Turnovers plague Rowan women’s basketball in 63-51 loss to Ramapo

Nicole Mallard rises for a jump shot. Mallard recorded a game-high 20 points in the loss to Ramapo. - Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. - Photo via Lee Kotzen

“We need to pass better,” Head Coach Kate Pearson said.

That was the difference between a win and a loss for the Rowan women’s basketball team against Ramapo. In a 63-51 loss that was closer than it looked, the difference was the 22 turnovers– which proved to be the deciding factor in the Profs’ fate, especially because Ramapo was able to score 27 points off those turnovers.

For the winning Ramapo Roadrunners, the All-American Jada Thompson had a big day. Anytime it felt like the Profs were about to be back in the game, Thompson would either score a basket or get an offensive rebound that would eventually lead to a bucket. She finished the game with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

“It is difficult to guard someone like her,” Nicole Mallard said. “She is quick, so you have to give her a step, but not too much of a step because she can hit a mid-range jumper. Staying low and keeping your hands up is the key. She is gonna score, but we need to make it as difficult as possible.”

Thompson finished 7-22 shooting from the field, so the Profs were at least able to keep her inefficient throughout the game, like how they wanted to.

On the other hand, Mallard had a good game for the Profs. She had a game-high 20 points, shooting 6-13 from the field and 7-8 from the line. Despite the nice game for her, she did not care about her own great individual performance.

“It was disappointing we did not get the win today,” Mallard said. “In my eyes, the scoring does not really mean much. It gives me more confidence, but in the end, does not mean all that much for the team. I wish I could have scored more to push us over the points we needed.”

Pearson liked what she saw out of Mallard, hoping she could now string together a few games like this.

“We talked to her the other day about playing with freeness,” Pearson said. “The last couple of games she has been in her head. I do not know if it is because her last couple are coming up with her being a senior. But we needed her to flip it.”

The other big problem for the Profs was the three-point shooting for the team. Last week, the team hit 14 threes in a win versus William Paterson, however, this week they went 2-17 from three.

“We shoot the ball best when we get the ball inside and then kick it out to the three-point line,” Mallard said. “We got the ball inside for the post but not really to kick it out as much.”

Despite not getting the open shots from the drive and kick game, the team was able to still get open looks throughout the game. With the turnovers, the Roadrunners were able to have 18 more shots than the Profs. That made every three that much more important.

“I thought we had good looks, but some of the shots just were not falling,” Pearson said. “Basketball is a funny game in that last week all of them were falling, while this week they were not falling.”

With that loss, Rowan now drops to below .500 on the season with a record of 6-7. They still hold on to the last spot of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) playoffs, but only Montclair State trails the team by a game at this point. While Rowan still has the easier schedule playing both Rutgers-Camden and Rutgers-Newark, with both only having one win, Rowan plays Montclair State in the last game of the regular season which might decide who gets the spot.

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