Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Guru's Time Machine: March, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

It was an exciting time in women's basketball. It was a tumultuous time.

The NCAA was about to conduct its first tournament. The Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) was about to conduct its last.

A schism of sorts existed that season as most powers opted to the newly established NCAA competition for women. Still, some traditional forces such as Rutgers and Texas, stayed with the AIAW in loyalty to the organization that had run championships for a little over a decade even though they knew where they would eventually land in the near future.

The NCAA held its Final Four in Norfolk, Va., the home of national power Old Dominion, which got upset along the way to its own party.

The AIAW was held in Philadelphia at the fabled Palestra.

Ironically, the Philadelphia area had local teams in both tournaments. Cheyney, then under C. Vivian Stringer, was a surprise participant at the first NCAA finals along with Tennessee, Maryland, and Louisiana Tech.

Rutgers and Villanova gave the Palestra a local shot by advancing to the AIAW finals with Texas and Lone Star-state rival Wayland Baptist.

The Guru couldn't be in both places the same weekend and spent most of the time in Norfolk, but was involved in coverage of both.

What begins here is a seasonal treat for better or worse after the Guru finally figured out how to crack the Inquirer's electronic document library to glance over writing days of yore.

And so in the first of a series here is a look back at the Guru's coverage over the years.

We open with four or five pieces that include a feature on the Rutgers rise to prominence that appeared in our former New Jersey magazine section prior to the Scarlet Knights' appearance at the Final Four in Philly. The focus is on one coach Theresa Grentz, the former local Immaculata star who now coaches Illinois.

Incidentally, after the article appeared a Rutgers bench player by the name of Chris Dailey requested about 13 copies. (Her picture was in the coverage). Little did the Guru realize that years later ...

The other articles have to do with the coverage of the NCAA Final Four that weekend. And little did we realize then that Stringer would now make Rutgers her home.

So enjoy. The Guru, himself, who hadn't seen these articles in years, was a little fascinated, himself.

PERSPECTIVE

ONE MORE TIME: A SHOT AT THE TITLE

Mar 21, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

Special to The Inquirer

The year is 1972. The sport is women's basketball - an activity that is one
of the world's best-kept secrets. In a tiny gym in suburban Philadelphia, a
talented 5-foot, 11-inch center is terrorizing the opposition. Her kilt-style
uniform bears the name Immaculata.

By the time that season has ended, Theresa Shank and her Mac teammates are
champions of the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) in
its first national tournament. Big deal.

Two years later, Shank has added two more championship trophies. People are
beginning to take notice. In fact, the folks at Sports Illustrated are writing
glowing articles about her and making comparisons with UCLA men's superstar Bill Walton.

" Yeah, well, he got to make a couple of million dollars out of it and I was
still having trouble getting up enough money to ride the bus," she once said
wryly of those times.

Let's keep the time machine back in those times a moment and scan the crowd
watching Shank perform. Seated together are three eighth-grade girls. Two are
twins - Mary and Patty Coyle. The other is tall and lanky with a long black
pony tail: June Olkowski. They always come to watch Shank. Especially
Olkowski. She has recently received a trophy from the Immaculata star, which
is akin to having Julius Erving autograph your basketball.

Now, let's move our time machine up to the present. In fact, let's allow you
the luxury of glancing ahead a few hours into the future - like this afternoon
- as you read this over your Sunday morning cup of coffee. If it's afternoon,
keep reading. You still have the rest of the week to get in on the fun.

The place is Rutgers University. The team is the Knights. The building is
called the College Avenue Gym. The locals have an affectionate name for it,
however. They call it the Barn because that's the impression one gets from
inside.

On this particular afternoon, a crowd is packed into the makeshift stands
near the court and in the balcony above. They're ready to raise the roof. The
women of Rutgers - a nationally ranked team - are about to begin play in the
AIAW national tournament.

Three players in uniform on the Rutgers bench look vaguely familiar. The
names in the program read Coyle, Coyle, Olkowski. And the coach . . . yes,
there it is in the program, Theresa Shank Grentz.

This week Grentz and her " Philadelphia Connection" will try one last time
to bring Rutgers that elusive national title. They will start today against
Georgia Southern, an unheralded team with a 26-4 record. In the other AIAW
contest, St. John's meets Minnesota. If Rutgers wins, it will meet the victor
of the other game Tuesday night at the Barn.

