Forward Kate Matthews notched her sixth consecutive double-double, and her ninth of the season pouring in 17 points and grabbing 15 rebounds in BR-55 Rowan’s 103-97 victory over BR-116 Kean. She also had four assists as the Profs now boast an overall record of 13-1, and sit atop the New Jersey Athletic Conference standings with a 7-0 in the conference mark, their best NJAC start since beginning the 1997-98 season (8-0). Rowan's 103 total points on the day is the first they’ve surpassed the century-mark since a 105-65 win over Penn State Brandywine on January 5, 2009.
Kean jumped out early to an 8-0 lead at the 7:49 mark in the first quarter and held a 30-28 lead with 9:03 gone in the second, when Rowan ran off 11 straight points to go ahead 39-30 with 6:59 on the clock, with five different Profs providing points during the run. Rowan maintained the cushion, and even extended it to 12 points at 53-41 on a pair of free throws by Kaitlin Schullstrom just before the half, taking a 53-43 lead into the break.
To open the second half, Rowan was in front 57-45 with 8:41 left in the third when Kean used a 12-2 run that included six points by Jaquetta Owens to pull to within two 59-57, with 5:18 left in the period.
The Profs kicked it in to start the final quarter, opening the stanza with a 12-4 run to take a 91-77 lead with 7:20 remaining. Rowan held a 93-79 advantage after two free throws by Anyssa Sanchez, when the Cougars put one final push together with 10-1 run, trimming the deficit to five at 94-89 with just under five minutes remaining. Marajiah Bacon's layup with a minute forty-six left made the score 98-95, but on Rowan's ensuing possession, guard Valerie Garofalo hit from three-point land with just under a minute left, giving the Profs a 101-95 lead that the Cougars could not overcome.
Sanchez also tallied a double-double with 20 points and 10 boards, while Schullstrom scored 21 points and guard/forward Alex Raring adding a career-high 15 points off the bench.
Recognizing the effort, the NJAC tabbed Matthews for her first NJAC Player of the Week honor of the season after lifting Rowan to both conference wins on the week. In addition to the Kean victory, the Profs broke a run of losses against BR-23 Montclair State, with a 73-71 road upset of the Red Hawks, marking the Profs first win in their series since January, 2011, and their first regular-season triumph at Glassboro since 2000.
Montclair State held a 13-7 advantage with five minutes left to play in the first quarter, as Rowan tallied the next seven points to take a 14-13 lead. The teams exchanged baskets until the Red Hawks pulled back out in front 17-16 at the end of the first.
Opening the second stanza, the Red Hawks went on a 16-6 run to extend its lead to 33-22 with 3:10 remaining. Finally, in the fourth quarter, Rowan trailed 61-56 with five minutes to play, but then ended on a 12-3 run that included eight made free throws to come away with the win.
Spanning the two games, Matthews averaged 18.5 ppg and 16.0 rpg after tallying her fourth and fifth consecutive double-doubles. She posted 20 points, 17 boards, three assists and two blocked shots in the win over the Red Hawks. Matthews has been pivotal on a Prof squad’s hot start. She averages a double-double of 11.4 ppg and 12.5 rpg; her 12.5 rpg is second among all NJAC players.