After an upsetting loss for the Rowan women’s basketball team against Stockton in their first New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) game of the season, the team came out and dominated the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins from beginning to end, winning 93-64. The last time the Griffins held the lead was with 6:06 left in the first quarter, with a score of 6-5.
The Profs dominated the stat sheet throughout the game, having the advantage in many different metrics. One of the most important differences was the bench points, as the Profs’ bench outscored the Griffins’ bench 46 to 17.
“It was a balanced attack tonight,” head coach Kate Pearson said. “It is always nice to have a well-balanced attack. It was a nice team win all around.”
One of the standout bench players was Sabrina Araujo, a sharpshooting guard for the Profs. She tied her career-high in points with 13 and three-pointers made with four, just like earlier in the season against Keene State. She also leads the team in three-point percentage, shooting 50% from beyond the arc.
“It is very important to me to get open looks from three, it makes me happy,” Araujo said. “I do love to shoot, and that is when I have the most fun on the court.”
Araujo’s teammates feed off of her energy, especially coming off the bench.
“My teammates keep me confident,” Araujo said. “The energy is always really high on the bench. My teammates and coaches call me a spark plug on the bench for keeping the energy high.”
Not only does her energy allow her team to play better, but her marksmanship creates space for others. When players on the opposing teams see Araujo get the ball, they have to run out there to cover her. It helped open lanes for other players and contributed to Araujo’s two assists on the night.
“She has had a couple of games this season where she hit a couple of threes,” Pearson said. “If we can get her open looks and she hits them, it opens things up for people like Kate [Herlihy] and Nicole [Mallard].”
Those two players, Mallard and Herlihy, combined for 24 points during the game, with Herlihy being the leading scorer for her squad.
One of the big separators was Rowan’s transition play. The team scored 29 points on the break compared to Gwynedd Mercy’s singular point throughout the whole night.
“We talked about how our team has had success in the past with this,” Pearson said. “So we tried to advance the ball up the court the best we could.”
The team was able to get out on the break so often by forcing turnovers, with the Griffins having 24 total. While Rowan had 20 turnovers during the game, they were able to keep the Griffins to only seven points off of them.
“I feel like we executed really well,” Araujo said. “We worked on a lot of things during practice which really helped during the game today.”
Extra possessions were also created on the boards. Rowan outrebounded Gwynedd Mercy by 21 rebounds. This was something Rowan knew they had to do going into the game.
“Rebounding was one of the keys we were talking about before the game,” Pearson said. “With our size, I thought we did a good job and converted on our second chance opportunities.”
With Rowan bringing their record to 3-3 on the season, they will look to go over that .500 mark for the first time when they take on The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) on Wednesday, Nov. 29.