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College Basketball:
Raptor of the Week: Dane Nicholson

Monday, December 6, 2004

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit)

Sophomore guard/forward Dane Nicholson averaged 20.3 points in three games last week for the Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team. His week included a career-high 24 points against The College of New Jersey Dec. 8 and a game-high 19 points while leading the Scarlet Raptors to their first win of the season, an 81-64 triumph over Medgar Evers College Dec. 11. He hit 23 of 55 field goal attempts (41.8 percent), including 5-for-15 (33.3 percent) from three-point range.

Mon., Dec. 6 Rutgers-Camden 66, Goucher College 61
Wed., Dec. 8 The College of New Jersey 61, Rutgers-Camden 41
Sat., Dec. 11 Rutgers-Camden 65, Lehman College 62

Tues., Dec. 14 at Cabrini College 6 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 5 Rutgers-Newark 6 p.m.

There were plenty of heroines to go around as the Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball team posted a 2-1 week, sandwiching non-conference wins over Goucher College (66-61 at home Dec. 6) and Lehman College (65-62 on the road Dec. 11) around a home New Jersey Athletic Conference loss to The College of New Jersey (61-41 Dec. 8).

In their final game of the week, freshman guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea), and junior guard/forwards Lisa Geiger (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester) and Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) each established career highs in various categories and helped the Lady Raptors rally past Lehman College.

The game was part of the 2004 CUNY-NJAC Women’s and Men’s Basketball Challenge, a yearly series which started in 2003 and matches teams from the NJAC against teams from the City Universities of New York Athletic Conference. Matchups are based on the regular-season finish of conference teams during the previous year.

Last season the NJAC swept all nine of its women’s matches, including Rutgers-Camden’s 56-41 win over City College of New York on Jan. 3.

Against Lehman, the Raptors rallied from a 37-28 halftime deficit to raise their record to 4-5.

Hafiz turned in a huge game with career highs of 14 points and seven steals, while tying her career highs of nine rebounds and two blocks. Before competing in her ninth intercollegiate game against Lehman, she had posted her previous highs of 13 points against Wilkes (Nov. 20) and four steals against Ramapo (Dec. 4). She tied her highs of two blocks against Wilkes and nine rebounds against The College of New Jersey (Dec. 8).

Zimmitt scored 13 points, collected four assists, had three steals and hauled down a game-high 18 rebounds, easily setting her career high off the boards. Her previous high was 10 against Montclair State Feb. 19, 2004.

Geiger notched a career-high 16 points, passing the 10 she accomplished four times, most recently against Ramapo College Dec. 4, 2004. She also had five rebounds and four steals.

The Lady Raptors also received 14 points from sophomore guard Kelly Stafford (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester), while freshman guard Krystal Jankowski (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling) added four rebounds, four assists, three steals and eight points.

For the Lightning, freshman center Maria Loor scored a game-high 21 points, had 11 rebounds and added a game-high six blocked shots. Freshman guard/forward Tiara Carroll scored 11 points, while sophomore center Shatasia Little had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The College of New Jersey used a balanced attack, led by 14 points from junior center Danica Miller, as it powered past Rutgers-Camden, 61-41, in an NJAC game Dec. 8.

The Lions also received 11 points from junior guard Alexa Shields and 10 apiece from junior guard Tiara Simpkins and junior forward Erin Frank.

TCNJ grabbed a 16-3 lead on its way to a 31-17 halftime bulge. Senior guard/forward Theresa DiMedio scored nine points in the first half for the Lions, including six of the first 22.

Rutgers-Camden received four points apiece from junior center Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) and Stafford in the opening half.

The Lions broke the game open by scoring the first eight points of the second half, including a pair of treys by Shields, who went 3-for-6 from three-point range.

Sophomore forward Breanne Depken led the Lions with eight rebounds, while Frank and Miller each added seven. Simpkins added five steals.

For Rutgers-Camden, Stafford finished with 15 points. Rulon notched 12 rebounds and Jankowski added 10.

In the Lady Raptors’ first contest of the week, Rulon scored the first eight points of the game and Rutgers-Camden built a 22-point second-half lead and hung on to defeat Goucher College, 66-61, in a non-conference game Dec. 6 in Camden.

Rulon, who collected 12 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots as the Lady Raptors built a 35-18 halftime lead, finished with 25 points, tying her career high accomplished three times previously. The most recent time was Nov. 20, 2004 against Wilkes University.

Rutgers-Camden built its margin to 22 points (46-24) early in the second half before Goucher rallied. The Gophers scored seven straight points to cut the gap to 46-31, then rattled off an 11-0 run after the Raptors had taken a 49-32 lead, slicing their deficit to 49-43.

