The Rowan University women’s basketball team has collected three wins in a row and secured a 12-3 record in New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) play, as the regular season begins to wind down.
One of the main contributors for the Profs and a catalyst for their more recent success has been junior guard/forward Dakota Adams.
After transferring from Division II basketball at Bridgeport University, Adams had some hesitation on whether or not she would fit in at Rowan. Considering the fact that she has had a double-double in nine of her last ten games, she seems to be fitting in quite well.
“In the beginning, I wasn’t sure, but now I feel a lot better because I feel like I’m contributing to something,” Adams said. “I love the team chemistry overall, so that’s a big part of fitting in.”
At the beginning of the season, Adams was not a starter for the Profs. She has now started the last seven in a row and has proven to be a key part of the offense.
“It’s a different feeling being able to hear your name called and [think] ‘Wow, I’m starting the game.’ When I was on the bench, my mindset was ‘Let me watch what needs to be done,’’’ Adams said. “I think my mindset has changed, in the beginning when I was starting I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, but now I’m more confident with it.”
In the last seven games where she has started, she has averaged 14.6 points and 10 rebounds. A majority of Adam’s points are obtained in the mid-range region, where her jumper has proven effective.
Head Coach Demetrius Poles has high praise for Adams’ performances as of late.
“She’s doing very well. She’s dominating the scoring area that we need to, she’s [got] an automatic mid-range jump shot whenever she’s got a sweet stroke,” Coach Poles said. “She’s rebounding the ball very well, she’s giving that extra effort that we need. She’s doing a great job, she’s one of the best players in the league.”
Adams ranks in the top 25 scorers in the NJAC just behind two of her teammates Nicole Mallard and Grace Marshall, averaging 10.6 points per game this season.
Adams has been working on mastering her mid-range game throughout her entire career. .
“That’s just something I’ve always practiced like perfected. When I’m in the gym practicing my shot, that’s all I do, really,” Adams said. “So when I’m in the game, it’s like I’m in the gym and I’m just able to hit it and knock it down.”
Adams’ ability to pull up from anywhere inside the arc and hit, along with draining a quick turnaround jumper, is her main contribution to the team, but Coach Poles says her rebounding and defensive ability is also why she’s earned a spot in the starting lineup.
“She’s giving us what we need from scoring and rebounding, and [from a] defensive standpoint, more so we need her rebounding. [I] love her rebounding and her defensive intensity is pretty good on the ball,” Coach Poles said. “She’s just found her way.”
Adams’ ability to get inside the paint, crash the boards and disrupt other teams defensively, are additional reasons why she has been a key factor to the Profs’ 14-7 record this season. She leads the team with 152 rebounds this season, averaging 7.6 rebounds per game, in addition to leading the team with 14 blocks on the season.
As her stats are rising, so is her confidence. Adams feels she has put in the work and it has shown on the court this season.
“Because I’m always working out, my confidence has gone up, because it’s like ‘If I’m working this hard, who else is working this hard? Who else is in the gym three times a day outside of practice?’ Nobody,” Adams said. “I deserve to feel that way.”
Adams’ dominant performances as of late, and her confidence is something that the Profs will need as the playoffs are looming. The brown and gold will compete in three more regular-season games before the playoffs start on Feb. 19.
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