EWING, NJ – The Rowan University men's basketball team defeated The College of New Jersey, 93-84 on Wednesday night to stay in the running for a berth in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Tournament.
Guard DaRon Curry (jr. Deptford, NJ/Phelps School (PA)) led the Profs with 20 points and six rebounds. Forwards Ramon Wright (jr. East Orange, NJ/Irvington) and TJ Booth (sr. Williamstown, NJ/Williamstown) followed with 19 and 18 points respectively. Booth grabbed nine boards and Wright had six. Forward Austin Kearney (so. Monroeville, NJ/Gloucester County Christian) came off the bench for 14 points and guard Nick DePersia (jr. Cherry Hill, NJ/Haddonfield Mem.) added 12.
Rowan has a 10-11 record with a 6-8 NJAC mark. TCNJ is 16-5 overall and 11-3 in the conference.
Guard Eric Murdock, Jr. (sr. Bridgewater, NJ/Bridgewater) scored a game-high 21 points for the Lions. He also dished five assists. Guards Niall Carpenter (so. Westampton, NJ/Westampton) and Randall Walko (so. Somerville, NJ/Somerville) each produced 14 points. Walko also grabbed seven rebounds. Forward Ryan Jensen (so. Brielle, NJ/Manasquan) chipped in with 11 points.
The Profs started the second half with a seven-point lead (46-39). Walko made a layup and a foul shot (14:17) and TCNJ trailed 58-51. DePersia (14:02) and Kearney (13:31) hit back-to-back threes for a 13-point advantage (64-51). Murdock cut the deficit to five (68-63) after a layup (10:28) and a three-pointer (9:41). Carpenter sank two foul shots (8:16) to pull within three (71-68). Rowan went back up by eight (76-68) with two free throws from DePersia with 6:32 remaining.
Murdock hit a jumper (4:58) and the Lions were down by one (76-75). Curry had a basket (3:41) and Carpenter answered with a layup (3:32) to stay within one-point (80-79). Murdock's layup and free throw (1:41) made the score 86-84. Rowan then scored seven straight points to end the game. Booth had four points at the line, DePersia made a layup and guard Rob DePersia (jr. Cherry Hill, NJ/Haddonfield Mem.) contributed with a free throw. In the second period, Booth totaled 12 points and eight rebounds. Curry and Kearney scored 10 points apiece.
Next, Rowan is on the road at New Jersey City University on Saturday, Feb. 3 for a 3 p.m. tip-off.