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College Basketball:
Rutgers-Camden Week In Review

Monday, January 26, 2004

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken)
Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit)
Jonathan Jean-Louis (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick)

A pair of guard/forwards, freshman Dane Nicholson and senior Jonathan Jean-Louis, came up big as the Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team stunned the nation’s 23rd-ranked team, Kean University, 66-65, Jan. 24. Nicholson tied for game-high honors with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while adding four steals as the Raptors rallied from a 13-point second-half deficit. He had eight points during a key 17-0 run which gave Rutgers-Camden the lead for good. Jean-Louis, meanwhile, collected 10 points, three steals and two assists in the win before fouling out.

Earlier in the week, Jean-Louis had 10 points and a career-high six rebounds in a loss at York (NY) College Jan. 19, while Nicholson added two rebounds and two steals.


Mon., Jan. 19 York College (NY) 69, Rutgers-Camden 61
Sat., Jan. 24 Rutgers-Camden 66, Kean University 65


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.
Wed., Feb. 11 at William Paterson University 6 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team found the best cure for a losing streak.

The Scarlet Raptors roared back from a 13-point second-half deficit and went on to stun the nation’s 23rd-ranked team, Kean University, 66-65, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game Jan. 24 in Camden.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Scarlet Raptors, who improve to 3-13 overall and 1-5 in the conference. Kean, which had won 10 of its last 11 games, falls to 14-3 and 3-3. The Cougars were ranked No. 23 in the latest Division III national poll.


After trailing 41-32 at halftime and by as many as 48-35 in the second half, the Raptors went on a 17-0 run, sparked by eight points from freshman guard/forward Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit), four points from junior forward Mike Hopson (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester), a big three-pointer from freshman guard Tim Genovese (Erial, NJ/Baptist) and a field goal by senior guard Gene Mergenthal (Sicklerville, NJ/Highland).

Nicholson hit a foul shot to tie the game at 48-48 and two more free throws to put the Raptors ahead for good, 50-48, with 10:20 remaining.

Rutgers-Camden stretched its lead to seven points (62-55) with 2:58 remaining before the Cougars mounted a comeback behind a jumper from sophomore forward BJ Hamby and a three-pointer by freshman forward Bryan Keller.

That cut the gap to 62-60, and after a three-pointer by the Raptors’ junior guard Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken), Kean bounced right back on a trey by junior guard Tan Kesler, making the score 65-63 with 26 seconds remaining.

Hopson hit a foul shot with nine seconds left, and Keller’s try for a game-tying trey missed with two seconds remaining. It was tapped in by Kesler as time expired.

Nicholson scored 18 points off the bench for the Raptors, leading five players in double figures. Mergenthal finished with 12 points, Rucker notched 11 and senior guard/forward Jonathan Jean-Louis (North Brunswick, NJ/North Brunswick) and Hopson each added 10.

Hopson and Nicholson also had 10 rebounds apiece to finish with double-doubles, while Mergenthal had a game-high eight assists.

For the Cougars, Kesler notched 18 points, while sophomore forward Armet Coles had 14 and junior forward Matt Horton added 12. Sophomore forward B.J. Hamby tied Hopson and Nicholson for rebounding honors with 10.

Earlier in the week, Terrin Johnson collected game-high totals of 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead York College over Rutgers-Camden, 69-61, in a non-conference game Jan. 19 in Jamaica, New York.

The Cardinals also received 13 points, six steals and six assists from Kwesi Liverpool, while Michael Thompson and Antoine Green each added 12 points. Liverpool and Green each added eight rebounds for the Cardinals, who held a commanding 51-37 advantage off the boards.

York, which held a 28-24 halftime lead, shot 38.8 percent for the game (26-for-67), while Rutgers-Camden shot 38.5 (25-for-65). The Cardinals outscored the Scarlet Raptors from the foul line, going 13-for-22 (59.1 percent) to the Raptors’ 7-for-11 (63.6).

