After losing two back-to-back New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) games last week, Rowan women’s basketball was looking to get back in the win column on Monday night, Jan. 31, against William Paterson University.
While they did succeed in capturing the victory over the Pioneers, it was not in the way they wanted, as the Profs would only defeat them 84-79. This was a long way off from the 16-point win margin they had the last time they played this team earlier this season.
Head Coach Demetrius Poles acknowledged the struggles that his team had throughout the game and pinpointed their mentality as the biggest factor in their performance.
“Our attitude, our effort wasn’t there,” Coach Poles said. “We thought we just put the uniform on and William Paterson was just going to quit.”
The Profs struggled on the defensive end of the ball especially, allowing three of the Pioneers to score in double-digits. This was something that guard and forward Dakota Adams, a junior, said Coach Poles expressed to them during a timeout during the second half.
“Just our defensive effort,” Adams said. “We didn’t sprint back on defense, we scored and then they scored, we’re trading basket for basket and it should not be like that.”
During the game, Coach Poles had his team switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone defense for a period of time but on Monday night, there was something missing that wasn’t allowing any of it to work.
“We do that every game, it’s just the effort wasn’t there,” Coach Poles said. “The effort and focus and the ‘want to’ wasn’t there. It’s a lot of second-guessing, hesitation and no communication. We got a lot of work to do.”
Despite the fact that this win didn’t come easy to the Profs, there were still some bright spots throughout the night, including Adams’ offensive performance. Adams recorded a career-high 23 points, going 10-14 from the field and displaying her basketball IQ of knowing which shots to take.
“That’s the thing, I’m in the gym all the time, preparing for the game,” Adams said. “So when I’m in the game taking the shots, I just hit it in the gym, so I’m calm and confident in my shot.”
While the win didn’t happen the way the Profs would have liked it to, there is still a chance for this team in the NJAC, as they currently sit in second, right behind Kean University. Coach Poles explained that if they want to become conference champs once again, they’ll have to get past this mental roadblock.
“If they want to win, then you got to change your attitude,” Coach Poles said. “We won’t win with this attitude, we need to learn how to play some defense, we got to play defense and rebound to win championships and that’s something we know and I think that we’re not applying ourselves, it’s just a mental thing. We think we’re going to outscore people and we don’t want to let people score. We want to stop people, we want to shut people down, that’s the mentality.”
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