Rowan Women’s Basketball continued its dominance at the Esbjornson Gym on Saturday afternoon, Dec. 4, holding off Kean University with another score of 53-45. With the win, the team advanced to 3-0 on their home court.
Junior guard Nicole Mallard paced the Profs in scoring with 20 points, while also recording a season-high nine rebounds in what was a defensive battle all game long.
“I have to work on being more aggressive,” Mallard said. “That makes my teammates more aggressive in attacking the basket, so it felt really great to see that come to fruition today.”
Head Coach Demetrius Poles backed up that statement, as he believes that the offense must flow through Mallard.
“She needs to be aggressive for the offense to be balanced,” Coach Poles said. “We need to run through her. We can’t go through anybody else. It’s going to be balanced when she is the aggressor. That will make everybody else set their positions. She is the most lethal threat that we have, and if she’s not aggressive, then we’re not aggressive.”
There is still plenty of room for improvement on offense, as well, according to Poles.
“Our offense is out of whack,” Coach Poles said. “Off-key, off-balance… We just have trouble scoring the ball. We want to average 90 points a game and the last two games we’ve had 53. But a win is a win.”
Both Rowan and Kean’s defense rose to the occasion in this game. Kean recorded ten steals, however, the Profs topped them with 13 of their own.
Coach Poles has high praises for his team’s defensive effort.
“All year, our defense has been pretty damn good,” Coach Poles said. “It’s tremendous. We’ve played some of the best teams in the country, and we gave those teams problems.”
Mallard, with three steals for the night, echoed her coach’s comments.
“Our defense was incredible tonight,” Mallard said. “Our defense fuels our offense. It was a big part of us winning this game.”
On top of displaying elite defense, the Profs’ also hit on nearly 87% of their free throws, the perfect recipe for winning. Coach Poles shared his thoughts on the impact of that outstanding number.
“We stepped up to the line and shot the ball with confidence, and it made the difference in the game,” Coach Poles said. “When you shoot the ball with confidence, it takes you to the promised land.”
The season is still young while everyone continues to work hard towards their goals.
“We need to work on our offensive execution,” Mallard said. “Offensive and defensive rebounding is a big part, as well. If we rebound and execute, we’ll be even better.”
The Profs now shift their focus to play against Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday, Dec. 8, which will be broadcasted on Rowan Radio, 89.7 WGLS-FM.
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