Monday, January 9, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Rutgers-Camden freshman guard Wayne Smalls earns his first Raptor of the Week honor after averaging 21.5 points in a pair of games last week and going 15-for-15 from the foul line. He scored 28 of his team-high 31 points in the second half in a loss to Montclair State Jan. 4 as he finished two points shy of his career high. He was 8-for-8 from the foul line in that game and then went 7-for-7 from the line in a loss to Widener Jan. 7. Coupled with his 6-for-6 from the line against Worcester State (Dec. 29), he has hit 21 straight free throws since missing his last attempt against Colorado College (Dec. 28). His 21 straight foul shots ties for second on the program’s list of longest streaks. He is three shy of the school mark of 24 straight by Bill Bramble in 1966.
MEN’S BASKETBALL (1-11/0-6 NJAC)
The Scarlet Raptors ran into some red-hot performances and red-hot teams as they lost a pair of games last week and fell to 1-11 on the season. In their first game, the Raptors saw senior forward Gian Paul Gonzalez score a game-high 37 points and freshman guard Maurice Torres add 30 points to power Montclair State University to a 96-80 New Jersey Athletic Conference victory Jan. 4 in Camden.
In their second game, the Raptors were victimized by undefeated Widener University, 92-66, in a Jan. 7 home game.
Montclair State’s Gonzalez went 11-for-11 from the foul line and also added a game-high 12 rebounds as he finished with a double-double for the Red Hawks. His teammate, Torres, hit eight three-pointers in his 30-point performance.
The Red Hawks have won 26 of the last 27 games against Rutgers-Camden, including three straight, to take a 36-8 lead in the all-time series.
Montclair State put the game away in the first half, taking a 49-27 halftime lead. Gonzalez had 19 points at the half, while Torres had 11.
Senior guard Jamal Ford added six points, six rebounds and a game-high six assists for the Red Hawks.
Rutgers-Camden received 31 points from freshman forward Wayne Smalls (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts), including 28 in the second half. The output was two shy of his career-high 33 points scored against Valley Forge Christian College Nov. 28.
Junior guard Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) added 25 points for the Raptors, including 13 in the second half, while sophomore guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) scored 10.
Montclair State shot 56.4 percent from the field (31-for-55) and 47.4 from three-point range (9-for-19), aided by the red-hot shooting of Torres, who went 8-for-14 from beyond the arc.
Rutgers-Camden shot 46.2 percent (30-for-65) for the game and was out-rebounded, 36-28.
In the Widener game, the Pioneers continued the best start in their program history as they raised their record to 12-0. Widener, which was the top vote-getter in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the d3hoops.com national Top 25 last week, was sparked by senior center Kris Clarkson, who collected 28 points and 16 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. He had his eighth consecutive double-double by halftime with 12 points and 10 rebounds as Widener built a 46-37 lead by the break.
Widener also received a career-high 30 points from junior guard Essien Ford, who passed his previous high of 27. Ford went 12-for-19 from the field, including 5-for-9 from three-point range. Another Pioneer, senior guard Brandon Blakey also set a career high with 10 assists, three more than his previous high.
After the Scarlet Raptors took a 14-11 first-half lead, the Pioneers ran off 13 consecutive points to take the lead for good at 24-14. Clarkson, a 6-foot-7 center who has won four Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week honors so far this season, started the run with consecutive baskets to give Widener the lead for good, 15-14. He had six points in that stretch, while Ford added five.
At halftime, the Pioneers held a 46-37 lead behind 19 points from Ford and 12 from Clarkson. Blakey had six of his assists in the opening 20 minutes.
For Rutgers-Camden, Nicholson had 15 points in the opening half and finished with a team-high 16. Junior forward Drew Bernier (Medford, NJ/Shawnee) had all 11 of his points in the first half to eclipse his previous Rutgers-Camden career high of seven points, accomplished four times.
Smalls finished with 12 points for the Scarlet Raptors, including 7-for-7 from the foul line as he ran his streak to 21 straight foul shots, three shy of Bill Bramble’s program mark (Feb. 3-12, 1966).
