Monday, January 23, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Rutgers-Camden freshman guard Wayne Smalls earns Raptor of the Week honors for the second time in three weeks after collecting game-high scoring honors in a pair of losses against William Paterson University (19 points, Jan. 18) and Rutgers-Newark (26 points, Jan. 21). In the Paterson game, he also added three rebounds, two assists and tied his career high with four steals. In a narrow 73-70 loss to Newark, he helped the Raptors take an early lead, scoring 18 points as Rutgers-Camden jumped to a 22-9 advantage. He shot 12-for-17, including 2-for-5 from three-point range, and added one rebound, three steals and a team-high three assists. Smalls, who enters this week as a four-time New Jersey Athletic Conference Rookie of the Week, leads the Scarlet Raptors in scoring average (19.3) and foul shooting (.893, 50-for-56).
MEN’S BASKETBALL (1-15/0-10 NJAC)
The Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team took some major steps last week despite a pair of losses to New Jersey Athletic Conference opponents. In a 91-73 loss at William Paterson Jan. 18, the Scarlet Raptors played the powerful Pioneers dead even into the second half, being tied at 43-43, before running out of gas. They continued their improvement Jan. 21 in a home game against Rutgers-Newark, leading another conference power most of the way before dropping a tough 73-70 decision.
Rutgers-Camden will try to continue that improvement with a home NJAC game against Rowan Jan. 25 as it looks to snap a 12-game losing streak.
In the loss to Rutgers-Newark, the Scarlet Raiders’ senior guard Justin Carter put on a virtuoso display of basketball in the second half, scoring all 25 of his points, including a game-winning three-pointer.
Carter’s heroics helped the Scarlet Raiders improve to 13-4 overall and 6-4 in the NJAC with their fourth consecutive victory. It was the fifth consecutive victory for the Scarlet Raiders in the all-time series, including an 84-41 win earlier this season in Newark (Dec. 10), giving Rutgers-Newark a 37-31 lead in the all-time series.
This one didn’t come easily for the Scarlet Raiders, who fell into a 36-28 halftime hole. Rutgers-Camden increased its lead by as many as 11 points, 56-45, before Carter turned the momentum around on a huge five-point play. He was fouled while hitting a jump shot, and the Scarlet Raptors also hurt themselves with a technical foul on the play. Carter made both technicals and his foul shot to slice the margin from 56-45 to 56-50.
The Scarlet Raptors built their lead back to nine points at 66-57 on a pair of foul shots by freshman center Antoine Miller (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts). Miller, who had an outstanding game by tying his career high of 14 points, went 10-for-12 from the foul line in the contest.
Rutgers-Newark scored 11 of the next 13 points, tying the game at 68-68 on a jumper by senior forward Stephen Taylor with 2:26 remaining. After Rutgers-Camden regained the lead, 70-68, on a layup by junior guard Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit), Carter launched his game-winning three-pointer with 1:27 remaining. That shot gave the Raiders a 71-70 advantage, and Rutgers-Newark tacked on its final two points on foul shots by Carter and junior forward Jermont Horton.
In addition to Carter, the Raiders received 15 points from Horton and 12 from freshman guard Chadd Barnes. Horton and freshman forward Ryan Gillens each had six rebounds for Rutgers-Newark, which was out-rebounded, 34-31. Junior guard Philippe Slater added a game-high five assists.
Rutgers-Camden freshman guard Wayne Smalls (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts) scored a game-high 26 points, including 18 in the first half when he was on fire. Smalls had his 18 points to help the Raptors take an early 22-9 lead.
Nicholson and Miller each added 14 points for the Raptors, while Nicholson grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and added a game-high four steals. Senior guard Timothy Harris (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) had a fine all-around game with eight rebounds, seven points and three steals.
Rutgers-Newark shot 53.6 percent (30-for-56), while Rutgers-Camden shot 46.4 (26-for-56).
In their first game of the week, the Raptors saw William Paterson broke a 43-43 second-half tie with a 21-3 run as the Pioneers broke away to record their ninth straight win.
Paterson held a 43-41 halftime lead before the Raptors tied the game on the first basket of the second half, a layup by sophomore forward Drew Bernier (Medford, NJ/Shawnee). Paterson, however, scored the next 12 points, with the run starting and ending on field goals by senior center Nick Torres. That streak gave the Pioneers a 55-43 margin and they continued their run with nine of the next 12 points to take a 64-46 advantage.
Sophomore forward Larry Leverett notched career highs of 16 points and eight rebounds for the Pioneers, while senior forward Larry Press added career highs of 12 points and six rebounds.
The Pioneers placed 11 players in the scoring column, including 14-point performances by junior forward Luis Martinez and Torres.
