– A Saint Bonaventure rally and a Temple knockout set up a clear pecking order
at the top of the Atlantic 10 Saturday as the conference regular season race
approaches its final two weeks.
The 25th-ranked Bonnies overcame
a 15-foot deficit in the first half at Dayton and used Megan Van Tatenhove’s
shot with 23 seconds left in the game to edge the Flyers 56-55 and stay
unbeaten in the conference.
Temple, meanwhile, put five players in
double figures here in a 77-50 win over Massachusetts at the Owls’ Liacouras
Center to take over sole possession of second place one game behind the Bonnies
(24-2, 11-0 Atlantic 10) and one ahead of Dayton (16-6, 8-2).
The Flyers and Owls (16-8, 9-1) were the
preseason co-favorites of the conference coaches and the Bonnies were picked
sixth but have now beaten all five teams picked ahead of them.
La Salle for the second straight year
clinched a spot in the A-10 tournament, which will be at St. Joseph’s next
month, by edging Rhode Island 49-45 in Kingston, which will also be the site of
an NCAA tournament Sweet 16 and Elite Eight regional final next month.
The Explorers (12-13, 6-4) who moved into
sixth a half-game ahead of St. Joseph’s (15-8, 5-4), had missed the conference
tournament for several seasons prior to last year.
The Hawks can move back into a tie with La
Salle by beating Saint Louis (8-16, 2-7) in a home game Sunday and would own
the tie breaker off of Wednesday night’s win at La Salle.
The alumni will return to Hawk Hill to play
in the annual reunion game prior to the 2 p.m. tipoff.
In the contest at Dayton, Van Tatenhove had a
game-high 17 points while CeCe Dixon added 13 points for St. Bonaventure, whose
leading scorer Jessica Jenkins was held to three points.
Ortega scored 12 points for the visitors, whose Alaina Walker grabbed 10
The Bonnies’ all-time win streak is now up to
13 games and at 12-0 away from home they are one of just three teams unbeaten
on the road in opponents’ arenas.
They are likely to win their last one away
from home at 14th-place Rhode Island in the final game of the
The two losses were to Villanova in the first
round of Monmouth’s tournament and at home to No. 12 Delaware, which is likely
to move up with a win Sunday against host Georgia State in the Colonial
Dayton’s Cassie Sant had 12 points while
Justine Raterman had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Patrice Lalor scored 10
moving closer the last month, St. Bonaventure finally received a first-ever
ranking on Monday in the Associated Press women’s poll.
Temple, meanwhile, quickly built a
double-digit lead in the first seven minutes against the Minutewomen (6-19,
1-9) and increased it to as many as 34 points late in the game.
The Owls’ transition game forced
Massachusetts into 23 turnovers to just 13 miscues of their own resulting in a
29-10 advantage in points as they won their ninth straight.
Victoria Macaulay had 18 points for Temple,
BJ Williams had 13 points, Kristen McCarthy had 13 points, Shey Peddy, the
reigning A-10 and Big Five top player for the second straight week, had 12
points, as did Kristen McCarthy, and Brittany Lewis had 11 points and 11
“I thought that was a really good win for
us, I thought we played really good basketball today,” Temple coach Tonya
Cardoza said afterwards. “To have five guys in double figures, that’s a major
accomplishment for our guys.
“Again, we’re not focusing on any particular
team – we’re just worrying about how we’re playing and what type of basketball
we’re playing. Right now we’re playing really good basketball and hopefully
that will continue the rest of the way out.”
Temple next hosts George Washington (11-13,
4-6) in the annual field trip noon game Wednesday in the Liacouras Center to
attract the local schools in the community.
The Colonials dropped a 63-51 game Saturday
at home in Washington to Richmond (19-5, 7-3), which is in fifth-place a
half-game behind Charlotte (15-10, 7-4), which was routed on the road 81-53 by
Duquesne (17-8, 5-5) in Pittsburgh.
Williams talked about playing the backcourt
with Peddy and how they have developed in the last several weeks into a potent
“Shey and I have been working really hard
and `coach’ puts us in really great situations in practice where we’ve been
working on our chemistry,” Williams said.
the beginning of the season we struggled a lot, but it’s perfect timing now
we’ve found it and we know where each other is going to be on the court.”
Meanwhile, in La Salle’s game the Explorers
used a 7-0 run at the finish to overcome a three-point deficit to Rhode Island
(1-24, 0-10), which is still looking for its first conference win of the season
and second overall.
Ruvanna Campbell had three blocked shots and
now has 38 rejections, two better than the previous La Salle freshman record of
36 set by Suzie McCaffrey in 1982-83. Campbell is fourth overall among all
Alexis Scott for the Explorers had 21 points,
while Brittany Wilson scored 11, all in the second half.
Corinne Colas had 13 points for Rhode Island.
La Salle will host Dayton on Wednesday night
at 7 p.m.
In one other A-10 game played, two-time
defending champion Xavier (6-17, 3-7) went into overtime on the road to gain a
68-57 win at Fordham (11-14, 2-8) in the Bronx, N.Y.
Musketeers made 13 of 14 foul shots in the extra period to win and move into 10th
place, two ahead of the cut-off that knocks the 13th and 14th
place finishers out of the A-10 tournament 12-team field.
Massachusetts can find a way to win a couple of upcoming games it could get
interesting because Xavier now must host Richmond, then travel to St.
Bonaventure and Dayton and the Musketeers will be underdogs in all three games.
the Xavier-UMass game in Cincinnati on the last day of the season could
potentially determine who will stay home from the conference tournament.
Of course Fordham and Saint Louis are also
involved in the survival effort to avoid too low a finish.