Nicholson’s 16 points lifted him over the 700 career plateau, giving him 703 in his third year with the program.
Widener shot 55.2 percent (37-for-67) from the field, while Rutgers-Camden shot 43.9 (25-for-57). The Pioneers, however, held a 43-23 advantage off the boards led by Clarkson’s 16 rebounds and eight from junior center Terry Smith.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (4-9/0-6 NJAC)
The Lady Raptors had a big week off the court with several honors and recognition in the first NCAA Division III stats of the season, but the week wasn’t as successful on the court. Rutgers-Camden lost a 65-58 non-conference game at Goucher College Jan. 2 and dropped a 63-40 New Jersey Athletic Conference home game against Montclair State University Jan. 4.
In the Goucher game, sophomore guard/forward Shadae Swan scored a game-high 26 points to power the Gophers. Goucher outscored Rutgers-Camden, 38-31, in the second half to break a 27-27 halftime deadlock.
Senior guard Stacy Hollander added 16 points for the Gophers, while junior forward Francheska Giulfu added nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Hollander, who was fouled on a three-point attempt with 15:03 remaining in the game, hit all three of her foul shots to break a 31-31 deadlock and give the Gophers the lead for good, 34-31. That sparked a seven-point Goucher run which lifted the Gophers into a 38-31 lead. Rutgers-Camden never came closer than five points (38-33) the rest of the way. Goucher led by as many as 16 points (63-47 and 65-49) in the second half.
For the Lady Raptors, senior guard Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) scored 20 points and added eight rebounds, while sophomore guard Krystal Jankowski (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling) collected 18 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Junior forward Karen Carter (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) added six rebounds for Rutgers-Camden.
In the Raptors’ second game of the week, Montclair State raced to a 30-13 halftime lead, paced by six points apiece from junior forward Stephanie Machin and sophomore guard Jessica Horan, and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden in NJAC action.
Montclair State has won five straight games in the series to grab a 25-15 all-time lead.
Montclair State received points from nine players in the first half and controlled the boards to a 27-17 tune, led by seven rebounds by Machin.
For Rutgers-Camden, Jankowski scored six first-half points, while Zimmitt had five rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
Sophomore guard Marissa Freeman finished with 10 points in the game for the Red Hawks, who placed 11 players in the scoring column and 10 in the rebounding column as they held a 48-40 advantage off the boards. Horan finished with nine points for Montclair State.
The Red Hawks received eight rebounds apiece from Machin and sophomore guard Jessica Garrabrant.
For Rutgers-Camden, Zimmitt notched a game-high 17 points, while Jankowski added 10. Zimmitt also had nine rebounds and Jankowski added eight.
The Raptors’ sophomore guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) collected a career-high 11 steals to set a single-game program record, topping the mark of 10 shared by Joy Silver (against William Paterson Feb. 6, 2002) and Jen Hans (against Old Westbury, Jan. 4, 1995). Hafiz passed her old career high of eight steals, accomplished twice.
Montclair State shot 43-6 percent (24-for-55) from the field while Rutgers-Camden shot only 18.3 (11-for-60) from the field and 51.6 (16-for-31) from the foul line.
Off the court, senior center Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) earned three honors following her brilliant performance at the South Padre Island Shootout Dec. 28-29, when she made the all-tournament team. That performance was reflected in her honors last week when she was named the NJAC Player of the Week for the third time this season, while adding her second ECAC Metro Player of the Week honor. She capped her honors by being named as a member of the national d3hoops.com Team of the Week.
In addition to her trio of weekly honors, Rulon was prominently mentioned in the first NCAA Division III statistical rankings, which were released Jan. 4. They included games through Jan. 1, and saw Rulon leading the nation in blocked shots per game (6.2). She also was fourth in rebounds per game (12.7), tied for 20th in points per game (20.1) and 38th in field goal percentage (.548).
Rulon, who led the nation during the 2004-05 season by averaging 4.2 blocked shots per game, is attempting to become the first person to repeat as national champion in that category since Marymount (VA) University’s Cori Carson in 1996 and 1997.
Hafiz also ranked 20th nationally in steals per game (3.6) in the first NCAA stats.