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College Basketball:
Raptor of the Week: Imani Hafiz

Monday, January 24, 2005

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional)

Freshman guard Imani Hafiz continued her fine play in a pair of games last week for the women’s basketball team. Hafiz, who is one of the New Jersey Athletic Conference’s leaders in steals per game (3.12), notched a game-high 10 rebounds and collected a team-high two steals at St. Mary’s College of Maryland Jan. 17, then added a team-high four steals and tied for game-high honors with four assists against William Paterson University Jan. 19. The Lady Raptors’ leader with 53 steals, she has collected six games of four or more steals so far during her freshman season.

Mon., Jan. 17 St. Mary’s College (MD) 63, Rutgers-Camden 44
Wed., Jan. 19 William Paterson University 72, Rutgers-Camden 55
Sat. Jan. 22 Rutgers University-Newark, ppd. to Feb. 14

Wed., Jan. 26 at Rowan University 6 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 29 Ramapo College 1 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 2 at The College of New Jersey 6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 5 Montclair State University 1 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 9 at Richard Stockton University 6 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 12 Kean University 1 p.m.
Mon. Feb. 14 at Rutgers University-Newark, ppd. 6 p.m.

With a heavy weekend snowstorm wiping out their scheduled game at Rutgers-Newark Jan. 22, the Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball team had a short week with a non-conference game at St. Mary’s College of Maryland (Jan. 17) and a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest against William Paterson University (Jan. 19). The Raptors lost both contests as their losing streak stretched to three games, falling to the Seahawks, 63-44, and losing to the Pioneers, 72-55.

Senior center Adrienne Kopko notched her first double-double of the season and ninth of her career with 15 points and 11 rebounds to power the Pioneers over Rutgers-Camden.

William Paterson, which has won four of the last five games against the Raptors and now holds a 34-9 lead in the all-time series, also received 19 points and four assists from freshman guard Michelle Pellichero. Sophomore forward Melissa Moore notched a season-high 17 points.

In a first half that featured five lead changes and two ties, Paterson took the lead for good with a 10-0 run to rally from an 8-6 deficit. The Pioneers built their lead to 28-20 at halftime behind nine points from Pellichero and seven from Moore. Kopko had seven rebounds and six points in the opening half for Paterson.

For Rutgers-Camden, junior center Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) had eight points, four rebounds and four blocked shots in the first half. She finished with a game-high 20 points and five blocked shots, while adding a team-high seven rebounds.

Junior guard/forward Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) added 10 points in the game for the Lady Raptors, while freshman guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) had eight points and team-high totals of four assists and four steals.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Raptors committed 32 turnovers in a non-conference loss at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. St. Mary’s took a 34-14 halftime lead and the Raptors never came closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

Zimmitt notched a game-high 17 points and added six rebounds for the Raptors. Sophomore guard Kelly Stafford (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester) added 14 points and Hafiz grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.

Seahawks freshman guard Megan Uglik notched a team-high 14 points and added five rebounds and four steals. Junior guard Katie Greenberg and senior forward Amanda Polidoro each tallied 12 points.

Mon., Jan. 17 Rutgers University-Newark 69, Rutgers-Camden 60
Wed., Jan. 19 William Paterson University 75, Rutgers-Camden 48
Sat. Jan. 22 Rutgers University-Newark , ppd. to Feb. 14

Wed., Jan. 26 at Rowan University 8 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 29 Ramapo College 3 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 2 at The College of New Jersey 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 5 Montclair State University 3 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 9 at Richard Stockton University 8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 12 Kean University 3 p.m.
Mon. Feb. 14 at Rutgers University-Newark, ppd. 8 p.m.

The Scarlet Raptors’ scheduled three-game week was shortened to a pair of New Jersey Athletic Conference contests due to a weekend snowstorm. That inclement weather postponed what was supposed to be Rutgers-Camden’s second game of the week against sister school Rutgers-Newark. That game has been rescheduled to Feb. 14.

In the two contests that were played, the Raptors dropped NJAC home games against Rutgers-Newark (69-60 Jan. 17) and William Paterson (75-48 Jan. 19).

In a weekday afternoon game on Martin Luther King Day, Rutgers-Camden was haunted by the return of former Raptor Chinedu Ibeh (Colonia, NJ/Colonia). The Scarlet Raiders’ junior forward, who played his freshman season at Rutgers-Camden (2001-02) before transferring to the Newark campus, scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half, including seven during a 12-0 run that gave Rutgers-Newark the lead for good.

Rutgers-Newark received game-high totals of 18 points apiece from senior guard Manny Rios and junior guard Justin Carter.

Rutgers-Camden took a 32-28 halftime lead behind 11 points from freshman guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek). Rios also had 11 first-half points.

The Scarlet Raiders held the first-half lead despite being out-rebounded, 20-10, in the opening 20 minutes. Rutgers-Newark had 16 turnovers in the first half.

The Scarlet Raptors increased their lead to 41-32 early in the second half on seven straight points from senior guard Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) before Rutgers-Newark mounted its comeback.

The Scarlet Raiders scored 12 consecutive points, sparked by a foul shot from Ibeh, who had seven points in the run. Carter added three points and Rios notched two in the run, which lifted Newark from a nine-point deficit to a 44-41 lead. The Scarlet Raiders took the lead for good at 42-41 on a lay-up by Ibeh.

Rutgers-Newark increased its margin to eight points (50-42) before Rutgers-Camden came back to cut the gap to 52-51, aided by three consecutive baskets from sophomore guard/forward Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit).

The Scarlet Raiders closed out the game with a 17-9 run to post their second consecutive victory. It was the fourth straight loss for the Scarlet Raptors.

In addition to Rios, Carter and Ibeh, sophomore forward Jermont Horton notched 12 points for Rutgers-Newark. Ibeh had 11 rebounds, while Horton and Rios each added seven for the Raiders, who held a 39-29 advantage off the boards.

Rutgers-Camden received 15 points from Nicholson, 14 from Fantroyal and 13 from Rucker. Junior guard Timothy Harris (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) had 11 rebounds to tie Ibeh for game-high honors.

Rutgers-Newark shot 47.3 percent from the field (26-for-55), while Rutgers-Camden shot 38.2 (21-for-55).

Two days later, the Raptors watched William Paterson open the game with a 10-0 run on its way to a 75-48 NJAC victory. After opening up a 38-17 halftime lead, the Pioneers started the second half with a 12-0 run.

Paterson has won five straight games against the Scarlet Raptors and 32 of the last 33. The Pioneers, who own a 40-5 advantage in the series which started during the 1978-79 season, received a career-high 18 points from sophomore forward Luis Martinez. His previous high had been 15 points against York (NY) on Dec. 29, 2004. They also received a career-high 12 points from junior guard Kelvin DeLosAngeles, who had notched his high of 11 Jan. 15 against SUNY-Farmingdale.

Paterson, which placed 10 players in the scoring column, shot 30-for-45 (66.7 percent) from the field and out-rebounded Rutgers-Camden, 46-23. The Scarlet Raptors shot only 14-for-58 (24.1 percent) from the field, including 3-for-25 (12.0) from three-point range.

Rutgers-Camden’s attack was paced by Rucker, who scored 12 points, aided by 9-for-15 shooting from the foul line. Fantroyal scored 11 points and junior guard Timothy Harris (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) added 10.

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