Both teams committed 21 turnovers.

Rutgers-Camden received 18 points from Rucker. Mergenthal added 15 points, five steals and three assists, while Hopson and Jean-Louis each added 10 points.

Hopson also set a career high with 13 rebounds, while tying his career high of three steals. His previous rebounding high of 12 was accomplished twice this season against Richard Stockton College (Dec. 10) and Keystone College (Dec. 17).

Jean-Louis also had a career-high six rebounds.


Mon., Jan. 19 Rutgers-Camden 67, St. Mary’s College (MD) 62
Sat., Jan. 24 Kean University 95, Rutgers-Camden 77


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.
Wed., Feb. 11 at William Paterson University 8 p.m.


The Lady Raptors won a non-conference battle but lost a New Jersey Athletic Conference war while splitting a pair of home games during the week.

Senior forward Shervon James scored a game-high 25 points and senior guard Kellie Rice added 18 as Kean University defeated Rutgers-Camden, 95-77, in NJAC action Jan. 24.

The Cougars also received 16 points apiece from senior guard Janae Brumby and freshman forward Chi Clark.

James, who was named NJAC Player of the Week on Jan. 19, added 11 rebounds for Kean, while Clark had eight. Brumby dished off six assists.

Kean took a 50-32 halftime lead as Shervon James scored 15 points and added eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, while Clark and Rice each added eight points.

For Rutgers-Camden, sophomore guard Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) scored 13 first-half points on her way to a career-high 23. Her previous high of 21 came against New Jersey City University Dec. 3, 2003.

Senior guard Erin James (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) added 18 points and a game-high eight assists for the Raptors, while junior center Crystal Lucas (West Deptford, NJ/West Deptford) and sophomore forward Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) each added 12 points.

Rulon also had a team-high 10 assists as she collected her ninth straight double-double and 13th overall this season.

Earlier in the week, Rutgers-Camden built a 16-point second-half lead and weathered a strong comeback as it outlasted St. Mary’s College of Maryland, 67-62, in a non-conference home game Jan. 19.

Rulon tied her career high with 25 points and added 10 rebounds run her streak of double-doubles to eight. Behind the strong play of Rulon and the 12-point, eight-assist performance by James, the Lady Raptors built a 63-47 lead with 4:09 remaining before the Seahawks mounted their comeback.

St. Mary’s rattled off 13 straight points, aided by three missed foul shots by the Raptors. The Seahawks cut the gap to 63-60 with 42 seconds remaining on a layup by junior guard Amanda Polidoro. Polidoro collected six of her team-high 20 points during the Seahawks’ 13-0 run, while senior forward Mary Kate Lenz and senior guard Megan Baskins each had three points during the streak.

Lenz finished with 18 points for St. Mary’s, while Baskins finished with 14.

Following a pair of foul shots by Rulon with 29 seconds remaining, to snap the run, Polidoro’s jumper cut the gap to 65-62 before the Raptors missed a pair of foul shots with eight seconds remaining. Rulon grabbed the rebound off the second miss, and freshman guard Kelly Stafford (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) was fouled with six seconds remaining. She made both shots for the final margin.

The first half was highlighted by five ties and four lead changes before Rutgers-Camden took a 37-32 halftime lead. Rulon paced the Raptors with 14 points in the opening half, while James added 10. Lenz had 13 and Polidoro added 10 for the Seahawks.

Rulon’s 25 points tied her career high set against William Paterson University Feb. 8, 2003.

Zimmitt added five steals for the Lady Raptors, tying her career high. Lucas had seven rebounds and seven points. Stafford added eight points, and sophomore guard Lisa Geiger (Gloucester, NJ/Gloucester) collected seven points, five rebounds, three steals and a career-high four assists.

Sophomore guard Katie Greenberg notched a team-high nine rebounds for St. Mary’s, which held a 44-37 advantage off the boards. Baskins added eight rebounds and Lenz collected seven.

©2004 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.