Women’s basketball wins regular season finale, clinches #1 seed

Nicole Mallard (right) stands at the free throw line in a game against Montclair on Feb. 8, 2020. Mallard scored 18 in the season finale against Kean on Feb. 19, 2020. Multimedia Editor / Mike Reina.

Rowan picked up a huge victory Wednesday night over Kean University 73-52 here at Rowan University. 

The Profs ended the first quarter on a 13-0 run but Kean would go on a 9-0 run to start the second, cutting Rowan’s 13 point first-quarter lead to seven at the half. Rowan struggled throughout the second quarter.

“We were not executing on offense early,” Nicole Mallard, a freshman guard on the team, said. “We were doing all the hard work to get the ball inside but weren’t finishing.” 

The Profs looked more like themselves in the second half. They had a 12 point lead in the third and would maintain that lead throughout the fourth. The Profs ended the game with 13 unanswered points.    

The team moved the ball around a lot tonight as four players finished the game with double-digit points. Mallard was Rowan’s leading scorer with 18 points tonight and had eight rebounds, tying her career-high. Ayanna Johnson had a big game with 16 points. Alexis Kriley and Grace Marshall both had 13. 

This win gave the Profs a first-round bye in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) championship tournament and home-court advantage throughout. Rowan will host either The College of New Jersey or William Paterson University next Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. in the second round of the NJAC championship tournament.

“This is why the regular season is so important,” Rowan’s assistant women’s basketball coach Demetrius Poles said. “You have to win the games that you are supposed to win and you have to win some tough games too. We took care of that this season.”

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