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Top Seed Rowan Defeats Stockton 103 to 88

GLASSBORO, NJ – Marcellus Ross scored a game-high 24 points as top-seeded Rowan defeated second-seeded Stockton, 103-88, to win the 2023 NJAC Men’s Basketball Championship in front of a sold-out crowd at Esby Gym. It is the Profs’ second title since 2019 and the 12th all-time in the program’s history. With the win, Rowan (22-5) earns the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. 


Ross connected on 7-of-11 three-point field goals and reached the 1,000-point mark for his career, counting his two seasons at Caldwell College. 


Teammate Andrew Seager scored 20 points as he shot 8-for-11 from the field with NJAC Co-Player of the Year Ja’Zere Noel contributing 16 points, a career-high 17 rebounds, and six assists. Josh Wright came off the bench to add 15 points with D’Andre Vilmar adding 13. 


Leading 40-31 at halftime, Rowan broke the game open in the second half. After Stockton (22-5) closed to 40-35, the Profs went on a 13-4 run to take a 53-39 lead when Ross banked in a three at 16:37. Ross’ third three-pointer in a span of two minutes increased the lead to 58-44. Stockton answered with a three from Milio De Los Santos, but the Profs rattled off nine in a row, with six from Wright and a three from Connor Dickerson to give them a 20-point margin, 67-47, with 13:25remaining. 

From there, Ross connected on three more three-pointers to increase Rowan’s lead to 84-58 with under nine minutes to play. The Profs outscored the Ospreys 30-19 in the final 8:27 to earn the title. 


“I’ve been pushing these guys hard and we were really trying to separate ourselves and take the next step as a program. And I hope we’re not done and can make a run in the (NCAA) tournament. We wanted to make it clear that we’re the best team in this conference this year,” said head coach Joe Crispin, who will be guiding the Profs to their third NCAA Tournament in his sixth season. 


“Maybe we didn’t because we lost those two games at the end, but we wanted to make it clear tonight, and this week and I think our guys did a good job of that We try to tell the guys that they’re part of a larger story and this group has embraced that. It’s the story of where the program’s been and where we want it to go. This was part of it and now the next step is, let’s win a weekend.”


The game was fast-paced from the start in front of the enthusiastic crowd. The teams traded leads and Stockton held a 23-17 lead at 9:06 as the Ospreys made 10 of their first 19 shots, including three three-pointers. 


Rowan went on to outscore Stockton, 16-2, to regain the lead and increase it to 33-25 with under three minutes left in the half. Seager had 13 points in the first half and his three-pointer at 1:40pushed the lead to 38-26 and eventually a 38-26 lead at intermission. 


The teams also met in the NJAC Final last season with Stockton picking up the win on its home court. 


The Profs will learn their next opponent and destination on Monday, February 27 during the NCAA Selection Show, which will be broadcast at 1 p.m. on 


For Rowan’s athletics program, this marks the seventh NJAC Championship in 2022-23, and the second this week as the men’s indoor track & field team won its eighth consecutive title this past Monday (February 20). The women’s basketball team will look to increase Rowan’s total to eight as it plays New Jersey City on Saturday evening for the NJAC crown.