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Imani Hafiz
Carmen Oyola
College Basketball:
Raptor of the Week: Imani Hafiz & Carmen Oyola

Monday, January 8, 2007

By Mike Ballard
RutgersCamden Sports Correspondent

Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea) and Carmen Oyola (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton)

Juniors Imani Hafiz and Carmen Oyola both turned in outstanding performances during the week for the Rutgers-Camden women's basketball team. Hafiz collected 44 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and 12 steals in three games, including game-high points (17) and steals (5) against Juniata Jan. 3, game-high steals (3) against Scranton Jan. 5 and tying for team-high points (17) with Oyola against Goucher Jan. 6. Oyola had a team-high 11 points against Scranton and led the Raptors with 28 points to earn all-tournament honors at the Diversified Classic (Jan. 5-6). In three games for the week, she had 35 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and four steals.

MEN’S BASKETBALL (4-9 overall/ 0-3 NJAC)

Wed. 3 Juniata College 94, Rutgers-Camden 51
Fri. 5 Widener University 68, Rutgers-Camden 55

(at Lincoln University, PA)

Sat. 6 Lincoln University 74, Keystone College 57
Sun. 7 Keystone College 50, Rutgers-Camden 46

Upcoming Games


(at Lincoln University, PA)

Mon. 8 Rutgers-Camden at Lincoln University 4 p.m.
Wed. 10 at Rowan University 6 p.m.
Wed. 17 The College of New Jersey 8 p.m.
Sat. 20 Rutgers-Newark 3 p.m.
Wed. 24 at Kean University 8 p.m.
Sat. 27 Ramapo College 3 p.m.
Wed. 31 at Richard Stockton College 8 p.m.

Sat. 3 at New Jersey City University 8 p.m.
Mon. 5 at Eastern University 8 p.m.
Wed. 7 Rowan University 8 p.m.
Wed. 14 at The College of New Jersey 8 p.m.
Sat. 17 Kean University 3 p.m.

While the Rutgers-Camden men’s basketball team lost three games during the first week of the new year, senior guard Dane Nicholson (Pleasantville, NJ/Holy Spirit) continued his march toward a career milestone. Nicholson scored 41 points in the three games to raise his career total to 963, leaving him only 37 shy of the 1,000-point milestone. He will become the 13th player in program history to score 1,000 points.

On the court, the Raptors lost a 94-51 decision at Juniata College (Jan. 3), dropped a 68-55 home game against Widener University (Jan. 5) and were defeated 50-46 by Keystone College (Jan. 7) at Lincoln University’s Cyrus D. Jones Invitational.

Freshman guard Khary Jones scored 12 points and junior guard Charles Edwards added 11 to lift the Keystone College over Rutgers-Camden at the Cyrus D. Jones Invitational at Lincoln University.

Jones and Edwards helped the Giants finish the Cyrus D. Jones Invitational with a 1-1 record and avenged an early-season loss to Rutgers-Camden. That game, a 55-47 Scarlet Raptor win, came Dec. 3 in the championship game of the Giants’ own Hilton Holiday Classic. Rutgers-Camden hasn’t won since that game, falling to 4-9 with its eighth straight defeat in Sunday’s tournament loss. Keystone, meanwhile, raised its record to 5-7.

The two teams played to a 26-26 halftime tie, then traded leads twice early in the second half. The Giants took the lead for good, 34-32, on a three-pointer by Jones and raised their lead to as many as eight points (47-39) before the Scarlet Raptors rallied.

Rutgers-Camden made it a 48-46 game on a three-pointer by sophomore guard Eric Richardson (Camden, NJ/Camden) with 1:37 remaining. The Giants tacked on the last two points of the contest with 14 seconds remaining on a layup by freshman guard Spencer Lunger.

Edwards was named to the all-tournament team for the Giants. In addition to his 11 points Sunday, he added a game-high eight rebounds and five assists. He also tied for game-high honors with two steals.

Junior guard Sherrick Belt added seven rebounds for Keystone, which held a 26-20 advantage off the boards. Keystone also shot 52.6 percent (20-for-38) from the floor, including 8-for-20 (40 percent) from three-point range).

Rutgers-Camden hit 19 of 43 shots (44.2 percent) from the floor, but went only 3-for-15 (20 percent) from three-point range.

Rutgers-Camden received a game-high 13 points from senior guard Sydney Francis (Camden, NJ/Woodrow Wilson), including nine in the first half. Nicholson added nine points for the Raptors and tied Francis for team-high honors with five rebounds.