If the Knights are successful there, it will be on to Philadelphia and
" home" at the Palestra in the AIAW national semifinals Friday night. Victory
there means the national title game, next Sunday at the same place.

" I started all this, I might as well finish all this," said Grentz before
the season.

What she meant was that if this was going to be the last AIAW tournament, it
would be fitting for her to win it as a coach. With the new NCAA women's
championships being held this year, the AIAW is considering going out of
business in June.

Perhaps the most emotional moment for the Rutgers coach occurred a few weeks
ago before the start of the last regular season game against Pittsburgh. " I
just couldn't go in that locker room before the game," she said. " I started
getting all choked up, knowing that this was going to be one of the last times
that this group of seniors was going to go out on the court. "

Rutgers won the game and later Grentz hosted a get-together at the Alumni
Club. At one table sat the seniors - representing the outgoing era. At another
sat six student-athletes being recruited for what Grentz hopes will be the
next Rutgers era.

" Not many people can do this ( bring seniors and recruits together ) ," she
said. " It would be easy for seniors to look over here and say, 'Well, she's
done with us, she's only worried about next year. ' But not this group. They
have been a pleasure to be with. "

Grentz arrived on the Rutgers scene at the start of the 1976-77 season. She
had been a successful coach at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia after graduating
from Immaculata College. When athletic director Fred Gruninger appointed her
to the job, she became one of the few full-time head coaches of women's teams
in the country. Back then, many coaches were still teaching gym in the
afternoons and coaching at night. Today, many women are paid $20,000 to
$30,000; Grentz' salary in 1976 was a ground-breaking $17,000.

The Knights had not been much of anything before her arrival, which was in
late August, an unfavorable time to walk into a new coaching job, since all
the recruiting for the season is usually finished in the spring.

But Patti Sikorski and Kathy Glutz, two recruits originally bound for St.
Joseph's, decided to follow Grentz to New Brunswick. Sandy Tupurins, a 6-foot-
2 center, was a holdover who gave Grentz' first squad a nucleus on which
to build. At midyear, the Knights acquired the first player in the Philly
Connection series. Denise Kenny, a flashy guard who could shoot spectacularly,
transferred from Mount St. Mary's. She had been the Catholic League player of
the year as a senior at Archbishop Ryan in Philadelphia.

With Kenny's arrival, things began to happen. The Knights started scoring in
the 100s. They even began to develop a following. When the time came to invite
teams to the regional tournament, Rutgers received a bid. But the Knights had
to meet still-powerful Immaculata in the first round.

For one half, Grentz' team shocked everybody. They actually went up by as
much as 10 points over her alma mater. But the team succumbed late in the game
for lack of depth. Still, Rutgers' fifth-place finish made the year a
success.

The following year, Rutgers picked up three high school all-Americans from
Philadelphia. Mary and Patty Coyle had starred at West Catholic High, and
Olkowski was the key player at St. Maria Goretti. Yes, the same fans who had
watched Grentz back in her Immaculata days.

A few other talented freshmen also joined the squad that year. One was Patty
Delehanty of West Long Branch. Another was Chris Dailey, who had missed most
of the previous year with an illness.

Then in 1978-79 it all came together. Rutgers moved into the national
rankings, and has never been lower than 10th since. The Knights won the
regional championship and made their first national tournament appearance,
where they finished third in the East with a 28- 4 record. It also proved a
red-letter season for Grentz and her husband, Karl, as they became the parents
of Karl Justin Jr.

With growth came a new building. The Knights play all their home games now
in the 9,000-seat Recreation Center.

In 1979-80 the squad, by then a respected national power, got stronger.
Adding Joanne Burke, a transfer from St. Joseph's, who starred at Camden
Catholic in Cherry Hill, the Knights made it to the final eight, only to lose
to eventual national champion Old Dominion and finish 28-5.

Last year, many picked the Knights to win it all. Kris Kirchner, a 6-foot-3
all-American, transferred from Maryland to finish her career near her native
New Providence. But Olkowski hurt her knee during the stretch drive, and
while the Knights did once again qualify for the nationals, they were
eliminated by Long Beach State.

This season, the Knights lacked a powerful center, and were looking for a
spot somewhere in the top 20. But they got hot early. They opened the new
Byrne Arena with a sizzling romp over UCLA to help give the school a double
victory over the Bruins when the men's team won a few hours later. They came
close to upsetting No. 1 Louisiana Tech in Madison Square Garden in December.

