Cleaning Out the 2006 Basket
We're still waiting to see if there will be room print-side to review 2006 sometime in the next few days before we do it here.
But first, off the cutting-room floor, here is the original medium-sized story on Saturday's Villanova win, with quotes, over Manhattan at the Pavilion. The print version for Sunday editions was chewed up by space limitations.
By Mel Greenberg
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Villanova junior Stacie Witman won’t be hanging out with the masses in New York City’s Times Square Sunday night to celebrate the arrival of the new year.
The Plymouth Whitemarsh graduate took Manhattan in her own celebratory way Saturday afternoon without leaving home.
Witman scored a career-high 23 points to help the Wildcats (6-7) gain a relatively easy 62-46 nonconference victory over Manhattan's Jaspers (4-8) at the Pavilion.
By halftime, she had 15 points to surpass her previous high of 10 points, which she scored against Temple two seasons ago.
Jackie Adamshick had 13 points as the only other ’Nova player in double figures.
Gabrielle Cottrell and Michelle Pacheco each scored 11 points for Manhattan (4-8).
Witman’s milestone came in her second game back after being sidelined over a month with a stress fracture in her lower left leg.
The injury was discovered after the season-opening loss to Delaware.
“Coming off the other night, we needed a big win and we needed to play hard from the beginning,” Witman said, referring to the 61-54 loss at home Thursday night to Loyola of Maryland.
In that game, Witman’s return from injury was marked by a miserable 0-for-5 effort from the field.
Saturday, she shot 8 for 11
“I’m one of the upperclassmen and I have to lead by example on the floor,” Witman said. “It was hard sitting there (with the injury). Coming back, I just wanted to help the team.”
Villanova led all the way Saturday but didn’t really control the action until the last six minutes of the half, when the Wildcats built a double-digit advantage and entered the break ahead by 32-19.
“We’re struggling so much, it’s just good to play well in any game,” Villanova coach Harry Perretta said.
With Witman sidelined, Adamshick and Lisa Carcic had been his only two consistent scoring options.
“I told her she’s a big person for us,” Perretta said. “When she got injured, it really hurt us. It’s not even the fact she got the 23 points, which was major. What she does is help the rotation. Lisa and Jackie, instead of playing 39 minutes, can play 34 and get a breather. And Stacie’s a pretty good offensive rebounder.”
illanova next travels to St. Joseph’s for a Big Five game at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
After that, the remainder of the schedule will be against rugged Big East opponents.
“It’s going to be tough,” Perretta said. “There may be only four games in which you can say that we’ll be the favorite.”
We're hearing from several WNBA-types making their way around the country studying the collegiate talent for the next draft that the Charlotte Sting, which is now technically once again under league ownership, will be dispersed rather than moved outright to another city for the 2007 season.
If that holds up, the Phoenix Mercury could end up with the likes of Monique Currie, Tammy Sutton-Brown, or Janelle McCarville, which could be an added bonus in the hunt for a post player that at the moment will either come out of the draft or through a trade of the No. 1 pick if the Mercury could get the value the franchise seeks.
On the other hand, other WNBA mangement types have said they have yet to hear anything official from league headquarters. All acknowledge, however, the conversation that has been occurring in speculative dialogue at several internet sites.
We'll stay on the case.
On the college scene, score Old Dominion's win at home in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, over Rutgers as a major triumph that could right things for the Monarchs heading into CAA competition.
And also score it a major setback for the Scarlet Knights, who had appeared to begin to get some consistency in recent weeks. We haven't seen details as of this writing because we just remembered to check the scores after having been slightly busy working another turn on the desk.
The setback would be more serious for Rutgers down the road at NCAA time if Old Dominion doesn't make its annual dominating run in its conference and the Scarlet Knights are teetering on the bubble, come March.
But there is plenty of healthy food on the Big East table for Rutgers to get nourished and shake off Saturday's game.
On the other hand, the rising star at the moment appears to be George Washington, which won a tournament out West, upsetting No. 11 Georgia in the process.
We caught up with Colonials coach Joe McKeown, recovering from surgery to his leg from a recent injury sustained at practice. He did not make the trip out West. It was noted that when people had said ahead of the game in California he didn't have a leg to stand on against Georgia, apparently the remark didn't apply to his players.
McKeown is the same Joe McKeown you Philly readers remember selling hot dogs at Phillies games at Connie Mack Stadium when he was a high school student here at Father Judge.
Looking at GW's high RPI right now, that will remaing high in the nonconference RPI category no matter what happens to the overall number off Atlantic Ten competition, McKeown's group could land a nice seed come March.
We didn't check in Friday due to having to tidy-up another story with our business page colleague Suzette Parmley that is running in Sunday's sports section.
You'll find it at Phily.com as we offer our home internet site the opportunity to get some extra visits.
But back to Friday, our recent streak of narrow outcomes in games we cover, was back in motion again with South Florida scoring sensation Jessica Dickson beating the regulation clock to force overtime and then beating the shot clock near the end of the extra period to deprive St. Joseph's the chance for gaining a big upset in the championship game of the Hawk Classic at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Then it was down to the Palestra where Temple extended its Big Five win streak to 12 straight by pulling away from Penn in the second half.
The two longest City Series win streaks in the women's round robin both belong to St. Joseph's at 14 and 15. Temple can match the 14 by beating La Salle and the Hawks to make it three straight 4-0 triumphs for Big Five titles.
On that note, we hear the restaurants of Chinatown harkening to our late-nite appetite.
Oh, and the blackberry replacement finally arrived so we are back in technological synch for those of you in the working world who deal with us through various devices.
As she promised, Erin will be providing you content all week leading into the UConn-Tennessee showdown Saturday in Hartford.
That's if for now.