The Rowan women’s basketball team cruised to a 94-33 victory over Penn State Berks on Thursday, Dec. 1, inside Esbjornson Gymnasium.
The Profs were looking to play better and play as a team, something they didn’t do against The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) in a 71-52 loss earlier in the week.
Senior forward Dakota Adams described how the focus increased for Rowan, which translated into unselfish play.
“We were more focused, ready to shoot,” Adams said. “We didn’t play as a team, it was the main thing and that was why we didn’t win [against TCNJ] so today we made sure that if we didn’t have the shot, [we looked for the] better shot, one more pass and let’s get it in the basket.”
The Profs played to their strengths with 14 different scorers, a complete utilization of the bench, aggressive defense and unselfish play.
Rowan got out to an early double-digit lead in the first quarter and did not look back. The Profs outscored the Nittany Lions 22-8 in the first quarter, and that elevated level of play continued throughout the game.
The Profs defense was aggressive throughout, even utilizing a full court press in the final minutes of the game. Rowan held Penn State Berks to only five points in the second quarter and only 13 in the first half.
Key players on the defensive end for Rowan included Reagan Russo who had four steals, Savanna Holt who recorded five steals and Ny’emah Middleton who grabbed four steals in her first career start for Rowan.
Middleton, who added 11 points, a block and two rebounds to her stat line, described how she fed off the energy from her teammates throughout the game.
“I wasn’t expecting to start because I usually come off of the bench,” Middleton said. “But it felt good starting, and then getting the energy started and hearing my teammates cheering us on it just made it more exciting to play.”
Rowan shot 37.5% from the field in the first half and 42.9% from downtown, which resulted in a sizable 51-13 lead at the end of the half.
In the second half the Profs dominated on all cylinders. They controlled the paint, crashed the boards and their full court pressure led to easy transition buckets.
Adams, who corralled 19 rebounds and six points, cites how she played to her strength in order to help the team win.
“I was missing my shots today, I knew I had to make it up somewhere else,” Adams said. “So because I’m a pretty good rebounder I was able to focus on just rebounding the ball and kicking it out.”
Rowan finished the game with 35 points off of turnovers, 40 points in the paint, 38 fast break points and 64 points off of the bench. In addition, Rowan had 25 assists and 24 steals.
Middleton played a vital part in the Profs’ success as she contributed on both ends of the floor. She acknowledged that her teammates are always there to support her.
“Knowing how my defense is, but also having my teammates, knowing that they’re there to help me,” Middleton said. “Even if I mess up, I do what I gotta do and then having my teammates there [helps]. Stealing the ball, or getting a block knowing they’re there helps me.”
As the final buzzer sounded Rowan led by 61 points, posting 94, which is the most points they have scored this season.
Nicole Mallard led all scoring with 13, while Kate Herlihy and Holt dropped 12 points. Middleton, along with Sam Rinaldi, were the final pair in double digits with 11.
Adams reflected on what this game meant for Rowan, and how it can translate into the remainder of the season.
“We see our potential,” Adams said. “It’s early in the season so we’re playing like this and only imagine where we can go if we keep going.”
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