Olkowski, however, hurt her knee before the start of the Tennessee game at
the beginning of last month. Still, the Knights romped over University of
Tennessee's powerful Volunteers, and began this month on an upbeat note.

Last week, however, Rutgers was upset for the Region title by Villanova, a
newcomer on the block with the same aspirations the Knights had back in those
early days.

Even so, the Division I committee had enough respect for the team to award
it one of the top four berths and the home court for today and Tuesday.

Rutgers is in the College Gym today because of another scheduled event in
the Recreation Center. But Grentz isn't unhappy.

" I think it's great for us to be in the Barn. That's where it all started.
It will be like going home. "

And if Rutgers is successful today and Tuesday, Grentz, too, will be going
home. Back where she started; it seems eons ago.

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FINAL FOURS OPEN PLAY IN PALESTRA AND VA.

Mar 26, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

Special to The Inquirer

Tonight, as the country's top women's basketball teams chase two different
national championships in two different cities, the name of the games will be
overcoming obstacles.

In the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) tournament
semifinals tonight at the Palestra, top 10 powers Rutgers and Texas will try
to get past Villanova and Wayland Baptist, respectively, so they can meet in
the championship game.

And in the first NCAA Division I semifinal, tonight in Norfolk, Va., No. 2
Cheyney State (25-2) will confront a familiar face eager to cause the Lady
Wolves trouble: 5-foot, 10-inch guard-forward Debbie Lytle, a former star
at Gratz High who now performs for No. 3 Maryland (25-6).

In past AIAW tournaments, Rutgers and Texas have always seemed to be headed
for each other on a collision course. But something has always stood in the
way of their meeting.

In the case of Rutgers, that something has been either Maryland or Cheyney.
And for Texas, the obstacle has been either Stephen F. Austin or Louisiana
Tech.

Now, those barriers have been removed and sent in other directions - such as
the NCAA tournament. But the Knights and Longhorns still find obstacles
blocking a match-up between the two.

For Rutgers' Knights (23-7), ranked eighth in the final AIAW poll of the
year, the problem in getting to Sunday's 3 p.m. championship game is 11th-
ranked Villanova (28-3), which Rutgers will meet in tonight's 7 o'clock
game. Two weeks ago, the Knights were upset by the Wildcats in the Region 1
title game.

For Villanova to repeat that achievement and advance to the final, coach
Harry Perretta's team will need to avoid getting into a running game with the
Knights. The Wildcats will have to get a strong performance from center Lisa
Ortlip. And Kathie Beisel and Nancy Bernhardt will have to keep bombing away
successfully, as they have done in the early rounds of the tournament.

In the 9 p.m. game, Texas coach Jody Conradt will hope that her team can do
some shooting when the fifth-ranked Longhorns (34-3) meet Region 4 rival
Wayland Baptist for the fifth time this year.

If both favored teams win, then, at long last, the only obstacle that will
block Rutgers and Texas from a national title will be each other.

Down in Norfolk, tonight's 9 p.m. meeting between Cheyney State and Maryland
at the 10,000-seat Scope will be the most important meeting ever between these
two rivals. The winner will meet the survivor of the 7 p.m. game between top-
ranked Louisiana Tech and fourth-ranked Tennessee for the championship,
Sunday at noon (TV-Channel 10).

"I have no negative thoughts about Cheyney State," Maryland's Lytle said
yesterday. "I know most of the girls.

"I think it's been a tough rivalry between us and them. On the floor, we
hate each other. We try to kill each other to see who's going to wear the
other one down first. But off the court, everything's cool. "

You don't need the NCAA to tell followers of these two teams what kind of
rivalry they have shared over the last few years. Three straight times,
Maryland defeated the Wolves in the closing seconds. Then, last year, Valerie
Walker hit a pop shot at Cheyney in the regular season to stun the Terrapins
and turn the tables. The Wolves proved it was no fluke a few weeks later when
they again defeated Maryland, this one for the Region I title when both were
still with the AIAW.

" They ( Cheyney ) beat us pretty bad earlier in the year, so that will be a
good incentive factor for us," Lytle said. " We started playing pretty good at
the ( Atlantic Coast Conference ) championships, and we've been on a roll
since then.

" The key will be how well we do on the boards. "

If Maryland is using the last meeting with Cheyney as a measuring stick, so
are the Wolves.