The Gophers cut the gap to 65-59 with 11 seconds remaining on a layup by freshman forward Katherine Leswing, but the Raptors added their final point on a foul shot by Jankowski to make it 66-59. Leswing hit a jumper with three seconds remaining for the final margin.

Leswing finished with a team-high 17 points for the Gophers, including 14 in the second half. Freshman center Colleen Orton had 14 points and nine rebounds, while junior guard Stacy Hollander added 10 points and a game-high five assists.

Senior forward Jana White paced Goucher with 11 rebounds.

The Lady Raptors also received 10 rebounds and a game-high five blocks from Rulon.

Jankowski set a high for her young career with 15 points, while tying her rebounding high of nine. Stafford added 13 points for the Raptors.

Mon., Dec. 6 Widener University 104, Rutgers-Camden 62
Wed., Dec. 8 The College of New Jersey 110, Rutgers-Camden 63
Sat., Dec. 11 Rutgers-Camden Medgar Evers College

Thurs., Dec. 30 at La Roche College 6 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team struggled through a stretch like it had never seen in the history of its program, but there was light on the other side. After allowing over 100 points in three straight games – the first time that happened in the history of the program – the Scarlet Raptors bounced back to defeat Medgar Evers College, 81-64, Dec. 11 for their first win of the season.

Sophomore guard/forward Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) scored 19 points to pace four Rutgers-Camden players in double figures in their win over Medgar Evers. The game was played at Lehman College as part of the 2004 CUNY-NJAC Women’s and Men’s Basketball Challenge, a yearly series which started in 2003 and matches teams from the New Jersey Athletic Conference against teams from the City Universities of New York Athletic Conference. Matchups are based on the regular-season finish of conference teams during the previous year.

Nicholson went 7-for-12 from the floor and 5-for-8 from the foul line as Rutgers-Camden made 24 of its 28 foul shots. Leading the way from the charity stripe was senior guard Paul Smith (Vineland, NJ/Vineland), who went 13-for-14 on his way to 17 points. Smith added four steals.

Junior forward/center Josh Kennedy (Westmont, NJ/Haddon Township) collected 18 points, six rebounds and five steals for Rutgers-Camden, while freshman guard Kenny Yu (Queens, NY/Townsend Harris) had 12 points and tied for game-high honors with four assists.

Freshman guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) had nine points, six rebounds and five steals for the Scarlet Raptors, who built a 44-31 halftime lead.

Medgar Evers received 18 points and 10 rebounds from sophomore center Verdayne Townsend.

The win over Medgar Evers was a big lift for the Raptors after falling to The College of New Jersey (110-63 in Camden Dec. 8) and Widener (104-62 in Chester, PA, Dec. 6). Coupled with a 119-64 loss at Ramapo on Dec. 4, that stretch marked the first time Rutgers-Camden has ever allowed three straight 100-point games.

The College of New Jersey received 24 points from senior forward Derick Grant, 22 from senior guard Kyle Burke and 20 from senior guard Mike Snyder on its way to a New Jersey Athletic Conference win. TCNJ, ranked No. 21 nationally in the poll, has won five straight games against Rutgers-Camden and 35 of the last 36.

TCNJ, which rolled to a 54-36 halftime lead, went on to post its season high in points and rebounds, while out-rebounding the Scarlet Raptors, 57-29.

Junior forward Scott Findlay paced the Lions’ effort off the boards with 12 rebounds, tying his team high for the season set against Kean University Dec. 4. Findlay also added 14 points and two blocked shots.

Senior center Derek Brown added 14 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Rutgers-Camden received a career-high 24 points from Nicholson, who broke his previous high of 21, accomplished twice. The most recent time came against Hood College November 20.

Fantroyal added 11 points and five rebounds for the Raptors, while Yu collected 10 points.

In the loss at Widener, the Pioneers placed five players in double figures, led by 18 points from senior guard/forward Casey Stitzel, who collected his 1,000th career point in the non-conference game.

Widener built a 47-27 halftime lead, aided by Stitzel’s 1,000th point just 19 seconds into the game. He became the 22nd player in school history to attain that mark.

The Pioneers also received 16 points from sophomore guard Essien Ford, while senior guard/forward Matt Sheaffer and junior center Kris Clarkson each added 15 points. Sophomore forward Malcolm Thomas collected 14 points.

Clarkson added five blocked shots and grabbed 13 rebounds as Widener held a 43-31 advantage off the boards. The Pioneers also shot 42-for-71 from the floor (59.2 percent) to the Raptors’ 24-for-62 (38.7), and hit 12 of their 16 free throws (75.0). Rutgers-Camden shot 11-for-25 from the line (44.0).

For Rutgers-Camden, Nicholson scored 18 points, Kennedy notched 11 and Fantroyal added 10.

Fantroyal and Nicholson tied for team rebounding honors with six, while Fantroyal had a game-high five steals.

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