The Rowan University women’s basketball team may have lost three starters, two of which were 1,000-point scorers from last year’s starting five, but that has not derailed them so far this season.
If there was even a minor setback, it has not shown thus far.
“They’re excited to [be playing]” senior guard Valerie Garofalo said. “They’re all open ears.”
Through five games the brown and gold have a 4-1 record with wins coming against Delaware Valley University, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Neumann University and Lehman College.
Head coach Gabby Lisella said that she expected this type of start from her team.
“We’ve got some veteran leadership combined with some super-young talent,” Lisella said. “It’s a great combination.”
The Profs’ lone hiccup so far occurred on Nov. 22 against Stockton University, a 72-68 defeat. Not only did the matchup hand them their first loss of the season, but also their first loss in the New Jersey Athletic Conference.
Last season, the Profs didn’t lose until Dec. 31, a two-point overtime defeat to Cabrini College.
Despite the results, the loss is not raising any concern for the players.
“I think that as long as we’re in the playoffs it’s totally fine,” Garofalo said. “You don’t have to be undefeated to win the championship. It might hurt us for home-court advantage, but I don’t think it will stand in our way to be NJAC champs.”
“I didn’t expect that. We started off shooting very, very cold and playing a little tentatively,” Lisella said. “We came back and I think we outmatched them in the final three quarters. The first quarter was just something we couldn’t overcome. We needed one more minute to get over the hump.”
Lisella also spoke multiple times about the team’s character and their ability to extend leads and fight back so early in the season. Those traits were evident against the Ospreys when the brown and gold found themselves down by 24 in the third quarter before bringing the game to within a point. It showed again against Lehman when the score got within three before the Profs pulled away for the 107-89 victory.
Despite the early season loss, Rowan still is outscoring its opponents, 423-368.
Carrying the Profs offensively has been senior guard Anyssa Sanchez. Through five games, Sanchez is averaging 17 points, eight rebounds and just under three steals per game. Against Mount Saint Vincent on Nov. 18, she went off for 20 points and 16 rebounds. Sanchez was named NJAC Player of the Week three days later.
“I think it’s a great way to start the season off. We definitely want to start off strong and maintain what we do throughout the season,” Sanchez said. “It’s going to get tough with break coming up, but i think it was a great way to set the tone for not only myself, but the team as well.”
Before Wednesday’s game against Rutgers-Camden, Lisella said that the Scarlet Raptors were a team with a good post player, slashers and a good three-point shooter.
The brown and gold shut down those players, as well as the rest of the Rutgers-Camden team, winning by the score of 83-64. Junior Alex Raring paced the Profs with 20 points on 8-13 shooting.
Rowan will host William Paterson on Saturday at 1 p.m.