WPU Basketball Playoff Update

WPU Basketball Playoff Update

Justin Valentovic, Staff writer

Men’s Basketball

The men’s team finished the regular season with a 15-11 record overall and a 9-9 conference record. Their .500 record in the NJAC was good enough to earn them the sixth seed in the NJAC tournament. The first round of the playoffs opened with the Pioneers traveling to New Jersey city University to take on the Gothic Knights. During the regular season the Pioneers lost both match-ups to the Gothic Knights 87-83 and 101-85. Unlike the regular season however this time around the Pioneers were able to hold on for the victory winning 81-78.

In that game the Pioneers were led by Richy Espinal who scored 28 points, George Sapp and Sean Smith who both scored 16 points. In the game Espinal shot 11-22 from the field and recorded eight rebounds, four steals, three blocks and three assists. While Sapp shot 5-6 from the field with three assists and one rebound. Smith finished the game by shooting 5-14 from the field with four rebounds, three assists and one steal.

The Pioneers will travel to The College of New Jersey in Ewing N.J., to play the Lions on Weds, Feb., 21 at 7 p.m., in the second round of the NJAC Tournament. In the regular season the Pioneers were able to split the season series with TCNJ winning the first match-up 65-53 and losing the second match-up 74-70. Much of the success that the Pioneers have had this season can be attributed to the great play from Richy Espinal. On the season Espinal has had 22 games that he scored double digit points in and 11 of which were more then 20 points. In order for the Pioneers to continue their playoff run it is important that he puts up double digits in points.

Women’s Basketball

The Lady Pioneers season came to an end, when they lost to Rowan University in the first round for the playoffs. The Profs beat the Pioneers 67-48. The Pioneers finished their season with a 14-12 record overall and a 11-7 record in the conference. Going into the first round of the playoffs the Pioneers were 0-2 vs the Profs in the regular season. The Profs won the first game 99-79 and the second game 70-48.

The leading scorers for the Pioneers were Tori Woetzel and Julie Rovito who both scored 12 points. A lot of the problems that the Pioneers ran into during the game came from the lack of points from the bench unit. As a whole the reserves only scored 13 points. Even more troubling for William Paterson was that they shot 0-12 from three point range. Both Woetzel and Rovito recorded nine rebounds and five steals.  Even though the Pioneers fell short this year in the playoffs it is still a great building block for the team next year as the core group of players are returning.

Tori Woetzel finished her senior season by winning All-NJAC honors with teammate Julie Rovito. Woetzel finished the season by averaging 13.1 points per game, 7.5 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. While Rovito finished the year with 14.3 points, 5.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game.