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College Basketball:
Rutgers-Camden Week In Review

Monday, January 19, 2004

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken)

Junior guard Tyrone Rucker turned in one of the top performances ever at Rutgers-Camden when he poured in 33 points and tied the school record of eight three-pointers in a 104-85 loss at John Jay College Jan. 12. Rucker went 12-for-19 from the floor, including 8-for-13 from three-point range as he tied the mark of eight treys set by Doug Dreby against Montclair State Feb. 19, 1994. Rucker, who also added a career-high seven rebounds, became the first Raptor to hit 30 points since current assistant coach Brian Turner scored 38 against New Jersey City University Feb. 9, 2002. Rucker added 12 points in a loss to William Paterson Jan. 14 and five points in a loss at Rutgers-Newark Jan. 17.


Wed., Jan. 14 William Paterson 81, Rutgers-Camden 49
Sat., Jan. 17 Rutgers-Camdn 69, Rutgers-Newark 46


Mon., Jan. 19 St. Mary’s College (MD) 2 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 24 Kean University 1 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 28 at Montclair State University 6 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 31 at Ramapo College 1 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 4 The College of New Jersey 6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 7 at New Jersey City University 6 p.m.

Senior guard Erin James (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) made four out of six three-point jumpers in the second half, including three treys in a row, as Rutgers-Camden defeated Rutgers-Newark, 69-46, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game Jan. 17 in Newark.

The Lady Raptors also received 12 points apiece from sophomore forward Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) and junior center Crystal Lucas (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford). Rulon, who also added a team-high 11 rebounds, now owns 11 double-doubles this season, including seven straight.

The Lady Raptors own a seven-game winning streak in the series, with the last Rutgers-Newark win coming in Camden on Feb. 19, 2000, a 58-57 overtime decision.


Eight different Scarlet Raptors scored in the first half as Rutgers-Camden constructed a 32-17 lead. After Rulon gave the Raptors a 34-20 lead just two minutes into the second half, James gunned in three treys on three straight possessions to raise the lead to 43-23 with 16:32 left. The Raiders never got closer than 17 the rest of the way.

James also added three steals and a game-high six assists as she increased her team-leading assist total to 70. She is attempting to become the first player in program history to record a pair of 100-assist seasons. She finished with exactly 100 as a junior.

Sophomore guard Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) added five assists for the Lady Raptors, while Rulon joined James with three steals.

For the Raiders, freshman guard Megan Lissenden made four of seven 3-point attempts on her way to a career-high 18 points. Freshman forward Alisha McLean chalked up a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Earlier in the week, freshman guard Lucila Custis and sophomore forward Allison Mopsick collected seven points each in an 18-3 second-half run to lift William Paterson University over Rutgers-Camden, 81-49, in a conference game Jan. 14 in Camden.

The Pioneers, who snapped a three-game losing streak, were trailing, 32-31 after Rutgers-Camden scored the first two points of the second half on a pair of foul shots by Lucas. A field goal by Mopsick gave the Pioneers the lead for good, sparking the 18-3 run.

Mopsick finished with a career-high 23 points, while Custis had 12 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Senior guard Kat McPhail collected 14 points, seven assists, eight steals and tied her career high of nine rebounds.

For Rutgers-Camden, Rulon collected 17 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. Lucas also had a double-double, notching 10 points and 11 rebounds.


Mon., Jan. 12 John Jay College of Criminal Justice 104, Rutgers-Camden 85
Weds., Jan. 14 William Paterson University 68, Rutgers-Camden 58
Sat., Jan. 17 Rutgers-Newark 83, Rutgers-Camden 49


Mon., Jan. 19 at York College (NY) 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 24 Kean University 3 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 28 at Montclair State University 8 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 31 at Ramapo College 3 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 4 The College of New Jersey 8 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 5 at Philadelphia Biblical University 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 7 at New Jersey City University 8 p.m.

It was a tough week for the Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team, as the Scarlet Raptors dropped three games, including a pair of New Jersey Athletic Conference contests.

Despite the team’s struggles, good things came in threes for junior guard Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), whose performance Jan. 12 produced some of the finest long-range shooting in school history.

