This past Wednesday night in Esby Gym, the Rowan women’s basketball team sought to avenge their first and only New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) loss of the season against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) Lions.
When these two teams met earlier this season, the Profs failed to get a shot off in the final possession, leading to a 70-68 loss. This time, Rowan defended their home court with a 89-58 bout over the Lions.
With this victory, the Profs are 11-5 for the season, 9-1 in the conference and are on a six-game winning streak.
Transfer junior guard/forward Dakota Adams led the way and has started the last two games. She contributed 18 points and 10 rebounds, collecting a double-double that night.
Adams came off the bench for the majority of the season with the Profs.
“I feel like it’s a little bit of motivation almost, to be able to be new here and to wait my turn and prove myself. And now it’s all paying off,” Adams said.
To start the game, the Profs were excelling beyond the arc, shooting 4-5, as well as from the field where they shot 10-15, a solid 66.7%. Rowan also went into a zone defense, forcing the Lions to shoot three pointers, which they did at only 37.5%. By the end of the first quarter, Rowan was up 25-18.
In the second quarter, the Profs struggled from three-point land, going 0-3. Other factors though, like junior guard Savanna Holt going to the free throw line and the suffocating defense of Rowan, helped propel the Profs to a 41-31 lead entering halftime.
The Pros stepped on the gas in the second half, utilizing Adams at the free throw line and on the offensive end, which allowed for her to get easy buckets down low and also dish out two assists to her teammates.
Head Coach Demetrius Poles was impressed with Adams’ performance. Especially after she shot 9-12 from the field, had two steals, three blocked shots and her double-double.
“She’s just finding her way and I want to put her in the spots that she’s strong at and against TCNJ she just took advantage of it,” Coach Poles said.
The Profs scored 31 points in the third quarter and also held the Lions to 10 points.
Adams cites the team’s chemistry as a key factor in their win, which included 20 assists throughout the game.
“Nobody really cares to have it [scoring] to themselves, it’s just how we are as a team, it’s a team win,” Adams said. “Winning as a team is our main focus.”
Overall, the Profs’ defense forced 25 turnovers from TCNJ, which allowed the Profs to collect 27 points off of turnovers. In addition, they excelled in transition, getting easy, fast-break points from steals.
“The second half we didn’t have many turnovers, we’re a team that prides ourselves on getting the shot, and our defense took over as well,” Coach Poles said. “We smothered them, and we got steals and scored off of the defense.”
Coach Poles cites the defense as the main factor of the Profs’ win and why they were so successful throughout the game.
“That’s the way we play. That’s our backbone. That’s who we are,” Coach Poles said. “We want to score off of our defense. We want to get the crowd into it. We want to hit some threes, get some layups, we want to make the other team throw the ball all over the place and that’s what happened today.”
Rowan’s victory over TCNJ was possible with the help from an aggressive defense that led to 18 steals and 34 points coming from the bench, a nod to their unselfish play.
Four players for the Profs finished the game in double digits. Along with Adams, senior guard Grace Marshall contributed 12 points, junior guard Nicole Mallard added 15 points and Holt, who came off the bench, scored 19 points, going 3-5 from beyond the arc.
The Profs faced off against Kean University in which they lost 68-64. They will return to Glassboro to take on William Paterson University on Jan. 29.
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