In the Xavier-Fordham game, the Musketeers’
Amber Gray had a career-high 17 points while Lakeisha Crouch had 13 points and
Abigall Corning had 15 points for Fordham,
whose Arielle Collins scored a layup with six seconds left in regulation to
gain and 46-46 tie and force the overtime.
Princeton and Penn Triumph in New England
defending Ivy champion Princeton left Harvard much happier than a year ago as
the Tigers began to separate themselves from the rest of the conference with a
lopsided 84-56 win over the Crimson in Cambridge, Mass., to take a two-game
lead over Harvard (12-9, 5-2) and Yale (14-8, 6-2), which beat Columbia 73-59.
meanwhile, topped host Dartmouth 73-63 in overtime at the halfway point of the
league race. The Quakers (9-12, 2-5) are now 3-1 in overtime games this season.
Ivies are the only one of 31 conferences who don’t have a postseason tournament
and use the final standings of the regular season to determine who advances
with the automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
(17-4, 7-0 Ivy) in a three-season span is now 34-1 and the one occurred a year
ago to Harvard to provide the only blot on the Tigers’ Ivy portion of the
Rasheed, who this week was made part of the 20-player midseason watch list for
national player of the year by the United States Basketball Writers
Association, matched her season high with 24 points and became the third
Princeton player this season to surpass 1,000 career points. She also had nine
Devona Allgood, who had nine points against Harvard, and Lauren Edwards, who
scored 13, reached the 1,000-point milestone.
“I told them
that they just earned that (win) by the way they practice every single day,”
Princeton coach Courtney Banghart beamed afterwards. “It was a great team win,
top to bottom, I am proud of our seniors and upperclassmen for leading the way
by example and it is always fun to start the league (play) this way and we are
going to keep going.”
Princeton, seeking to earn the highest seed
ever for an Ivy champion in the NCAA tournament, next week begins the effort to
complete season sweeps over the other seven teams when they visit Columbia (2-19,
0-7) and Cornell (9-12, 3-4) on Friday and Saturday nights.
“We have talented kids who are really
invested in what we are doing. I’m like a mother, I’m just so proud of them,”
Banghart said of her squad.
Meanwhile, in the Quakers’ win, freshman
Katy Allen again set a career mark, this time with 17 points while freshman Kara
Bonenberger also scored 17 points while grabbing nine rebounds.
Penn sophomore Alyssa Baron had 14 points
and Renee Busch, another freshman, had 11 points.
Jess Knapp, who recently returned to play
the rest of her senior season despite suffering a torn ACL in late December,
reached her 500th career point and had a game-high 11 rebounds.
Faziah Steen had 22 points for Dartmouth
(3-18, 12-6) and Sasha Dosenko had 14 points.
Penn stays on the road this weekend
traveling to Cornell and Columbia on Friday and Saturday nights.
Villanova Burned At South Florida
The Wildcats may have gotten some sun but
certainly only little fun on a weekend trip to Tampa where South Florida gained
a 54-39 win in a Big East game.
Andrea Smith had 22 points while
Tiffany Conner grabbed 10 rebounds for the host Bulls (13-13, 5-7 Big East).
Lauren Burford had 11 points and was
the only player to score in double figures for Villanova (15-10, 5-7), which
next hosts No. 14 Georgetown at the Pavilion on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
The Hoyas will come in reeling from an 80-38
loss to No. 3 Connecticut (23-2, 11-1 Big East) Saturday afternoon at Gampel
Pavilion on the Huskies’ campus in Storrs after several narrow previous
encounters in losses to UConn.
Freshman Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 23
points for the Huskies while Bria Hartley scored 18 as UConn extended its
NCAA-record home win streak to 99 straight triumphs.
Rubylee Wright and Sugar Rodgers, who
has been on several national player of the year watch lists, each scored 10
points for Georgetown (19-6, 8-4).
In another Big East game involving a
ranked team, No. 20 Louisville beat visiting Syracuse 89-62 as the Cardinals
(18-7, 7-5) set a school record with 18 3-pointers.
Becky Burke had eight from beyond the arc
and finished with a career-high 28 points while Shoni Schimmel had six treys,
20 points and dealt 10 assists.
Kayla Alexander had 20 points and 12
rebounds for Syracuse (15-11, 4-8).
In two other Big East games, host
Cincinnati topped Pittsburgh 62-57 while host Providence topped Seton Hall
62-47 to leave the two visiting teams still winless in conference competition.
Top-ranked Baylor (25-0, 12-0 Big 12) is
still the last unbeaten team in Division I and now the Bears finally have gained
their taste of revenge paying back No. 15 Texas A&M 71-48 for the NCAA
regional title upset loss that sent coach Kim Mulkey’s group home and the
Aggies (17-6, 8-4) on to the Final Four where they upset Stanford and Notre
Dame to win a first-ever national title.
The game was also a Big 12 contest and the
last one for Texas A&M on Baylor’s home court in Waco, Texas, since the
Aggies are heading for competition in the Southeastern Conference next season.
Mulkey, who learned country singer Trace Adkins had a crush her back in his days playing football at Louisiana Tech when she was a Lady Techsters star, has said she will not continue the
longtime rivalry once the Aggies are no longer in the conference.
Adkins was at the game Saturday.
In Saturday’s win, national player of the
year candidate Brittney Griner blocked six shots to go with 21 points and 10
rebounds for Baylor while Odyssey Sims had 19 points and Brooklyn Pope scored
10 points and grabbed nine rebounds in front of a record-tying sellout crowd of
Tyra White had 18 points for Texas
The Guru is signing off now but the plan
is to be at Rutgers for the St. John’s game where tweeting @womhoopsguru will
continue and another blog post will appear here at the next sunrise.