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, January 12, 2015

Guru's College Report: Streaking Villanova Tops Georgetown for 6th Straight Win

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

No longer damaged goods, Villanova is starting to look like some of the vintage Wildcats squads coach Harry Perretta has produced in his 37 seasons out on the Main Line.

Since getting everyone able to suit up just before the holidays Villanova has won six straight after Sunday’s 69-57 Big East triumph at home in the Pavilion that followed Friday night’s nifty 65-61 conference victory at Creighton in Omaha, Nebraska.

In Sunday’s action, Katherine Coyer and Emily Leer, two of the vital starters of the Villanova roster who were sideline with back (Leer) and Leg (Coyer) issues, scored 14 and 12 respective points in a game in which Villanova (9-7, 4-1 Big East) were up by as many as 26 points with 7 minutes, 31 seconds left in regulation.

“What did they combine for? – 26 points,” Perretta said. “Subtract them from the lineup and we’re struggling to score 50.”

Additionally, Taylor Holeman and freshman Alex Louin, the Mt. St. Joseph’s Academy graduate who is moving into the local lead for top rookie honors, each scored nine points.

Katie McCormack was the top producer for Georgetown (4-13, 2-3).

Katherine Coyer, whose twin sister Caroline also stars at Villanova, connected on 4-of-5 three-point attempts of which the Wildcats as a team completed 11-for-31 as compared to 5-for-12 for the Hoyas.

In Friday’s game, Leer and Caroline Coyer each scored 17 points over the Blue Jays, who fell to 8-8 and 1-4 in the conference prior to Creighton’s Sunday home loss to St. John’s.

In eight games this season Leer is now 42-for-71 for a .592 shooting percentage from the field and Villanova has nailed 55 treys in its last five games.

With Seton Hall barely escaping from Providence 68-67 while Saint John’s won at Creighton 61-38 and DePaul beating visiting Xavier 84-61, the Wildcats are locked into a four-way tie for first with the trio mentioned.

DePaul, the preseason Big East favorite (coaches poll) whom Villanova beat here in overtime a week ago, heads to St. John’s and Seton Hall next weekend.

The Wildcats, meanwhile, head to the Midwest, visiting Butler in Indianapolis on Friday night and Xavier in Cincinnati on Sunday. Then comes the Big Five showdown with Penn in the Quakers’ Palestra on Jan. 21 before Villanova hosts Seton Hall on Jan. 23 and St. John’s on Jan. 25.

Drexel Rallies Past UNCW to Earn Weekend Split

After squandering a chance to top Hofstra at home Friday night, losing 53-52 in overtime to drop a game behind the leaders in in the Colonial Athletic Association standings, Drexel returned to the Daskalais Athletic Center Sunday in West Philadelphia and erased a nine-point deficit existing in the first half to beat UNCW 58-53.

Jamila Thompson matched or rewrote her individual career game statistics for the Dragons (9-6, 3-1 CAA), recording her first double double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 6-for-9 from the field, with both points and rebounds becoming new personal bests.

The native of London, England, also had three steals to match a high, blocked three shots for a new high, dealt four assists, which she achieved three times previously, and grabbed three steals to match another career mark.

Sarah Curran was the team scoring leader with 16 points as the only other Drexel player to score in double figures.

Shatia Cole had 14 points for UNCW (6-9, 2-2).

On Friday, Drexel suffered its first conference loss, which was also its first setback at home.

Curran had 17 points, while Alexis Smith scored 11 and Jackie Schluth scored 10. Rachel Pearson scored nine.

The Dragons failed in winning opportunities at the end of regulation and overtime.

Freshman Ashunae Durant set a career high with 21 points and 17 rebounds for Hofstra, which is now 11-4 overall and 4-0 after Sunday’s win at Towson in the CAA, the same conference record as preseason favorite James Madison (13-2 overall), which won at William & Mary on Sunday.

Drexel is tied with Elon but has already beaten the CAA newcomer in their first meeting.

The Dragons head off to William & Mary on Thursday and then to James Madison on Sunday followed by a trip to Hofstra on Jan. 22 at 11 a.m.

Delaware Gets First CAA Win

In a battle of winless teams in the early action in conference play, Delaware rallied Sunday to beat Northeastern 54-48 on the road at the Cabot Center in Boston.

The Blue Hens (6-9, 1-3 CAA), who visit Drexel Jan. 25, netted nine foul shots in the final minute to secure their 26th win in the last 27 in the long-running series with the Huskies (3-11, 0-4).
Like Drexel, coach Tina Martin’s team has played four games in eight days.

Delaware’s Erika Brown had 18 points while Hannah Jardine had 13 points and senior Joy Caracciolo had 10 points.

The Blue Hens started their weekend road trip Friday night losing at Towson in Maryland 65-49, though Jardine had 17 points and eight rebounds.

Towson is now 6-10 and 2-2 in the conference after losing at home Sunday to Hofstra.

Delaware hosts Hofstra on Thursday at the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark and then greets William & Mary on Sunday.

Temple Falls to South Florida

The Owls played dropped their first American Athletic Conference game of the year, losing 70-58 at home in McGonigle Hall to the Bulls (13-3, 4-0), who were picked second in the AAC behind two-time defending national champion Connecticut.

The loss also ruined a career day for freshman Alliyah Butts, who had 24 points and was 5-for-8 on three-point attempts for Temple (7-10, 3-1), who next head to Connecticut Wednesday to play the Huskies at Gampel Pavilion on campus in Storrs.

Feyonda Fitzgerald had 17 points and Erica Cole had 13 rebounds.

Courtney Williams had 21 points and 12 rebounds for USF while Alisia Jenkins had 14 points and Laura Ferreira scored 10 points.

.La Salle Felled by George Mason at Finish

A layup from Atlantic 10 leading scorer Taylor Brown before regulation time expired enabled the Patriots to slip past the Explorers 73-71 in a conference game at La Salle’s Tom Gola Arena.

Amy Griffin had tied the game for the Explorers with six seconds remaining after they chased George Mason (10-6, 2-1 A-10) down the stretch.

Alicia Cropper had 16 points for La Salle (10-6, 1-2) while Micahya Owens scored 11 points, and Siobhan Beslow scored 10.

Brown scored a game-high 22 points for the Patriots while Sandra Ngoie and Jasmine Jackson each scored 16 points and Kristi Mokube scored 10.

La Salle is next at Massachusetts Thursdsy and at Rhode Island on Sunday.

Coupled with the previous report, you are now all caught up here with everybody’s action in the Guru’s 10-team PhilahoopsW local collection of Division I schools.

Princeton Now One of Two Remaining Unbeatens

With Mississippi State’s loss on Sunday to Vanderbilt in Southeastern Conference action, Princeton (17-0) and Dawn Staley’s top-ranked South Carolina squad (16-0, 4-0 SEC) are the last two unbeaten squads in NCAA Division I.

The Tigers, who rolled over Penn at home Saturday to launch Ivy League play, are idle the next three weeks for academic work before resuming the league schedule with the arduous weekend trip to Harvard and Dartmouth at the end of the month.

South Carolina, which will be at UConn in early February, had to rally at home Sunday before a crowd of 17,156 fans to beat No. 11 Kentucky 68-60 in a game the Wildcats lost starting point guard Janee Thompson for the rest of the season due to a broken fibular resulting from a dislocated left ankle.

And that’s the report for now.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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