" I really hadn't seen the team's progress before the Maryland game," said
Cheyney coach Vivian Stringer. " I couldn't believe how good we were that
night. It was one of the best efforts we've ever made. "
xxxx
Illinois State (19-13) beat Temple, 74-69, yesterday in the opening round of
the National Women's Invitational Tournament (NWIT) in Amarillo, Texas. The
Lady Owls (18-11), who can finish no higher than fifth in the tournament,
will play the loser of the Oregon State-Southern Mississippi game today at 5
p.m., Philadelphia time.


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

NCAA WOMEN

CHEYNEY ST. OVERCOMES MARYLAND

Mar 27, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

Special to The Inquirer

NORFOLK, Va. - Who's Cheyney State? The question has been asked time and
time again as the Lady Wolves have risen to national prominence in women's
basketball.

Last night, coach Vivian Stringer's charges provided the answer to an
opponent that was not looking for one. The second-ranked Lady Wolves (28-2)
defeated No. 3 Maryland, 76-66, before a crowd of about 6,000 people in the
Scope to advance to tomorrow's first NCAA Division I women's title game.

If Cheyney State did the improbable to get to this stage of the 32-team
tournament, they will have to do the seemingly impossible tomorrow.

The opposition will be top-ranked Louisiana Tech (34-1), which embarrassed
No. 4 Tennessee, 69-46, to get the opportunity to place an NCAA championship
trophy in its showcase alongside the title trophy from the Association for
Intercollegiate Athletics for Women tourney last year.

The Lady Wolves, who had to overcome all-American Valerie Walker's 2-for-10
shooting performance in the first half, secured the victory in a 7- minute
stretch midway through the second half when they outscored the Terrapins, 11-
2, to gain a 58-48 lead with 7 minutes, 39 seconds left.

" I made a crucial mistake there," said Maryland coach Chris Weller, whose
team used to break Cheyney's heart regularly. " I gambled. I should have
called a timeout when the lead got to four or five. I don't know whether they
won the game because of their defense or our offense. "

The Lady Wolves' offense also was lacking, particularly early. In fact, the
team that has shot 51 percent from the field for the season managed only 35.6
percent in the first half.

" I think part of it was jitters," Stringer said. " It was the whole idea of
being in the Final Four for the first time. I knew if we could just get a
little spurt, we might be all right. "

Walker righted herself in the second half and totaled a game-high 20 points.

Yolanda Laney added 15 points and matched Walker's three steals. Debra Walker
and Sharon Taylor added 14 and 13 points, respectively.

Debbie Lytle led Maryland with 14 points.

After Cheyney State built a 10-point lead, it maintained command with its
inside game.

" It's a little hard to believe that we've done it," Stringer said. " In
those closing moments, I kept thinking of all those times that Maryland used to
beat us at the buzzer and kept worrying that the jinx would come back to
haunt us.

" There's no question that this team is special. They've got a great deal of
character and class, with the kind of unity and personal quality that takes
teams to the Final Four. "

This is the farthest a Philadelphia- area women's team has advanced in
postseason basketball since Immaculata, which is only five miles from Cheyney
State, lost to Delta State in the 1976 AIAW title game.

" Anyone who reads the papers has to say that we're an underdog on Sunday,
" Stringer said. " Right now, we're top dog. . . . Louisiana Tech wants to
keep the championship, and we're hungry enough to say 'no.'"

" No" is what Louisiana Tech said to Tennessee's notion of presenting coach
Pat Head Summitt a national crown in her fifth Final Four appearance in the
last six years.

The Techsters held the Volunteers to 28 points below their scoring average
with a tenacious, pressing defense before a crowd that included NCAA executive
director Walter Byers, who made his first appearance at an NCAA women's
basketball event.

Tech was able to do the one thing that Summitt did not believe it could
- intimidate her players with nine blocked shots and eight steals.

Tennessee was limited to 30-percent shooting from the field - 27 percent in
the second half - compared to its season figure of 48.6 percent.

" I was so mad at halftime I almost lost my shoes kicking the backboard,
" Summitt said. " I told them ( her players ) they were making me eat my
words. "

Pam Kelly led Tech with 16 points. Janice Lawrence tallied 15. Lori Scott
added 12 points and Debra Rodman 10.

But the true heroine well may have been guard Angela Turner, who hounded
Sheila Collins into a 2-for-11 shooting night from the field. But the
Tennessee mainstay did connect on nine of 11 tries from the free- throw line
to finish with 13 points. Paula Towns had 12.

