On Wednesday, Feb. 2, in an early evening affair, Rowan men’s basketball advanced to 17-4 for the season after taking down Rutgers-Camden at home. The final result was a 100-73 win for the Profs, who took control of the matchup early and ran away with it.
While it was a big victory in the end, it came in an unorthodox fashion compared to what we have seen from Rowan in the past.
“In the first half, I did not like our offense at all,” Head Coach Joe Crispin said. “We call it ‘let it be easy’ basketball, which is letting the ball move to the right spots and get good shots. We just did not do that in the first half, which is why we did not score as much as we could.”
Despite the team’s first-half struggles, they were still able to escape into halftime with an eight-point lead after going up 42-34. Coach Crispin gave the credit to his players that stepped up in both halves for the ultimate victory that he and his team were able to walk away with.
“Some nights are better suited for what certain players do well,” Coach Crispin said. “That’s how it works for all of these guys on this team. Some nights are going to be better for others because certain things are and aren’t going to be open. Tonight, that was the case for our guys that had big nights.”
One of the headlining names of the night for the Profs was guard D’Andre Vilmar, a junior who finished the game with a season-high 19 points.
Vilmar has been a big part of Rowan’s success this season, appearing and starting in 20 of their games even though scoring the ball is not what he is used to doing in his current role on the team.
“Anytime I get to contribute and make big plays, it feels great,” Vilmar said. “We are all just enjoying the moments and having as much fun as possible. With that, I need to keep playing good defense and making plays offensively when I can for the rest of the season. ”
Alongside Vilmar in the starting lineup, guard Marcellus Ross, a sophomore, continued his offensive hot-streak by dropping a team-high 24 points. Off of the bench, guard Josh Wright, a freshman, had a big night with 20 points, while forward Stretch Hawkins, a junior, put up nine points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“[The bench] is figuring it out,” Coach Crispin said. “Wright is an incredible scorer, while Stretch [Hawkins] does a good job rim-protecting and picking up points here and there. They still have plenty of room to go but our bench as a whole stood up offensively and defensively.”
Rowan will hit the road for two more games next week, before they return home to close out the season with two more games on Feb. 12 and 16. Wednesday’s victory has the Profs sitting at 10-4 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC), ranking them third in the conference.
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