all or nothing. We know what we have to do and we know what’s expected from our coaches. We have to come out and hoop, that’s it.”

Rowan fans will be on the edge of their seats for the next week. These players have been working hard for months to get a chance to defend their NJAC title in the tournament. They just need to do one thing …

As the great Al Davis would say, “Just win baby.” 

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