" I've always said that Tech has the best two teams in America," Summitt
said. " Every time you look down the bench, they've got three players going
into the game. That's great when you have to replace someone who's tired or
in foul trouble. "

Indeed, Janice Lawrence, a 6-foot, 3-inch sophomore center, had her third
foul late in the first half and picked up her fourth early in the second half,
but Tech's attack did not suffer.

" This is the best we've done defensively in many a day," said associate
head coach Leon Barmore, who handles the X's and O's for coach Sonja Hogg.

" We wanted to slow them on bringing up the ball. "
Summitt said, " I don't think they slowed us as much as they were able to
provide tremendous half-court pressure. We couldn't make that first pass. "

So her season ends with hardly anyone remembering that at one time her team
was 8-8 and unranked. Forgotten for the most part, too, is the streak that
brought Tennessee to 22-10. What is most vivid is the Volunteers' failure yet
another time to win the big one.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


CHEYNEY WOMEN ONE GIANT STEP FROM AN NCAA TITLE

Mar 28, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

Special to The Inquirer

NORFOLK, Va. - Cheyney State's women's basketball team gets to play one of
the leading roles on a new CBS television program today (Channel 10, noon).
It's called " 40 Minutes. "

That's how close the second-ranked Lady Wolves (28-2) are to winning the
first NCAA Division I women's title. All coach Vivian Stringer has to do is
figure out how to use that time to outscore Louisiana Tech (34-1), the
nation's No. 1 team for the past 36 weeks.

The game will be played before an expected sellout crowd of about 10,000 at
the Scope.

Both participants have height and quickness. Tech, a multifaceted machine,
has been stopped only once in its last 69 games - by Old Dominion, 61-58, here
in January. Cheyney is loaded with poise and finesse and boasts a 23-game
winning streak.

The Lady Wolves have been on an emotional roller-coaster ride with their
coach from the start of the season. Stringer has been forced to miss a number
of games while spending time at the bedside of her daughter Janine, who has
been hospitalized with spinal meningitis since November.

Tech, a decided favorite, is making its fourth straight appearance in a
national final under coach Sonja Hogg. The previous three were in the
Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women tournament, where
Louisiana Tech won last year's title.

The Techsters' biggest strength is depth.

" I've always said they have the best two teams in America," Tennessee
coach Pat Head Summitt said before her Volunteers were trounced, 69-46, by
Tech in Friday night's semifinals.

Leon Barmore, Tech's associate head coach, who handles all the strategy, can
go with Jennifer White (147 assists this season) at the point- guard position
if he wants to slow the tempo. Or he can go with 5-foot, 4- inch Kim Mulkey
(195 assists, 60 steals) to pressure the opposition's ball handlers and
break a game open.

At the No. 2 guard, the Techsters have Angela Turner (10.5 points per game,
93 steals), a torrid shooter from the outside. Backing her up is talented Pam
Gant, a high school all- American last year in Joliet, Ill.

The front court is led by 6-0 three- time all-American Pam Kelly (20.5
points, 9.0 rebounds, .648 shooting percentage). Joining her are the likes of
6-3 sophomore center Janice Lawrence (14.5 points, 7.1 rebounds, .557
shooting percentage, 44 blocked shots), 6-2 Debra Rodman (8.9 points, 31
blocked shots, 51 steals), 5-10 Lori Scott (7.9 points, 71 assists, 29 blocked
shots, 45 steals), and 6-2 Tia Sossamon.

But despite Tech's obvious attributes, a lot of sentiment rests with Cheyney
State.

" They're talented, and they're very hungry right now," said Division I
committee chairwoman Nora Lynn Finch, a North Carolina State assistant coach.
" When you combine the two, that's an awful animal to try and stop. I think
we have the best match- up we can possibly want. "

"Tech will find Cheyney's zone defense awful tough to cope with," said
Maryland coach Chris Weller, whose team lost to the Lady Wolves, 76-66, on
Friday night. " They're going to have figure out how to get the ball inside
to their big people, because nobody really can play it as tight on defense as
Cheyney can. "

" I look at the two teams and I see many similarities," Stringer said. " We
have an inch or two advantage in height among the starters. We'll have to use
our versatility to combat their depth, though. "

Cheyney features 6-1 all-American Valerie Walker (21.7 points, 88 assists,
96 steals .594 shooting percentage, 8 rebounds, 50 blocked shots). Walker has
been able to free-lance more this season because of the addition of 6-4
Sharon Taylor (9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, 57 blocked shots) and 5- 9 Rosetta
Guilford (15.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 108 assists, 89 steals, 19 blocked
shots).

