Despite their 68-64 loss to Kean University on Saturday, Jan. 22, the Rowan women’s basketball team still has the top spot in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) rankings.
Before Saturday, the Profs only conference loss was against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Nov. 23. The Cougars handed Rowan their second conference loss of the year after erasing a 18-point deficit in the second half.
Guard Savanna Holt, a junior, discussed the impact of the game against Kean, citing that the loss will only motivate the team to practice harder in preparation for their upcoming games.
“I think it’s a learning experience, we can get better from it,” Holt said. “It just makes us practice even harder in the gym, and strive forward to what we truly are. I know we could’ve beat that team by a lot, it was a big upset, but I think it’s better for us because it keeps us more focused.”
The Profs will have to keep their focus the remainder of the regular season if they want to continue to hold onto the number one spot in the NJAC standings. Both the Cougars and the Profs are 9-2 in conference play and have beaten each other once, but Rowan edges out Kean in the rankings with their 11-6 record to Kean’s 10-6 record.
The remaining games this season are all conference games, which will be vital in how the conference standings will turn out. Head Coach Demetrius Poles believes the Profs can win the rest of the games, but it will take improvements each day.
“We just gotta take it one game at a time, and I think we can win every game,” Coach Poles said. “Every game is winnable, so we gotta make sure we give ourselves the best chance to do that. So we got to come to practice ready to compete, focused and get better everyday.”
Holt, who is one of the veterans on the Profs squad, understands the importance of playing inside Esby gymnasium during the tournament.
“It’s very important [to win the remaining games], because I want to play at our home court, I don’t want to go and travel,” Holt said. “I like to play especially at our home court, it’s more comfortable and you just feel at home when you’re playing.”
Coach Poles added on to the importance of closing out the season strong.
“[The games] just get bigger and they mean something different every week depending on if you win or lose,” Coach Poles said. “Our main focus is to try to gain the advantage of having home court, so it puts a lot of pressure on you. You gotta win, so we have to do that. That’s our main goal; we have to win those hard games on the road.”
In the seven games the Profs have left, they will face opponents such as Stockton, Ramapo and Montclair State.
Although the Profs have beaten all of their remaining opponents the first time around, Coach Poles emphasizes the components of the games the Profs still need to work on.
“We gotta work on being consistent. We gotta work on finishing games when we have leads, tighten up our defense and get better at communication,” Coach Poles said. “We’ve got some things to improve on, but we’re going in the right direction.”
The Profs will look to extend their 11-6 record on Wednesday, Jan. 26, in Galloway as they take on Stockton University, before heading back to Glassboro to face off against William Paterson University on Saturday, Jan. 29, at 1 p.m.
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