Rowan men’s basketball puts stronghold on top seed, extends win streak to five

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Rowan men's basketball celebrates its seniors on Senior Day. - Photo via Rowan Athletics

Rowan men’s basketball now sits alone atop the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) after an offensive explosion against the Kean Cougars on Saturday, Feb. 3, a day in which the team also celebrated Senior Day.

The Profs returned to Esbjornson Gymnasium after a brief one-game road trip and welcomed the 10-11 Cougars in hopes of extending their winning streak to five games. They were on cruise control for most of it, ultimately winning 96-60. The Prof’s overall record now sits at 17-5, which includes a record of 11-4 within the NJAC.

The win further extends the hot stretch that head coach Eric Brennan’s squad has been on as of late; the Profs are now 11-1 in their last 12 games.

“I loved the way we played, the way we defended,” Brennan said. “It felt great to get a win like that on Senior Day.”

Before tip-off, the Profs celebrated seniors Booty Butler, Ryan Ems, Tim Myarick, Ryan O’Melia, Ja’Zere Noel, Mikey Robinson, and Marcellus Ross.

However, on a night that was highlighted by the seniors, it was junior guard Josh Wright whose 18 points were tied with Ross for the game lead. Wright’s performance also ended a cold streak where he was unable to score ten or more points in seven straight games.

“My confidence really just skyrocketed. It’s just good to be back to having that rhythm offensively, giving that energy on both ends of the floor,” Wright said. “The last couple of games I wasn’t in the right headspace, but today I was happy on the court and was able to play my game.”

The Profs entered the halftime locker room leading 40-29 despite only being able to connect on one three-pointer in the first half. Rowan was able to flip the script in the second half, outscoring the Cougars 56-31 while shooting 8-12 from beyond the arc.

Noel ended the game with 16 points, 16 rebounds, and three blocks. Booty Butler also added 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

For Butler, this game meant a lot more than just being able to get the win.

“I’ve been through a lot during college and this is my first senior night. The Rowan fans made it feel like a special night,” Butler said. “The way the fans were cheering us on, really made us take over this game and the fans are what we need to accomplish where we wanna be.”

With the win, the Profs now hold the No. 1 seed in the NJAC, and with three games remaining have a chance to have the conference run through Glassboro for the second consecutive season.

Brennan expressed to his players the different challenges that lie ahead for his team.

“We’re no longer in the chasing position, right now you’re in a leader position and there’s a certain mentality that comes with holding that position,” Brennan said. “I believe this group is up for the challenge, but we have a tough game against a well-coached Jersey City team that won’t make this journey easy.”

The Profs will play their last home game of the regular season on Wednesday, Feb. 7 against the 4-11 New Jersey City University (NJCU) Golden Knights.

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