Another plus for the Lady Wolves up front is 5-10 junior Debra Walker, the
team's leading rebounder with an 8.9 average.

The back court is led by Yolanda Laney (13.3 points, 6.1 rebounds, 137
assists, 68 steals), whom Barmore calls one of the best guards he has ever
seen. Joining Laney is Paulette Bigelow.

Some feel that the fates are working in Cheyney's behalf. They point to
tournament losses by Old Dominion and Long Beach State that made the Lady
Wolves' road to this point a little less fearsome than it would otherwise
have been.

" Getting here is not all skill," Stringer said. " There's a little luck
involved also."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


LA. TECH WOMEN CAPTURE NCAA TITLE

Mar 29, 1982

By Mel Greenberg

Special to The Inquirer

NORFOLK, Va. - Cheyney State found a place in the history books yesterday,
on the wrong end of a 76- 62 score against top-ranked Louisiana Tech that
decided the first NCAA Division I women's basketball championship.
But the Lady Wolves' fate was no different from that of 68 of 69 previous
teams that have faced the Tech- sters (35-1).

The NCAA trophy will go into Louisiana Tech's showcase next to the one
earned for winning last year's Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for
Women (AIAW) title.

"Last year, the AIAW was as high as you could go in women's athletics,
" said Tech coach Sonja Hogg. "But this was very well-organized. "

For a while, coach Vivian Stringer's Wolves (28-3) appeared ready to pull
the biggest upset of the 1981-82 season, as they jumped to a 16-8 lead in the
first 8 minutes of the game.

All-America senior Valerie Walker split the nets from the outside, and 5-
foot, 10-inch Debra Walker was damaging Tech off the offensive boards inside.

Meanwhile, Cheyney's tenacious zone defense denied Tech's big players the
ball and forced the opposition into several turnovers.

The estimated crowd of 7,000 - mostly local citizens - roared its approval.

The fans had adopted the Lady Wolves as their own after host Old Dominion
failed to reach the finals. All 9,531 seats were sold in the Scope for
yesterday's game.

But the euphoria was short-lived. Stringer took Valerie Walker, who had
picked up her second foul, out of the game with 9:51 left in the half. Cheyney
State still had a 20-14 lead, though, when a timeout was taken for the
national telecast on CBS.

"I took Valerie out at that point because I like her to free-lance more in
the second half," Stringer said.

But Walker's absence also prompted moves on the other bench. Tech associate
head coach Leon Barmore - Hogg's strategist - rushed in 6-2 sophomore Debra
Rodman to add some strength inside.

"We wanted to get the ball to the weak side, instead of jamming it inside
on the ball side," Barmore said. "Bringing in Rodman for ( 6-0 ) Pam Kelly
gave us some height. We also brought her in for offensive rebounds. "

However, Kelly - who will be named the winner of the Wade Trophy tomorrow as
a surprise choice for player of the year - came back in for 5-10 Lori Scott a
few minutes later. Suddenly, Tech had a 32-22 lead with 3:53 left in the half
- the time of Valerie Walker's return to the game. The Lady Wolves' problems
were worsened by three fouls to Debra Walker and Ann Strong, keeping Cheyney
from pressuring.

"When our big people are in trouble, we're in trouble," Stringer said.

''Tech's depth was a major factor in the game. We substituted small, and
they substituted big, with people who are physically punishing offensively. "

That enabled 6-3 sophomore Janice Lawrence, the game's most valuable player,
to finish the period with 16 points. She tied Valerie Walker for game honors
with 20 apiece.

"Defensively, I was very pleased. What we didn't get was the high-
percentage shots," Stringer said. The Lady Wolves shot 11 for 29 for a 37.9
mark in the first half, and Tech shot 15 for 28 for 53.6.

In the second half, Yolanda Laney regained her shooting niche, and her team
sliced the margin to eight points several times - the last being 56-48 with
8:04 left to play.

Tech then went back to the inside and gradually built the margin to the
final score. As the clock ran down, Tech trainer Sam Wilkerson displayed a T-
shirt that read, "Louisiana Tech 1981-82 NCAA Champions."

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