Monday, February 20, 2006
By Mike Ballard
RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Senior center Megan Rulon ended her brilliant four-year Rutgers-Camden basketball career in style last week. In a victory over New Jersey City University Feb. 15, Rulon collected her third triple-double of the season with 12 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. In her final game against William Paterson University Feb. 18, she added 10 points, six rebounds and three more blocks to break the program's single-season record with 136 blocked shots. She finished her career with 1,220 points (sixth on the all-time list), 817 rebounds (fifth) and a school-record 347 blocks, which is the seventh-highest career total in Div. III history. The honor is Rulon's fourth Raptor of the Week this basketball season. She also won the award on November 21, December 12 and January 2.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL (6-19/2-16 NJAC)
The Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball season ended Feb. 18 with a 67-50 loss against William Paterson University in a game which also served as Senior Day for a trio of players who competed for four years on the Lady Raptors. As freshmen back in 2002-03, Tanishia Greene (Georgetown, SC), Megan Rulon (Sewell, NJ/Clearview Regional) and Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) were members of the first New Jersey Athletic Conference championship team in the history of Rutgers-Camden athletics, and over the years that trio has contributed not only to numerous athletic programs, but to the academic life on campus as well.
Earlier in the week, that trio collected its final win in a Rutgers-Camden uniform. Rulon notched her third triple-double of the season with 12 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots to lead Rutgers-Camden over New Jersey City University, 64-51, in a conference game Feb. 15 in Camden.
The Raptors snapped a five-game losing streak and earned a split of the season series against the Gothic Knights.
With her big night, Rulon passed a pair of career milestones, raising her totals to 811 rebounds and 1,210 points, becoming only the fourth player in Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball history to pass both 800 rebounds and 1,200 points.
Lady Raptor sophomore guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) scored a game-high 20 points two shy of her career record and added five steals to become only the third Lady Raptor to notch over 100 steals in one season.
The Lady Raptors held a 32-29 halftime lead in a first half which featured five lead changes and four ties. Hafiz paced the Raptors- first-half effort with 10 points, while Zimmitt added seven. For NJCU, sophomore guard/forward Arnese Goodman had 11 first-half points.
Hafiz scored the Raptors’ first eight points of the second half as they went on an 8-2 run to break the game open.
For Rutgers-Camden, freshman guard Melissa Whitten (Gloucester City, NJ/Gloucester City) collected 11 points and Zimmitt added 10 points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Krystal Jankowski (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling) had a game-high seven assists and added six points and 10 rebounds.
For NJCU, junior guard Latrese McNair scored 19 points and added four steals, while Goodman finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Freshman center Kelly Wilson had 11 rebounds, six points and four steals.
The season ended Feb. 18 in Camden as sophomore guard Michelle Pellichero collected game-high totals of 17 points, five assists and four three-pointers (in five attempts) to power William Paterson University over Rutgers-Camden, 67-50, in NJAC action
Rutgers-Camden closed its season at 6-19 overall and 2-16 in the NJAC in the last women’s basketball appearance for Greene, Rulon and Zimmitt.
Using a full-court press, the Pioneers forced the Lady Raptors into 20 first-half turnovers on their way to a 32-24 lead. Rutgers-Camden’s lone lead came on the first basket of the game by Zimmitt. Paterson followed with an 8-0 run, capped by a jumper and a pair of foul shots from freshman center Barrie Quick.
By halftime, Pellichero had 11 points for the Pioneers, while Quick had six. For Rutgers-Camden, Rulon had seven first-half points and a pair of blocks to give her 135 on the season, passing the old single-season mark of 134 by Kamilah Byrd (1996-97).
The Lady Raptors opened the second half with a 10-2 run, which included four points from Zimmitt, as they forged into a 34-34 tie. Paterson, however, took the lead for good, deflating the Raptors’ momentum on a pair of three-pointers by junior guard Luci Custis and Pellichero, making it a 40-34 game. The Raptors never came closer than four points the rest of the way.
In addition to Pellichero’s 17 points, Quick notched 14 points and seven rebounds and Luci Custis had 12 points and a game-high five steals. Freshman forward Asia Johnson collected a game-high nine rebounds for Paterson.
For Rutgers-Camden, Rulon and Hafiz each had 10 points. Rulon added six rebounds and three blocked shots as she finished her year with a single-season program record of 136 blocks, the seventh-highest season total in NCAA Div. III history. She also finished with an average of 6.2 blocks per game, tied for the third-best mark in Div. III history.
