Kate Herlihy shined tonight in Rowan Women’s Basketball’s 81-52 victory over the Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors. Herlihy, who was playing in her first game since her birthday yesterday, received her present tonight in the form of a victory. Not only did her team win their fourth straight, but she scored a career-high 22 points.
“She is a quiet assassin to me,” Head Coach Kate Pearson said. “I looked and was like, ‘Oh, she has 22.’ I think for everyone else, she is someone they have to key in on. A lot of opportunities tonight came from her setting her teammates up. Even steals, Nicole [Mallard] especially had a lot of steals tonight that helped set up Kate.”
Following a couple of games where she did not play her best ball, Herlihy definitely turned a corner tonight.
“It felt good to get back in the groove,” Herlihy said. “I have been off for the last few games. I feel like all of us had a lot of energy and everyone got to score, which is really nice.”
The game was an overall dominant effort by the Profs. It was close for most of the first quarter, with the Scarlet Raptors playing tight defense on Rowan. Everything changed in the second when the Profs began employing a full-court press. The adjustment caused eight turnovers in the quarter, allowing Rowan to outscore Rutgers-Camden 27-10 in the frame.
“Coming into the game, we knew we wanted to use the press,” Pearson said. “It was definitely something we talked about; we wanted to create as much pressure on the ball as possible.”
As a result of forcing so many turnovers throughout the game, the Profs were able to turn good defense into quick offense. A big part of the team’s identity this season has been creating havoc in passing lanes and turning that into fast break points on the other end.
“We are a defensive team,” Herlihy said. “We get very excited when we get turnovers and are able to score on them at the other end. That energy leads to a lot more scoring.”
The Profs would go on to outscore the Scarlet Raptors 32-12 when it came to scoring off turnovers.
After an unideal start to the season, the team is beginning to come into their own.
“I think we are definitely starting to see a lot of progress,” Pearson said. “But we gotta keep it rolling and keep it moving. We gotta clean up some stuff, but they are really starting to play well with one another.”
One of the keys to winning the game for Pearson’s team was to not overlook Rutgers-Camden. The Scarlet Raptors are now 0-9 on the season, and Rowan has beaten them in their last eight matchups. But so far this season, Rowan has played somewhat close to the level of their competition. Tonight, the message was to play their brand of basketball the whole way through.
“We had a lot of conversations about not playing down to the other team’s level,” Herlihy said. “Keeping ourselves accountable and playing the way we know we want to play is important.”
With this win, Rowan is now 6-3 on the season and 3-1 within the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC). They are now tied for second in the conference with New Jersey City University (NJCU). The next two games will be a big test for the team, as they play the No. 3 ranked Christopher Newport on the road and then face off against the aforementioned NJCU.