Rutgers-Camden (11-9) faced Rowan (15-5) on Jan. 31st, and it was an uphill battle for the Raptors. Rowan currently leads the NJAC and has won 10 of their last 11 games. The Raptors fought hard, especially in the second half, on their home court, but Rowan ended up winning by the final score of 79-70.
Rowan came out on fire and by the 15-minute mark they were up 12-0. The Rutgers-Camden Scarlet Raptors truly struggled to keep up during the first half and could not gain a lead. Eric Benjamin was able to get points on the board for Rutgers and his beautiful three-point shot gave him and the rest of the team more momentum.
After the initial points the Scarlet Raptors were able to tighten up the gap, making it 8-14. Benjamin was the lead scorer of the game with a career high total of 20 points. The Raptors continued to put points on the board throughout the first half, however the Profs were able to outscore them. Rowan continued to build their lead, after the slight bounce back by Rutgers. The first half ended with the Raptors trailing 39-21.
There was a turnaround for the Raptors in the second half and they were able to close the gap for a little while. Shortly into the second half, Rutgers trailed 45-25. However, they were not giving up this fight, and quickly scored nine points to bring the score 45-36. This was a team effort with multiple steals and rebounds. Jordany Pierre and Darnell Demby Jr. led the team at this time, to tighten the gap.
They continued to fight and were able to get a short lead. Benjamin scored a three, causing the lead shift. The score was tied with just seven minutes left. Rowan’s Booty Butler scored a foul shot and gave the Profs the lead for good. Rutgers continued to try to bring the score back up and perform great defense.
Cherif Kanoute led the team defensively with six rebounds. However, their efforts were unsuccessful. Rowan made 26/51 shots from the floor and Rutgers made 22/55. Ultimately, Rutgers was defeated by Rowan.
Reactions from the Rutgers-Camden
Here is what the Rutgers-Camden junior guard, Eric Benjamin had to say about his own and his team's performance last night.
“What we need to work on as a team to get better is selflessness, and sacrificing for each other. It’s not too much of things on the court, it's more of us coming together and really believing in what we can do. It’s about building a winning culture. As for me the game started off rough. I had an early 4 turnovers, but as a basketball player you have to flush it because the game keeps going. So, I continued to play hard on both ends of the court and I just gave everything I had for my team and for all of Rutgers nations watching. Even though we ended up falling short we fought back and definitely learned from this loss.” - Rutgers-Camden junior guard, Eric Benjamin
Rutgers-Camden's next game will be on the road against NJAC opponent Ramapo College on Saturday Feb 3rd.
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