Paterson shot 55.6 percent from the field (35-for-63), while Rutgers-Camden shot 37.7 (26-for-69). The Pioneers also held a 50-30 advantage off the boards.
For Rutgers-Camden, Smalls scored a game-high 19 points. Miller added 14 points to tie his career high, set against Albright College Nov. 18, 2005, and matched in the loss to Rutgers-Newark later in the week.
Nicholson notched 11 points and a career-high six steals, passing his previous high of five, also against Paterson almost exactly a year ago (Jan. 19, 2005).
Sophomore guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) collected 12 points, eight rebounds, five assists and tied career highs with five steals and one blocked shot.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (4-13/0-10 NJAC)
Wed. 18 William Paterson University 59, Rutgers-Camden 53
Senior center Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) broke a school record for blocked shots and moved into seventh place on the all-time scoring list, while senior guard Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) approached the 700-point career plateau during a week of individual milestones, but the Rutgers University-Camden women’s basketball team dropped a pair of games in New Jersey Athletic Conference play. The Lady Raptors lost at William Paterson University, 59-53, Jan. 18, before falling to sister school Rutgers-Newark, 59-47, Jan. 21 in Camden.
In the loss at William Paterson, Rulon was one of three Lady Raptors to collect a double-double, notching game-high totals of 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocked shots, on her way to setting the career record for blocks. She raised her total to 296, passing the mark of 291 set by Kamilah Byrd (1993-97).
Rulon also moved into seventh place on the all-time program scoring list, hiking her total to 1,118 points. She passed both Nelly Cruz (1,113 from 1988-91) and Tara Harris (1,117 from 1984-88). After adding nine points in the loss to Rutgers-Newark, Rulon stands at 1,127 career points. Directly ahead of her is Maureen McGovern, who collected 1,154 points from 1994-99.
Despite a night of milestones, Paterson rallied to post its victory as junior forward Alima Williams scored nine of her 13 points in the final 3:34. Williams also finished with seven rebounds and two assists. Sophomore guard Janell Fabor notched her first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while adding a game-high six steals.
Rutgers-Camden held a 26-23 halftime lead and hiked its margin to 35-29 before Paterson roared back with a 13-3 run, sparked by junior guard Luci Custis. Custis scored seven of her nine points in the run as the Pioneers took the lead for good. She also finished with seven rebounds and three steals.
Trailing, 19-12, the Lady Raptors finished the first half with a 14-4 run to take their halftime lead. Sophomore guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) had eight points during that stretch and finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. She also added four assists, three steals and one blocked shot. It was the second consecutive double-double for Hafiz and the third of her career.
The Lady Raptors also received a double-double from senior guard Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown), who collected 10 points, 12 rebounds, three steals and one assist.
Rutgers-Newark sophomore forward Toni Roselli (Garfield, NJ/St. Mary’s) scored 11 of her team-high 14 points in the first half to spark the Scarlet Raiders to an 18-point halftime lead. Rutgers-Newark hung on for the victory, raising its record to 11-5 overall and 6-4 in the NJAC with its fifth win in six games. The Lady Raptors, who have lost six straight, fall to 4-13 and 0-10.
Rutgers-Newark, which posted a 57-51 victory over Rutgers-Camden earlier in the season (Dec. 10 in Newark), has won the last four games of the series between the sister schools.
After Rutgers-Camden grabbed a quick 4-0 lead, the Scarlet Raiders scored the next six points, sparked by a pair of foul shots and a layup from freshman guard Younger Kehleay. The Raptors tied the game at 6-6 before a foul shot by Rutgers-Newark’s senior center Christyal Anderson put the Raiders ahead to stay, 7-6. That shot started a 25-7 run for Rutgers-Newark, which took a 31-13 lead into halftime.
By halftime, Roselli had 11 points, including three three-pointers in four attempts. Anderson added seven points in the opening half.
Rutgers-Camden rallied to within seven points in the second half, 50-43, before Rutgers-Newark scored the next eight points to secure the victory.
In addition to 14 points from Roselli, the Scarlet Raiders had 11-point efforts from both Anderson and sophomore guard Nerlande Nicolas.
Rutgers-Newark shot 41.7 percent from the field (20-for-48), including 45.5 percent (5-for-11) from three-point range. Roselli had four of those treys in six attempts.
Rutgers-Camden shot only 36.0 (18-for-50) overall and 16.7 (1-for-6) from three-point range.
For the Raptors, Hafiz collected 13 points and a game-high five steals, while Rulon had nine points, eight rebounds and a game-high three blocked shots, raising her career total in blocks to 299.
Zimmitt added eight points as she hiked her career total to 699, one shy of the 700-point plateau. She also added two steals to increase her career total to 167, fourth on the all-time list.