Junior forward Nazre Abbass scored all seven of his points in the opening 20 minutes to lead Keystone to the first-half tie.

On Jan. 5, Widener broke open a halftime tie with an 18-3 run to open the second half and the Pride went on to defeat Rutgers-Camden, 68-55, in a non-conference game in Camden

After the two teams battled to a 25-25 halftime score, Widener started its second-half run on a tip-in by senior center Terry Smith to take the lead for good, 27-25. They followed with a jumper by senior guard Malcolm Thomas before the Raptors scored on a layup by Francis.

Widener rattled off the next 14 points, including six by sophomore guard Nyere Miller and five by Thomas. The Pride had three treys in the run and went 7-for-8 from three-point range in the second half.

The Raptors finally ended the run with a foul shot by Francis 4:38 into the second half, but came no closer than 12 points the rest of the way.

Thomas finished with 16 points to lead four Widener players in double figures. Miller notched 12, Edmunds canned 11 and senior guard Essien Ford added 10.

Thomas also had nine rebounds for Widener, while Smith added eight as the Pride held a 36-25 advantage off the boards.

Edmunds had a game-high four steals and Ford tied Rutgers-Camden freshman guard Rory Thornton (Vauxhall, NJ/Union) for game-high honors with four assists.

For Rutgers-Camden, Nicholson had game-high honors with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He scored 12 of his points in the first half as the teams played to a 25-25 tie.

Francis added 17 points for the Scarlet Raptors.

In their first game of the week, the Raptors saw Juniata College shoot a blistering 78.3 percent from the floor in the first half (18-for-23), including 80 percent from three-point range (8-for-10) as the Eagles raced past Rutgers-Camden, 94-51, in a non-conference game Jan. 3 in Huntingdon, Penn.

Juniata put the game out of reach in the first half while building a 50-26 halftime lead. The Eagles went on to shoot 61.1 percent from the floor for the game, burying 33 of 54 shots. They placed five players in double figures and also held a 40-32 advantage off the boards.

Rutgers-Camden shot 27.9 percent (17-for-61) for the game.

Junior guard Kyle Opitz scored a game-high 15 points for the Eagles, while senior guard Nick Hager added 12 and senior guard Aaron Chamberlain canned 11. Senior center Chris Jasiota and junior guard Garrett Bull each added 10 points for Juniata.

Rutgers-Camden received 13 points from Nicholson, who also added a team-high seven rebounds. Sophomore guard Wayne Smalls (Camden, NJ/Medical Arts) added 12 points and a game-high three steals.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (5-7 overall/0-3 NJAC)

Wed. 3 Juniata College 63, Rutgers-Camden 55

(at University of Scranton, PA)

Fri. 5 Stevens Tech 58, Goucher College 41
University of Scranton 85, Rutgers-Camden 55

Sat. 6 Consolation
Rutgers-Camden 65, Goucher College 63

University of Scranton 54, Stevens Tech 37

Upcoming Games

Mon. 8 King’s College 6 p.m.
Wed. 10 at Rowan University 8 p.m.
Wed. 17 The College of New Jersey 6 p.m.
Sat. 20 Rutgers-Newark 1 p.m.
Wed. 24 at Kean University 6 p.m.
Sat. 27 Ramapo College 1 p.m.
Wed. 31 at Richard Stockton College 6 p.m.

Sat. 3 at New Jersey City University 6 p.m.
Wed. 7 Rowan University 6 p.m.
Mon. 12 at Gwynedd-Mercy College 7 p.m.
Wed. 14 at The College of New Jersey 6 p.m.
Sat. 17 Kean University 1 p.m.

The Rutgers-Camden women’s basketball team collected its first victory of the new year in thrilling fashion.

Junior guard Jennifer Williams (Ocean City, NJ/Ocean City) banked in a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to lift the Lady Raptors over Goucher College, 65-63, in the consolation game of the Diversified Invitational Jan. 6 at the University of Scranton.

Williams’ only points of the contest came 17 seconds after the Gophers had taken their final lead of the game, 63-62, on a layup by junior guard Shadae Swan.

The victory lifted the Lady Raptors to 5-7, snapping a two-game losing streak which started with a 63-55 defeat at Juniata College Jan. 3. The Raptors also lost their opening game in the Diversified Invitational Jan. 5, 85-55 against nationally-ranked host Scranton.

In the championship game Jan. 6, Scranton defeated Stevens Institute of Technology, 54-37, to capture its sixth straight Diversified Invitational title. The Lady Royals are ranked fourth and sixth nationally in the and the USA Today ESPN Division III Top 25 polls, respectively.

