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.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Guru Report: Big Blue PSU Machine Blasts Army

By Mel Greenberg

Here is the Penn State web site account directly in terms of top of the report from Wednesday's win over Army.

The Guru will be offering this and some weekly stat report highlights with a quick note at the bottom. He will be at Rutgers Thursday night when No. 11 Georgetown gives the Scarlet Knightts another key test.

Here is the PSU account:

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA.: — The Penn State Lady Lions (8-2) turned in a dominating performance on the way to a 95-65 victory over Army (3-6) Wednesday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. Redshirt sophomore Mia Nickson (Ashburn, Va.) posted her second-straight 20-point game with 23 tallies to go along with five rebounds and two steals. All 10 players scored at least four points for the Lady Lions, who shot 49.3% (34-69) on the game and registered 15 steals on 20 turnovers.

Nickson was 8-for-13 from the field and 7-for-7 from the free throw line. She also tied her career high with two assists. Freshman guard Maggie Lucas (Narberth, Pa., Germantown Academy) came off of the bench to register her fourth 20-point game with 20 tallies, including a 10-for-10 effort from the free throw line. Lucas pulled in a career-high eight rebounds and tied her personal best with four steals.

Senior guard/forward Julia Trogele (Devon, Pa., Villa Marie) posted her third double-double of the season with 11 points via a 5-for-7 shooting effort and 11 rebounds. She also accounted for six assists and three steals. Sophomore Alex Bentley (Indianapolis, Ind.) also reached double figures with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

Observing The Weekly Statistics

Here's a quick look at selected categories in terms of performance, more so by local Philly area teams, off the recent NCAA statistics report carried over the Associated Press

Since the Guru led with the Penn State game, the only D-I area game Wednesday night, he begins by saying that later this month when the Nittany Lions and Drexel meet up in Happy Valley look for an explosive air attack from both sides considering PSU and Drexel are tied for first in 3-point percentage shooting at 47.5 percent.

Temple, as mentioned in an earlier post, is 13th (39.7), while Princeton is 18th (39.1) and Rutgers is also on the list.

In terms of actual treys made, Villanova is second at 9.6, followed by Penn State at 11th at 8.3, while Drexel and Temple are also further down the list.

Rutgers and St. Joseph's are on the list, but further down, in terms of nation's leaders defending 3-point percentage shooting.

Villanova is tied for seventh in fewest turnovers at 13.6, while ball control also comes up effectively elsewhere down the category for Temple, Princeton, Rutgers, Drexel, and La Salle.

In one of many near the top of the lists performances by No. 1 and unbeaten UConn, the Huskies share the ball quite well with a nation-leading 21.9 average on assists. Drexel and Princeton are among the leaders.

Connecticut is also first in assist-turnover ratio at 1.79 with a host of locals making the category: Villanova, Drexel, Princeton, Delaware, which by the way, moved up to ninth is this week's Mid-Major women's poll; Temple and Rutgers.

The Scarlet Knights are also tied for ninth in blocked shots at 6.0, while Delaware is tied for 16th at 5.6 and St. Joseph's is also on the list.

Villanova lewads in foul shooting percentage at 84.9 percent; Drexel is tied for 15th at 77.6; St. Joseph's is 19th at 77.0; and Princeton, Delaware, Rutgers and Penn State are among the rest of the leaders.

Connecticut and Boston College are tied for first field goal percentage shooting at 50.6, with Penn State tied for 15th at 46.8; Drexel and Rutgers are also on the list.

Delaware is among the leaders in rebounding differential.

When it comes to scoring defense,Drexel is tied for fourth limiting 48.8 points per game; Rutgers, Princeton, Villanova, and St. Joseph's are also among the best in category.

Moving on to some individual performances, Pwnn State's Alex Bentley is fifth in assists at 6.7, while La Salle's Ashley Gale is on the list of leaders making steals.

Drexel's Jasmina Rosseel is fifth in assists-turnover ratio at 3.83 and Penn State's Bentley is on the list.

Baylor's Brittney Griner continues to lead in blocked shots at 5.2 with Rutgers' Monique Oliver listed at ninth with a 3.4 average. Penn State's Zhaque Gray and Delaware's Elena Delle Donne are among the 3-point percentage shooting leaders.

And as mentioned in a previous post, Delle Donne, who returned to action Sunday after missing almost two games with a viral illness, still leads in socring at 26.2. Drexel's Kamile Nacickaite is on the list with an 18.0 average showing the Dragons can still place someone following the graduation of Gabriela Marginean.

Keeping It Short -- Sort Of

The Guru will keep give you all as break and keep this short after a long day Wednesday locally with a short, very short, turnaround from the overnight blog to attend the funeral of longtime Philadelphia Daily News beat writer Phil Jasner, who died Friday from a two-year battle against cancer.

Phil was a colleague and longtime friend and contemporary off our Temple University backgrounds -- he was a little older.

The funeral was quite poignant with five speakers -- led off by 76ers coach Doug Collins -- offering tributes. Read John Smallwood's column.

Phil's son Andy, who is also a friend of the Guru off his local coverage for the Associated Press, told the Guru he was selective and chose the speakers very carefully, though they all in toto did a magnificent job in presenting the breadth of Phil's contributions.

From a personal note, the Guru can tell you that he was approached upon arrival three weeks ago at the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame inductions by Phil, an honoree that night to his fifth hall of fame, to be told how Phil had been making phone calls on behalf of the Guru for freelance work after having pulled the retirement mechanism in April.

That was the kind of person Phil was, even though we had not seen each other much since the Guru is here in our world and Phil was over on the NBA side of things.

Following the funeral, the Guru ventured out to the western suburbs to Collegeville to watch a DIII game between Ursinus College and Haverford College at the invitation of Ursinus SID Jim Wagner.

The Guru was once asked many years ago by a previous sports editor where might Ursinus be located and the Guru responded "Between Ur-nose and Ur--mouth, though that might be anatomically inaccurate.

Then it was on to a quick half-hour trip to Media and the home of Adny Jasner to pay personal respects to him and to remember his dad Phil since the line to offer condolences to the family at the funeral had to be aborted after 45 minutes because of its enormous size.

The Guru was in line with Villanova men's coach Jay Wright and former longtime Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum. Many approached the Guru, incidentally, during the wait to ask questions about UConn. Besides most sports staffs of the Inquirer and Daily News, Dick "Dickie Hoops" Weiss attended as did the New York Times' Jere Longman.

Virtually all the teams in town -- 76ers and collegiate -- were represented with Temple's Fran Dunphy, former Owl legend John Chaney, St. Joseph's Phil Martelli, among the atendees.

That said, the Guru will be back with the Rutgers game and whatever else is newsworthy later Thursday.

-- Mel

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