Women’s Basketball’s successful week puts them in first in the NJAC

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Eliana Santana drains two free throws with 13 seconds left in the game against Montclair State to put Rowan up by three. Two plays later Santana passed to Nicole Mallard on a back door cut for the game winning layup. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Mike Reina/ Multimedia Editor.

The women’s basketball team had a huge week, clamming sole possession of first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) standings with a huge win over Montclair State 67-65 last Saturday on a last second shot by freshman guard Nicole Mallard. The win puts the Profs at 20-3 on the season and gives them a one game lead over Montclair and The College of New Jersey (TCNJ).

The team shot 30% from the field, and took less shots than Montclair, but Montclair’s fouling issues kept the Profs at the free-throw line, going 21-34 over the course of the game. Compared to Montclair’s seven free-throw attempts, this keeps the Profs in the game despite a tough field goal shooting performance.

“Honestly words can’t even explain it,” Mallard said. “Not even just the shot, it was just a huge team win and we all played so well throughout the game. The shot at the end was just the icing on the cake, the whole game is what made it so great.”

Coach Demetrius Poles agreed that the whole game was a huge team effort in the victory.

“Perseverance, preparation.” Poles said. “We knew it was gonna be a tight game [going in], so we had to practice for the end of game situation. We had to practice how we were going to play during the game, so we were just prepared.”

Despite the big win, the season isn’t over for the Profs yet.

With just three games to go before the end of the regular season, the Profs are clinging onto a one game lead. Mallard believes the mentality the Profs had going into Montclair is the same mentality they have to keep in order to make sure they win the conference.

“We have to have the same mentality,” Mallard said. “We lost to Montclair [earlier in the season] so this time we had a stronger focus, which we have to keep throughout the last three games.”

Poles believes the way to keep the conference is simple.

“Take it one game at a time and handle your business,” Poles said. “That’s pretty much it.”

The Profs close out the regular season with games against William Patterson, Rutgers-Newark and Kean University, with the NJAC Tournament set to begin with the first round on Feb. 22.

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