In a game which featured eight lead changes and nine ties, Goucher (2-9) took a 35-28 halftime lead and led most of the second half before the Lady Raptors rallied. The Raptors built a 57-53 lead with 5:20 remaining on a layup by junior guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional), but the Gophers scored the next four points to tie the game at 57-57 with 4:33 remaining. The lead changed hands six times down the stretch, including the final game-winning basket by Williams.

Rutgers-Camden received 17 points apiece from junior guard Carmen Oyola (Hammonton, NJ/Hammonton) and Hafiz. Oyola, who scored a team-high 11 points in the opening-game loss to Scranton, was named to the all-tournament team.

Senior forward Karen Carter (Pennsauken, NJ/Pennsauken) collected 15 points and five rebounds for the Lady Raptors, while Hafiz chipped in with six assists and four steals.

Junior guard Krystal Jankowski (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling) notched game-high totals of nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals for the Raptors. She added seven points.

For Goucher, Swan notched a game-high 28 points on her way to a berth on the all-tournament team. She also notched seven rebounds, three steals and two assists. Freshman guard Amber Smith added 10 for the Gophers.

The Lady Raptors got a first-hand look at one of the top Division III teams in the country in the tournament’s opening night of action, and powerful Scranton lived up to its lofty billing.

The Lady Royals received a career-high 29 points from senior guard Taryn Mellody en route to an 85-55 victory over the Lady Raptors on Jan. 5 at the Diversified Invitational.

In the other first-round game, Stevens Institute of Technology defeated Goucher College, 58-41, as junior forward Dora Enright notched game-high totals of 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Mellody, who earned her third straight Diversified Invitational Most Valuable Player honor in leading Scranton to the title, went 11-for-20 from the floor and 6-for-6 from the foul line against the Lady Raptors. She scored 12 points in the first half as Scranton raced to a 43-19 lead at the break.

Mellody broke her previous career high of 28 points, which came in the Diversified Invitational’s championship game against Moravian College on Dec. 11, 2004. The Lady Royals won that game, 77-58.

Junior forward Kathleen Daly posted the first double-double of her career for Scranton, notching 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. She had eight points and three rebounds in 10 minutes of first-half action.

Oyola paced Rutgers-Camden with 11 points. Jankowski and Hafiz each added 10 points. Jankowski also had a team-high seven rebounds.

Oyola and Jankowski combined for 11 of the Scarlet Raptors’ 19 first-half points.

Scranton held a 45-33 advantage off the boards and forced the Lady Raptors into 26 turnovers.

Rutgers-Camden opened its new year with a non-conference game in Huntingdon, Penn., on Jan. 3. Juniata College junior forward Jess Winemiller scored a team-high 14 points and junior guard Courtney Callas hit seven foul shots to finish with nine points as the Eagles held off the Raptors, 63-55.

Juniata held a slim 30-28 halftime lead and outscored the Lady Raptors, 33-27, in the second half, aided by 11-for-23 shooting from the foul line (47.8 percent) and 10-for-20 (50.0) from the floor. Rutgers-Camden went 9-for-32 (28.1) from the floor in the second half to finish at 34.4 percent (21-for-61) in the game. Although the Raptors hit 61.5 percent of their foul shots in the second half and 62.5 for the game, they only attempted 16 free throws overall, hitting 10. Juniata went 16-for-31 from the line in the game (47.8).

Callas went 7-for-13 from the foul line en route to her nine points. Teammate Ali Meckey, a junior guard, also added nine points for the Eagles.

Rutgers-Camden received 17 points, five steals and six rebounds from Hafiz, who entered the game averaging 5.1 steals per game to lead all Division III players nationally. Her five steals raised her career total to 220, third on the program’s career list, while the 17 points gave her an even 450 for her career.

Jankowski collected game-high totals of 13 rebounds and five assists for the Raptors.

Rutgers-Camden held a 40-34 advantage off the boards, but the Raptors also made 27 of the 52 total turnovers in the game.


Upcoming Meets

Fri. 19 at Collegeville Indoor Classic (Ursinus College) 3 p.m.
Sat. 27 at Lebanon Valley College Indoor Meet (Lebanon Valley College) 10 a.m.

Sat. 3 at Frank Colden Invitational (Ursinus College) 10 a.m.
Mon. 19 at NJAC Championships (John Bennett Indoor Athletic Center, Toms River) 4 p.m.

Fri. 2-
Sat. 3 at ECAC Championships @ Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT)

Fri. 9-
Sat. 10 at NCAA Championships @ Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (Terre Haute, IN)

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