William Paterson Basketball Update

As the semester winds down, the Pioneers basketball teams season has begun. Here is how William Paterson has fared thus far.

William Paterson

Image by ECAC.org

Justin Valentovic, Staff Writer

Women’s Basketball

The Pioneers are back for another exciting year of basketball. They are off to a good start this year by going 4-2 in their first six games. After losing their first game to Vassar College 60-56, they put together a nice four game win streak. The Pioneers beat Gallaudet University, Emmanuel College, Ramapo College, and New Jersey City University.

The Pioneers most recent loss came against Rowan University 99-79.  As it stands ,William Paterson’s record of 2-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference(NJAC), ranks them fourth overall.

On the season the team is averaging 75.8 points per game, while only giving up 63.0 points per contest. Offensively, they are shooting .433 from the field and .348 from behind the three-point line. Also, the Pioneers are shooting .639 from the free throw line. Just by looking at the numbers it is clear that shooting from the field is good enough to win a few games but there is definitely room for improvement from behind the arc.

Shifting things to the defensive side of the ball, the Pioneers are averaging 14.8 steals per game, and block 3.8 shots per game. Along with the forcing turnovers and protecting the rim, WP also clean the glass effectively. As a whole they have managed to grab a combination of 41.3 total rebounds per game.

The lack of assists per game is one of the biggest concerns in the early season. WPU only averages 17.5 per game. The low assist numbers can be attributed to the extremely high turnover numbers, with an abysmally high 23.2 per game.

Standout Players

Even though there are plenty of thing to improve on throughout the course of the season, the teams success can be attributed to the standout performances of Tori Woetzel, Jullie Rovito, Ashley Castillo and CeCe Green. These players are having a standout season so far is that they are all averaging over 20 points per games. Among all of the starters, Woetzel leads in field goal percentage with .593. The core of the Pioneers have played a key role in the team’s success so far this season, if they can continue to score at this rate, WPU may be able to make a deep playoff run.

Men’s Basketball

The Pioneers are off to a slow start season even with a 67-47 victory over Brookyln College on opening night. William Paterson dropped their next three, before beating Centenary University 72-59. The Pioneers would then go on to lose their next two games dropping their overall record to 2-5. Along with a poor record overall the Pioneers have been unable to win in the NJAC and currently carry a 0-3 record in the conference, which ranks them ninth in the conference.

Looking at the season as a whole, it is clear that the shooting needs to improve. On the year the men’s team is only averaging 67.7 points per game, while only shooting .377 from the field. What is even more alarming is how poor the team is shooting from behind the line at .313 from three. Along with the low shooting numbers that trend continues at the charity, hitting on 62 percent of their free throws.

The poor shooting numbers can be seen as a result of William Paterson’s inability to run an efficient offense when faced with a press defense. Against Rowan University on Dec. 2, it was clear that the majority of their game-plan focused on using the press to disrupt the flow of the game. Unfortunately for WPU, it worked to perfection. The Pioneers turned the ball over a ton.

Player Spotlight

Along with the distribution from an opponents defensive game-plan, the Pioneers have had difficulty shooting from all ranges on the court, but what has worked for them so far this season has been scoring in the paint. In the game against Rowan University in the second half the Pioneers changed their game-plan for the better and limited their outside shots and focused on interior scoring. Forward Henry Voorhees played a key role down low.

In the game he played 20 minutes, and scored nine points by shooting 4-7 from the field and 1-4 from the line. Standing at 6’8, the Pioneers may look to feed Vorhees more. Naturally he has a size advantage, and he should be the focus of the offensive game plan in the coming weeks. Along with giving him the ball more, an increase in playing time would have in impact on the teams success when trying to score in the paint.

Looking Ahead

Both the men’s and women’s take on their Route 46 rival in Montclair State University. The double header takes place on Dec., 6 with the women tipping-off at 6pm, and the men tipping off at 8pm. Both games will be played on the Pioneers home-court at the William Paterson Rec Center.