Rowan women’s basketball continued their winning streak on Wednesday, Feb. 1, as they defeated Rutgers University-Camden 83-43 in what turned out to be a milestone night.
Senior Nicole Mallard entered the game six points away from eclipsing the 1,000 career point milestone. After three quick points in the first, she nailed a three from the top of the key in the second to hit the mark.
“It felt good,” Mallard said. “I felt a lot of relief, it’s a great accomplishment and I’m very proud of myself.”
Mallard, her teammates and the crowd all knew what that night was about. Once the moment finally happened, the crowd erupted into a standing ovation as her teammates poured out from the bench to congratulate her.
“It shows how much they care and how much we care for each other,” Mallard said. “It was cool to see them all run out on the court, it made me feel good.”
Head Coach Demetrius Poles reiterated her sentiment while also praising his senior guard’s character as a person and as a player.
“It was great,” Coach Poles said. “It was great to see everybody happy for her. She’s a great kid, she’s a wonderful person, she’s very humble, very quiet and she just deserves it so it was good to see a lot of people here giving a standing ovation and supporting her.”
Poles was not surprised at all by Mallard’s milestone moment as it was something he envisioned before she even stepped foot on the court as a Prof.
“I’m extremely proud,” Coach Poles said. “This is something that, even when I recruited her in high school, I knew she’d be able to accomplish it. I didn’t know she’d be able to accomplish it in three seasons, which is really extra good but I’m really proud of her. She works hard, her game has gotten better every year… She deserves all of the accolades.”
Mallard may have had a milestone to reach, but she also knew the team had a game to win above anything else.
“At the end of the day we still have a game to win,” Mallard said. “If I didn’t get it today, there’s still another game so it wasn’t like a huge thing in my head. Obviously it’s great to do it at home and everything but I’m not gonna force a shot for myself just to get 1,000 points.”
Mallard, Poles and the Profs did get the win and now head into a big New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) matchup with Kean University on Saturday, Feb. 4, as they chase them down for the one seed in the NJAC tournament and home court advantage.
“We had it [the one seed] three years ago,” Poles said. “It’s definitely an advantage playing at home with the crowd and with each game getting bigger so we really want to catch it, we just gotta win out and take care of business game by game.”
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