Following a crushing loss to Stockton University last Wednesday, Jan. 26, Rowan men’s basketball came out with a vengeance on Monday, Jan. 31, rolling over William Paterson University in a 96-72 win.
The win brought the Profs to 16-4 overall with a 9-4 conference record, making them the third-place team in the loaded New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) standings.
“They were ready,” Head Coach Joe Crispin said. “This team enjoys playing together. They play hard every night… I was very confident that they were going to respond and play the way they should, and they definitely did that.”
The Profs rode a balanced attack on offense en route to win. Guard Arian Azemi, a senior, led the Profs with 15 points while forward Andrew Seager, a sophmore, and guard Hafeez Melvin, a junior, notched 14. Marcellus Ross, a sophmore and guard, also added 12 points in what was a fluid-offensive night These stats are nothing new considering the Profs ranked number one for offense in the NJAC entering this game.
After the game, Seager noted that this is exactly what the Profs wanted. They needed to be dangerous on all angles of the floor at all times throughout the game.
“We really wanna get everyone involved,” Seager said. “Anyone on our team, on any given night, can go for a career-high or have a really good game. So I think that was displayed tonight.”
Coach Crispin backed up his player’s comment.
“That’s how we’re built,” Coach Crispin said. “We’re built in such a way that multiple guys should lead us in scoring.”
Willam Paterson’s guard, Domenic Mignone, had been a problem for opposing defenses all season long, coming into this game leading all NJAC players in points per game by over 20. However, on Monday night, the Profs shut him down, holding him to just six points on 2-9 shooting and 0-4 from three-point land.
The Profs played stingy defense on the Pioneer’s weapons and held William Paterson to 72 points. In comparison, the Profs began this game giving up an average of about 83 points per game.
Both Coach Crispin and Seager keyed in on the team’s defense effort after the game.
“Typically, we always shut down the opposition’s best player,” Seager said. “But sometimes we let other players that aren’t on their level go off. In the first half, number one [Brian Monaghan] hit a couple of threes so then we really keyed in on him as well and I don’t even think he made a shot in the second half. So once we key in on the main players and clamp down, we can be special.”
According to Coach Crispin, this team’s success starts and ends on the defensive end of the floor.
“That’s where we wanna be, that’s where I’ve been pushing them the most since I’ve come back,” Coach Crispin said. “We’re known for our offense, but our defense is tied to our offense.”
The Profs will now have a quick turn around when they face Rutgers-Camden on Wednesday, Feb. 2. That will be another home game for the Profs before going back on the road on Saturday, Feb. 5, to face Rutgers-Newark.
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