Saturday, December 9, 2006
By Mike Ballard
CAMDEN - The William Paterson University women's basketball team raced to a 39-16 halftime lead and went on to defeat Rutgers University-Camden, 72-48, in a New Jersey Athletic Conference game here Saturday.
The Pioneers, who have won five straight games, improve to 7-2 overall and 3-0 in the NJAC. The Lady Raptors, who have lost four straight, fall to 3-5 and 0-3.
After both teams went scoreless for the opening 3:28, Paterson rattled off eight straight points and notched 18 of the first 21 points. The Pioneers held the Raptors scoreless until junior guard Imani Hafiz (Franklinville, NJ/Delsea Regional) converted a three-point play 5:43 into the game.
Paterson has won seven straight games against Rutgers-Camden and holds a 38-9 lead in the all-time series. The last Rutgers-Camden win came Feb. 8, 2003 by a 65-41 score in Camden.
The Pioneers’ quick 18-3 start was sparked by junior guard Michelle Pellichero (Milltown, NJ/Bishop Ahr), who scored six of their first 18 points. By halftime, senior guard Luci Custis (Roselle, NJ/Abraham Clark) had all 11 of her team-high points.
In addition to Custis, freshman guard Julie Haledjian (Montvale, NJ/Pascack Hills) finished with 10 points for the Pioneers. Senior forward Meghan Ludgate (Palermo, NJ/Ocean City) and sophomore forward Asia Johnson (North Bergen, NJ/North Bergen) each grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the Pioneers, who held a 45-42 advantage off the boards.
For Rutgers-Camden, junior forward Jennifer Christy (Malaga, NJ/Delsea Regional) collected 14 points, including 10-for-12 shooting from the foul line, and added seven rebounds. Christy missed her first foul shot, ending her season-opening streak at 19 consecutive foul shots, which sets a new program record. The old mark of 18 straight was shared by Audrey Pugh (Dec. 23, 1980-Jan. 6, 1981) and Joy Silver (Nov. 24-Dec. 14, 2002). After hitting 2-for-4 from the line, Christy nailed her last eight foul shots to begin another long streak.
Junior guard Krystal Jankowski (Somerdale, NJ/Sterling) had a game-high eight boards for the Raptors.
Paterson shot 23-for-67 (34.3) and Rutgers-Camden was 13-for-47 (27.7), but the Raptors made 33 turnovers to the Pioneers’ 21.
The Pioneers return to action Monday with a 6 p.m. non-conference game at FDU-Florham.
The Lady Raptors play their final game of the semester Tuesday with a 7 p.m. non-conference contest at the College of Staten Island.