Monday, February 21, 2005
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Freshman guard Imani Hafiz earned the final Raptor of the Week honor for the basketball season after scoring 14 points, notching six rebounds and collecting four steals in the Lady Raptors’ season-ending loss at William Paterson Feb. 19. Hafiz tied for game-high honors with her steals and team-high honors in rebounding, while also finishing second on the team in scoring. She shot 4-for-6 from the floor and 6-for-7 from the foul line. It was the second Raptor of the Week honor this year for Hafiz, who also won the award Jan. 24.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (7-18/2-14)
Freshman guard/forward Sheakia Jackson and sophomore forward Melissa Moore scored 14 points apiece to lead William Paterson University over Rutgers-Camden, 77-62, in the final regular-season game of the year for both New Jersey Athletic Conference teams Feb. 19 in Wayne.
Paterson, 14-11 overall and 10-6 in the conference, moves into the NJAC playoffs, which begin Tuesday. Rutgers-Camden closes its season at 7-18 overall and 2-14 in the NJAC, finishing last in the nine-team conference.
The Pioneers, who have won four straight games against the Lady Raptors and own a 35-9 advantage in the all-time series, raced to a 43-22 halftime lead behind 10 points from Jackson. William Paterson built its lead to as many as 37 points (61-24) in the second half.
In addition to Moore and Jackson, freshman guard Lauren Miller added 12 points for the Pioneers and senior center Adrienne Kopko had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Paterson out-rebounded Rutgers-Camden, 45-38, and shot 44.3 percent from the floor (31-for-70) to the Raptors’ 35.3 (18-for-51).
utgers-Camden received a game-high 15 points from junior center Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional), who also added a game-high three blocked shots and tied for team-high honors with six rebounds. Rulon, who entered the week leading the nation in blocked shots, finished with 93 for the season (the fourth-highest single-season mark in program history) and a 4.2 block per game average, which still leads the country heading into post-season play. She has 211 blocks for her career, second in school history to the 291 by Kamilah Byrd (1993-97).
Rulon also finished her junior year with 869 career points (14th in program history and two behind Erin James for 13th place) and 569 career rebounds (seventh, 60 behind Michelle Riley for sixth place).
In addition to Rulon, freshman guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) had 14 points and tied for game-high honors with four steals. She also tied for team-high honors with six rebounds, and finished her season with a team-leading 64 steals.
Sophomore guard Kelly Stafford (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester) added 13 points, aided by her 52nd three-point field goal of the season, the third-highest single-season mark in program history. She now owns 84 treys in her two-year career, fourth on the career list and only seven shy of third-place Erin James (2001-04), another Gloucester High School graduate.
MEN’S BASKETBALL (2-23/0-16)
Sophomore forward Luis Martinez posted his first double-double, recording game- and career-highs of 27 points and 16 rebounds while hitting 12 of his 14 shot attempts, to power William Paterson University to a 103-45 victory over Rutgers-Camden in the regular-season finale for both New Jersey Athletic Conference teams Feb. 19 in Wayne.
Paterson, which closes its season at 15-10 overall and 6-10 in the NJAC, also received a career-high 15 points from sophomore forward Samir Sanu.
The Pioneers shot 62.0 percent (44-for-71) and owned a 55-30 rebounding edge while outscoring the Scarlet Raptors, 68-14, in the paint. Rutgers-Camden shot 23.0 percent overall (14-for-61), including 2-for-27 (7.4 percent) from three-point range.
Rutgers-Camden, which closed the season with a 13-game losing streak, ends at 2-23 overall and 0-16 in NJAC play.
William Paterson went on a 29-7 run to end the first half, turning a 14-13 deficit into a 42-21 halftime lead. Junior guard Kelvin DeLosAngeles sparked the spurt, scoring all seven of his points in the run.
Senior guard Robert Sullivan added 13 points and a career-high tying eight assists for Paterson.
Freshman guard Joey Spiegel had 11 points and junior forwards Miguel Rodriguez and Nick Torres each scored nine.
Ten different Pioneers hit the scoring column as the Scarlet Raptors surrendered 100-plus points for the fifth time this season. The Raptors’ 58-point loss was their biggest defeat of the season and worst since a 66-point loss to Rowan (120-54) on Jan. 17, 1996.
For the Scarlet Raptors, senior guard Tyrone Rucker (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) and freshman guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) each scored 13 points to pace Rutgers-Camden.
Junior guard Timothy Harris (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Raptors, and also tied Paterson’s Sullivan for game-high honors with three steals. His 10 points tied his career high set the last time the Raptors played Paterson on Jan. 19.
Fantroyal ended his rookie season with 60 steals, the fifth-highest single-season total in program history. He entered the week averaging 2.4 steals per game, which put him tied for 35th among all Division III players in the country. He finished the season with that same 2.4 steals per game average.
Rucker also entered the week ranked among the national leaders, averaging 3.5 three-pointers per game to place 22nd in Division III. He finished his season with a 3.4 average. He also finished with 71 treys, one shy of the Rutgers-Camden single-season record of 72 set by Brian Turner (2001-02). For his career, Rucker canned 154 three-pointers, third on the program’s all-time list and one shy of second-place Doug Dreby (1993-97). In 82 games at Rutgers-Camden, Rucker scored 866 points for a 10.6 career average.
The Rutgers-Camden baseball team opens its season Thursday at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., looking to rebound from last spring’s 16-23-1 record, the first losing season for the Scarlet Raptors since 2000. Rutgers-Camden was selected as the seventh-place team out of nine squads in the pre-season New Jersey Athletic Conference coach’s poll, but NJAC coaches also picked the Scarlet Raptors as the dark horse team.
Rowan was listed as the conference favorite, capturing eight first-place votes. Montclair State, which had the only other first-place vote, was picked second, followed by William Paterson, The College of New Jersey, Kean University and Ramapo College. Rutgers-Camden was seventh, with Rutgers-Newark and Richard Stockton College rounding out the pre-season poll.
The Raptors place their first NJAC game April 1 when they host The College of New Jersey.
Rutgers-Camden returns 22 lettermen, including one of the top pitchers in the NJAC in senior righty Matt Ulmer (Beverly, NJ/Holy Cross).
After winning its first New Jersey Athletic Conference title in 2004, the Rutgers-Camden softball team is the pre-season favorite to defend its title in a poll of league head coaches. The Lady Raptors received five of the nine first-place votes to rank first in the poll, ahead of William Paterson University (three first-place votes) and Rowan (1).
Rounding out the pre-season coaches poll are Montclair State, The College of New Jersey, Richard Stockton College, Ramapo College, Kean University and Rutgers-Newark. Stockton was tabbed as the dark horse team by league coaches.
Rutgers-Camden, which opens its season with a home doubleheader against Neumann College March 8, will play its first NJAC doubleheader April 2 when it hosts Ramapo.