Rulon, who passed Byrd’s career mark for blocks (291) earlier in the season, finished her career with 347 blocked shots, the seventh-highest total in Division III history. Her average of 3.7 blocks per game tied her for ninth on the NCAA career charts.
Once the final NCAA statistics are announced, Rulon should become the first player to earn back-to-back Division III titles as the blocked shot leader since Cori Carson of Marymount (VA) during the 1995-96 and 1996-97 seasons.
One of only four players in Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball history to pass both 800 rebounds and 1,200 points, Rulon finished her career with 1,220 points (sixth on the career chart) and 817 rebounds (fifth).
Rulon’s brilliant senior season included NJAC Player of the Week honors on Nov. 21, Dec. 12 and Jan. 2. She won ECAC Metro Player of the Week honors on Dec. 13 and Jan. 3, and was a member of the d3hoops.com Team of the Week on Jan. 4. She also was a member of the all-tournament team at the Jim Crawley Classic (Nov. 18-19) and the South Padre Island Shootout (Dec. 28-29).
Hafiz, who on Wednesday became only the third Lady Raptor to notch over 100 steals in one season, added one steal to finish with 105 for the season, one shy of the program’s second-best mark of 106 by Tamara Carey (1994-95). The record is 142 steals by Cheryl Kulesa (2002-03).
Junior guard Jessica Hull (Sicklerville, NJ/Fairton Christian Center and Academy) tied her career high with six rebounds for the Raptors.
Zimmitt, meanwhile, ended her outstanding career having played in 102 games, second only to the program mark of 104 by Tamara Carey (1991-95). Zimmitt finished with 181 steals (fourth on the career list) and 764 points.
In the final NJAC statistics, Rulon ended up as the conference leader in scoring (16.0), field goal percentage (.514), blocks (6.18) and defensive rebounding (7.45), while finishing third in rebounding (11.3), third in offensive rebounding (3.82) and third in minutes played (34.36).
Jankowski finished third in assists (4.0), 22nd in scoring (8.7), 10th in rebounding (6.8), fourth in steals (2.54), 13th in free throw percentage (.633), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (0.53), sixth in offensive rebounding (2.67), 11th in defensive rebounding (4.13) and eighth in minutes played (30.63).
Zimmitt finished 11th in both scoring (11.1) and rebounding (6.5), fourth in free throw percentage (.759), fifth in minutes (31.88), tied for eighth in steals (2.40), ninth in offensive rebounding (2.56) and 12thh in defensive rebounding (3.92).
Hafiz finished second in steals (4.38), ninth in free throw percentage (.662) and 11th in assists (2.33).
MEN’S BASKETBALL (1-23/0-18 NJAC)
The Scarlet Raptors closed their season Feb. 18 with a 77-54 home loss against William Paterson in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game. They also honored guard Timothy Harris (Burlington, NJ/Burlington Township) for his contributions on Senior Day. Harris, a two-year letterman for the Scarlet Raptors after transferring to the program from Burlington County College, finished his Rutgers-Camden career on a high note, notching a career-high 13 points against the Pioneers.
Earlier in the week, freshman guard Aaron Desir scored 23 points and notched eight rebounds to lead four New Jersey City University players in double figures as the Gothic Knights rolled past the Raptors, 110-59, Feb. 15.
The Gothic Knights, who raised their all-time record to 77-0 when they scored 100 or more points in a game, have won eight straight games against Rutgers-Camden and 36 of their last 37 games in the rivalry. They hold a 46-4 lead in the all-time series.
The Gothic Knights raced to a 52-27 halftime lead and were never threatened in scoring over 100 points against the Scarlet Raptors for the second time this year. They posted a 112-82 win in Jersey City Jan. 11.
Junior forward Devin Davis notched 16 points and eight rebounds for NJCU, while freshman forward Dana John added 15 points and seven rebounds.
Senior guard/forward Mark Washington added 13 points to move into sixth place on the all-time NJCU scoring list. Washington, who entered the contest with 1,502 points, raised his career total to 1,515 as he passed current assistant coach Samar Battle (1,507 points from 2000-04) and Andy Kemp (1,513 points from 1976-80) on the program’s career list.
Rutgers-Camden received a career-high 28 points from freshman center Antoine Miller (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts). He passed his old high of 25 points against Ramapo College Jan. 25.
Harris tied his career high of 11 rebounds for the Raptors, while sophomore guard Amir Fantroyal (Sicklerville, NJ/Timber Creek) notched 15 points.