Rucket scored a career-high 33 points, including a school record-tying eight three-pointers. Rucker, whose previous career high of 26 points came against Wheaton (MA) College Jan. 4, went 12-for-19 from the floor, including 8-for-13 from three-point range to tie the school mark of eight treys, set by Doug Dreby against Montclair State on Feb. 19, 1994.

Despite Rucker’s heroics, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice placed five players in double figures and went on to defeat the Raptors, 104-85, in a non-conference game. John Jay (12-1) received a game-high 36 points from junior guard Tim White, as the Bloodhounds overcame a career night by Rucker.


Rucker, who also added a career-high seven rebounds, turned in the most points and the first 30-point game at Rutgers-Camden since Brian Turner scored 38 against New Jersey City University Feb. 9, 2002. Turner is now one of the Scarlet Raptors’ assistant coaches

Despite Rucker's heroics, however, John Jay became the second team this season to score over 100 points against the Raptors, following in the footsteps of Wheaton, which posted a 101-76 win in that Jan. 4 game at the Casa Mia Holiday Tournament at DeSales University. The Bloodhounds’ 104 points marked the most allowed by the Raptors since a 114-57 loss to Richard Stockton College Jan. 26, 2000.

While John Jay was scoring 104, the Raptors produced their biggest output of the season, and the most points for a Rutgers-Camden team since an 88-58 win at Lancaster Bible College Jan. 13, 2003.

The Bloodhounds, who took a 57-44 halftime lead, were paced by White, who went 11-for-12 from the floor, including 6-for-7 from three-point range and 8-for-8 from the foul line. John Jay also received 22 points from senior guard Pablo Palma, while junior forward Marinko Djokic notched 15. Junior forward David Barry had 14 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while sophomore forward Anwar Baptiste added 10 points. Junior guard Sharod Tomlinson added a game-high 10 assists.

The Scarlet Raptors also received 14 points and four steals from senior guard Gene Mergenthal (Sicklerville, NJ/Highland). Junior forward Mike Hopson (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) collected 13 points and six rebounds.

The Raptors returned to New Jersey Athletic Conference action Jan. 14, but senior guard Brandon Constantine scored 14 points to pace three William Paterson University players in double figures as the Pioneers defeated Rutgers-Camden, 68-58.

Senior guard Khayri Battle collected 13 points and five assists for the Pioneers, who have won three straight games over Rutgers-Camden, and 30 of the last 31 meetings between the teams.

Paterson was down, 9-6, early in the game before going on a 16-0 run to take the lead for good. The Pioneers led, 38-32, at halftime before the Raptors scored the first basket of the second half to cut the gap to 38-34. Rutgers-Camden didn’t get any closer.

Sophomore forward Robert Simpkins was the third Pioneer in double figures, scoring 10 points. Senior forward Rory Caswell notched a game-high 10 rebounds for Paterson, which held a 40-28 advantage off the boards.

Rutgers-Camden received a game-high 23 points from Mergenthal, who also tied Battle with a game-high five assists. Senior guard Jonathan Jean-Louis (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) scored a career-high 14 points for Rutgers-Camden, while Rucker added 12.

In the final game of the week, Rutgers-Newark raced to a 41-16 halftime lead and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 83-49, in another NJAC game Jan. 17 in Newark. The Scarlet Raiders’ victory snapped a six-game losing streak against Rutgers-Camden. Prior to that win, the last Rutgers-Newark victory in the series came on Feb. 19, 2000, a 77-64 triumph in Camden.

Freshman forward Jermont Horton had 14 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Scarlet Raiders. Junior guard Manny Rios had 10 of his game-high 17 points during the Scarlet Raiders’ big first-half run.

Newark went 15-for-27 (55.6 percent) from the floor in each half and finished with a commanding 46-31 advantage in rebounds. The Scarlet Raptors shot only 5-for-23 (21.7) from the floor in the first half while falling into their big hole.

Senior forward Ronnie Melendez added eight points and seven rebounds for the Raiders.

For the first time this season, the Scarlet Raptors failed to place any player in double-digit scoring. Freshman guard Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) paced Rutgers-Camden with nine points, and junior center William Jarett Mutts (Millville, NJ/Vineland) and junior forward Marco Morcos (Alexandria, Egypt/St. Joseph of the Palisades, NY) added eight points apiece.

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