The Rowan University women’s basketball team kickstarted their season by heading to Northampton, Mass. for the Tyler Tip Off Tournament this past weekend.
The Profs took on two top-25 teams in the country, No. 7, Tufts University, and No. 23, Smith College. This would start their season 0-2, after losing their first game to Tufts 73-53 and then Smith 70-55.
Even though the Profs dropped both games, Head Coach Demetrius Poles was satisfied with his team’s performance and is glad they faced tough competition to start the season.
“The positive takeaway is that we competed hard, and also we got a chance to see the high level, you have to physically experience it,” Coach Poles said. “And after being off for two seasons, I didn’t want to come back and just blasé into the season with easy wins.”
In the first game of the tournament against Tufts, during the opening quarter, the Profs started off strong and were down by six, but struggled beyond the arc as they did not hit any threes.
“We’d like to make a little bit more three point shots, and capitalize on our steals and finishing around the basket, but that’s what we do,” Coach Poles said.
In the second quarter, the Profs outscored the Jumbos 17-16, but were still down five heading into halftime.
Entering the third quarter, the Profs’ shooting woes continued as they were outscored 20-8 and were 3-13 from the field and 1-5 from three-point range.
“We just didn’t score, so if we score, we’re going to punish people,” Coach Poles said.
Going into the fourth quarter with a deficit, Rowan was not able to surpass Tufts, as they lost 73-55. Junior guard Savanna Holt led the Profs with 13 points and a rebound, while senior guard Grace Marshall contributed with 11 points and four boards. Sophomore guard Sam Rinaldi chimed in with seven points and three rebounds.
Marshall, who made the All-Tournament team, reflected on the performance of her team throughout the tournament.
“We stuck with them through a majority of the games, and it got to show us where we stand in comparison to high level teams like that,” Marshall said. “We also got to see what we do well, and what we need to work on.”
In the Profs’ second game, they took on Smith College, who were the hosts of the tournament. At the end of the first quarter, the Profs trailed 22-17 and, once again, Rowan struggled to land threes as they went 1-5 and only hit four three-pointers the entirety of the game.
In the second quarter, the Profs held the Pioneers to five points, while the Profs scored 12.
“Especially our second game, we played really well defense, so we got to see what we need to do to keep that up,” Marshall said.
At the end of the third quarter, Rowan only trailed by three, 46-43, in large due part to their defensive effort.
“Like Smith, our last game, we forced them to have 32 turnovers, they’re one of the top teams in the country, we just didn’t score,” Poles said.
In the fourth quarter, the Profs were outscored by 12 and lost by a score of 70-55. Guard and forward Dakota Adams, a junior, led the Profs in scoring in the second game with 13 points and five rebounds, while sophomore guard and forward Kristina Johnson added nine points and three rebounds, and Marshall collected eight points and five boards.
The Profs will return home to Glassboro on Wednesday night, Nov. 17, for the first time since late February 2019, in their home opener against Widener University.
Marshall described what it is like to play at home again in her final season for the brown and gold.
“It is amazing. It’s almost like no words to describe it,” Marshall said. “It’s really fun and exciting and it brings a lot of happiness to everybody on the team.”
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