NJCU shot 54.3 percent from the floor (44-for-81) and held a 62-28 advantage in rebounding. They held the Raptors to 31.8 percent shooting (21-for-66).
In the final game of the year, William Paterson University junior forward Luis Martinez scored a game-high 27 points as the Pioneers defeated Rutgers-Camden, 77-54, to clinch the regular-season NJAC men’s basketball title.
Rutgers-Camden closed its season at 1-23 and 0-18 in the NJAC, having lost its last 20 games.
With the game tied at 14-14, the Pioneers went on a 12-2 run, sparked by a basket from Martinez, who had six points on three layups during the run. Freshman forward Shawn Colwell added a pair of layups for four points in that decisive stretch.
By halftime, Paterson built its lead to 38-29. For the half, Martinez scored 15 points for the Pioneers, while Harris had nine in his last game as a Scarlet Raptor.
Rutgers-Camden sliced the gap to within six points in the second half with a 6-1 run, capped by a three-pointer from Harris, who finished with a career-high 13 points in his final game. His old high was 11 against The College of New Jersey Dec. 7, 2005.
Six points was the closest the Raptors came, however, as Paterson closed out the game on a 22-5 run. The Pioneers received 13 points from quick sophomore guard Joey Spiegel, in addition to the big game by Martinez. Freshman guard Tim Lucas added a game-high 11 assists and a team-high four steals for Paterson.
The Pioneers also held a commanding 52-18 advantage off the boards, led by Martinez with nine rebounds.
For the Scarlet Raptors, Fantroyal had 14 points, while Harris and Miller each added 13.
Junior guard Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) added 10 points for the Raptors as he raised his career total to 818, putting him on track to join the 1,000-point club next season. Nicholson also finished with two steals, giving him 52 for the season, tied for eighth on the program’s single-season charts.
With 119 steals in his career, Nicholson already is sixth on the all-time career list. Next year he should make a run at the record of 157, set by Marvin Young (1977-81).
Freshman guard Wayne Smalls (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts), meanwhile, ended his brilliant debut season in collegiate ball with 421 points (19th on the single-season charts) and a 17.5 scoring average. He also set a single-season record (minimum 75 attempts) for free throw percentage with a mark of .876 (78-for-89), breaking the mark of 83.5 by Brian Turner during the 2001-02 season.
Smalls’ brilliant season included seven NJAC Rookie of the Week honors, coming on Dec. 5, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13.
In the final NJAC statistics, Smalls finished fourth in scoring (17.5), third in free throw percentage (.876), seventh in three-point field goals made (1.96), 15th in three-point field goal percentage (.322), 12th in steals (1.63) and eighth in minutes played (32.54).
Nicholson finished third in the NJAC in steals (2.26), eighth in free throw percentage (.775), 15th in scoring (12.7), 13th in three-point field goal percentage (.340) and 11th in minutes played (30.74).
Fantroyal was among the NJAC leaders in several categories, including 23rd in scoring (10.5), 20th in rebounding (4.5), 13th in defensive rebounding (3.50), 11th in assists (2.88), tied for 10th in steals (1.67) and seventh in minutes played (32.67).
Miller was 27th in the NJAC in scoring (10.2), 14th in rebounding (5.2) and ninth in offensive rebounding (2.46).
BASEBALL (0-1 overall/0-0 NJAC)
Fri. 17 Hampden-Sydney College (VA) 9, Rutgers-Camden 1 (5)
The Rutgers-Camden baseball season got off to an abbreviated start as the Scarlet Raptors played a five-inning darkness-shortened game at the Hampden-Sydney Tournament Feb. 17 and were snowed out of their two remaining tourney games the next two days.
In the season opener, the Hampden-Sydney College baseball team, ranked No. 12 in the pre-season Collegiate Baseball News Division III poll, broke open a tight game with a three-run third inning, capped by a two-run single from Todd Harrell, and went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 9-1. The game was called after five innings due to darkness after the opening game between Villa Julie and Frostburg State went 15 innings.
Hampton-Sydney scored early as leadoff man Jay Lilley walked, stole second and came home on a single by center fielder Chris Padgett in the first inning.
The Tigers plated two more runs in the second against Scarlet Raptor sophomore southpaw Andrew Lihotz (Philadelphia, PA/Northeast), who suffered his first collegiate loss after going 2-0 as a freshman. Hampden-Sydney collected three hits in the inning and scored on a single by left fielder Luke Brankley and a double steal, with Brankley taking second and Harrell swiping home.
