After a competitive first 15 minutes, the Rowan men’s basketball team dominated the rest of the game against the William Patterson University Pioneers with a 106-80 victory, picking up their fourth straight win on Saturday, Dec. 3.
The game was a back and forth contest for the majority of the first half, as the two teams exchanged the lead six times and saw the score all tied up five times.
The Profs were able to generate some offense within the paint to keep pace with the Pioneers but struggled to sustain any runs due to their rough three-point shooting. However, the team and junior forward Andrew Seager knew it was only a matter of time until the shots fell.
“It wasn’t them defensively, it was just us missing shots,” Seager said. “We didn’t want to get out of control and start taking crazy shots but we knew they were going to start falling in the second half and we knew that they were going to start rushing and missing some shots.”
Seager and the Profs wouldn’t have to wait until the second half to see the shots fall, however, as the team went on a 23-3 run in the final five minutes of the first half to ignite the crowd and give themselves a 53-35 lead entering the locker room. Despite this, Head Coach Joe Crispin wanted his team to come out firing.
“We wanted to focus in. It was 18 at the half and shortly before it was 23 and I want to push these guys to really focus in and continue to play good basketball, even when we have a lead,” Coach Crispin said. “It’s very hard to do with the way we play.”
The Profs met Coach Crispin’s challenge by opening the second half on a 13-4 run to blow the game open. Seager’s 23 points and 10 rebounds helped put the game out of reach in a much slower paced second half.
As a team, the Profs got fouled 15 times in the second half, leading to 28 free throw attempts where they only hit on 18 of them.
“I hated the second half, it was brutal because of all the free throws,” Coach Crispin said. “I was actually unhappy that we didn’t make six or seven more from the free throw line but that’s how that goes.”
With Rowan up big and less than six minutes to go, Coach Crispin turned to Chris McCarron and Tim Petersen to get some minutes for the first time in their collegiate career.
McCarron, a freshman guard, made an instant impact as he drilled two threes within two minutes to send the crowd and the Rowan bench into a frenzy.
“Felt great to get out there, first college minutes went well,” McCarron said. “I didn’t expect it to be that loud. My teammates on the bench going crazy. I’m just excited to keep building on this.”
Now with the Profs’ four-game road trip over, the team is looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd.
“It’s time to focus in and we got four out of five at home,” Coach Crispin said. “So we’ll be ready to roll.”
The Profs will look to make it five straight wins as they take on the Cabrini Cavaliers on Monday, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. in Esbjornson Gymnasium.
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