Rowan Women’s Basketball looks to build a hot streak

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Grace Marshall sets up a play. Marshall is one of the keys for success this season for Rowan. Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. - Multimedia Editor / Lee Kotzen

Despite the Rowan women’s basketball team dropping their first two matchups of the season, the Profs have now won three straight as they head into a busy week. Most recently Rowan took down Stockton University 61-53 and Salisbury University 71-54. 

Matching the success of the team has been fifth-year guard and captain Grace Marshall. She is coming off of her best game of the season so far where she put up 13 points, three steals and two rebounds in 18 minutes of play. 

Marshall knew she wanted to spend one more season representing the Profs. She’s looking to make the most of the time she has left. 

“I think when our season got canceled during covid right away I knew if I had the opportunity to play a fifth year I was going to take it, just because I don’t want to give up a year of playing,” Marshall said. “I was really happy they gave us the opportunity to play and it was a no-brainer that I was going to come back.” 

Last season she averaged a career-high 12.7 points per game, 3.8 rebounds per game and shot 42.6% from the field. Head Coach Demetrius Poles offers his insight on what Marshall’s veteran presence can provide for the team. 

“It means everything… she has a lot of experience. We want to spread her experience to the rest of the team and show what Rowan basketball is all about,” Coach Poles said. “I think that’s the most important thing, the type of person she is, she’s a great kid, she’s a great teammate… that’s more important than anything, showing her leadership and keeping the chemistry and the culture of the team.”

The chemistry of the team could be a big factor in the success of this year’s squad. 18 different players have seen the court this season including eight new faces to the roster. Although the core five of Grace Marshall, Nicole Mallard, Danielle McCurdy, Kristina Johnson and Ayanna Johnson have started all five games this season, Coach Poles’ bench has been utilized in a multitude of ways throughout the season. 

Marshall knows what it takes as a leader to get the team to come together as one. 

“It’s hard because there are a lot of new girls and we don’t normally have so many new girls… so it was a little bit different this year,” Marshall said. “Having the idea and the mentality that we have to be together to win and to do well is what’s going to bring us together.” 

Coach Poles knows that it is Marshall’s last go-around and as she continues to improve throughout the season she can remain efficient on the floor. 

“It’s her last year… it’s the last time around so she wants to make it a good one,” Coach Poles said. “And I’m sure she wants to finish off the season on a high note and she wants to build some consistency through that.”

Marshall wants to make improvements to her game all throughout the season. Another championship is in sight, but she will take the season day by day. 

“I would love an NJAC [New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship] win, a showing at the NCAAs, hopefully winning there too,” Marshall said.

Marshall and the Profs have a chance to move to 6-3 over the weekend with games against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Wednesday, Nov. 30, Penn State-Berks University on Thursday and William Paterson University on Saturday. 

While the Profs weren’t able to pick up the first victory of the week, dropping the game 71-52 to TCNJ, Rowan still has two more chances this week to build back the momentum.

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