Rutgers-Camden scored its first run of the season in the top of the third inning as senior second baseman Tyler Inkster (Audubon, NJ/Audubon) hit a one-out double and scored on a two-out triple by senior third baseman Brian Jakubowski (Audubon, NJ/Audubon).
Hampton-Sydney’s three-run bottom of the third was capped by Harrell’s big single. The Tigers’ sophomore second baseman went 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs on the day.
Rutgers-Camden collected five hits off senior All-American righty John Schoenholtz, who hurled a complete game, walking one and striking out six.
Feb. 19 at NJAC Championships @ 168th Street Armory, New York, NY
Men: 1. The College of New Jersey, 215; 2. New Jersey City University, 75; 3. Montclair State University, 66; 4. Rowan University, 57; 5. Richard Stockton College, 50; 6. Kean University, 38; 7. Ramapo College, 31; 8. William Paterson University, 12; 9. Rutgers University-Camden, 11.
Women: 1. The College of New Jersey, 223; 2. Richard Stockton College, 136; 3. New Jersey City University, 74; 4. Kean University, 50; 5.(tie) Rutgers University-Camden and Ramapo College, 19; 7. Rowan University, 9; 8. Montclair State University, 6; 9. William Paterson University, 1.
One day after finishing their season in women’s basketball, sophomore Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) and senior Carmen Zimmitt (Woodstown, NJ/Woodstown) combined for three school records and all 19 of their team’s points in helping the Rutgers-Camden women’s track team tie for fifth place at the New Jersey Athletic Conference Indoor Track Championships Feb. 19.
The Lady Raptors tied with Ramapo College in the nine-team event held at the 168th Street Armory in New York City. The Rutgers-Camden men, meanwhile, collected 11 points and finished last among nine teams.
The College of New Jersey won both championships, taking the men’s title with 215 points and the women’s crown with 223.
Overall, Rutgers-Camden’s first-year indoor track program set 11 school records at the NJAC championships, including marks by Hafiz in the 55-meter dash (7.60) and the triple jump (33-9.25), and Zimmitt’s mark of 16-10.75 in the long jump.
Hafiz finished second in the triple jump and fourth in the 55-meter dash to produce 12 points. Zimmitt was fourth in the long jump, fifth at 55 meters (7.67) and sixth in the triple jump (32-9.75) to account for seven points.
The women’s team also collected school records by freshman Brandee Neiderhofer (Absecon, NJ/Holy Spirit) in the 800 meters (2:50.28) and the mile (6:10.66), where she finished 10th and eighth, respectively. Junior Nafeesa Yusuff (Vineland, NJ/Vineland), meanwhile, finished 11th at 200 meters with a school-record time of 28.06. She also finished ninth in the preliminaries for the 55-meter dash (7.95).
Also competing for the Lady Raptors were freshman Julie Grochowski (Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown), who was 17th at 200 meters (30.50) and 14th in the 55-meter high hurdles (10.83), and sophomore Rachel McCormick (Blue Anchor, NJ/Winslow Township), who finished ninth in the mile (6:23.61) and 11th at 800 meters (2:51.71).
On the men’s side, freshman Jonathan Salamon (Bridgewater, NJ/St. Joseph-Metuchen) finished third in the 800-meters with a school-record time of 1:57.53 to produce six of the Scarlet Raptors’ 11 points. He also contributed to four more points as the anchor of the fourth-place 4x800 team, which set a school record in 8:30.13. Joining Salamon on the team were freshman Travis Stewart (Runnemede, NJ/Triton Regional), senior Chris McGowan (Barrington, NJ/Gloucester Catholic) and freshman Darryl Mendillo (Galloway, NJ/Absegami).
Mendillo also finished 13th at 400 meters with a school-record 54.49.
Freshman Patrick Eigbe (Galloway, NJ/Absegami) set school records at 55 meters (7.11) and 200 meters (24.89), while finishing 19th and 20th, respectively.
The Raptors’ other point came from a sixth-place finish in the long jump by senior Taiwan Lamb (Atlantic City, NJ/Atlantic City), who posted a leap of 20-0.25. Lamb also finished 20th at 55 meters (7.12) and 21st at 200 meters (26.94).
Freshman Michael McClain (Sewell, NJ/Bishop Eustace) finished 13th in the long jump (16-2.5) and 21st at 55 meters (7.96) for the Raptors.
Fri. 3 vs. Wilkes University (PA) 11 a.m.