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, February 02, 2015

Guru's College Report: Rutgers Completes Sweep of Penn State While Drexel and Delaware Also Win

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

An old fashioned Atlantic 10 game broke out Sunday afternoon between No. 22 Rutgers and Penn State except the game played at Rutgers’ Louis A. Brown Athletic Center was under the auspices of the Big Ten, which has the Scarlet Knights and No. 5 Maryland as conference newcomers this season.

After an exchange of runs in the second half, Rutgers emerged with a 76-65 victory and a sweep of the season series between the two who used to be Region 1B rivals in the AIAW era and then in the Atlantic 10 after the NCAA came along to sponsor women’s sports championships.

The visit was the first for the Lady Lions (5-17, 2-9 Big Ten) and despite the rare season of futility for Penn State coach Coquese Washington’s group put up quite a battle until C.Vivian Stringer trotted out her 55-press defense.

Rutgers (16-5, 7-3), which along with No. 5 Maryland are new to the conference this season, fell behind in the second half when Penn State launched a 17-5 run. But after the Scarlet Knights regained the high ground and held a meager 64-62 lead with 3 minutes, 37 seconds left in the game, they pulled away to go to the victory stand.

Kahleah Copper had a season-high 25 points while sophomore sensation Tyler Scaife scored 21 and Betnijah Laney picked up her 14th double double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Lindsay Spann, off the bench, scored 16 points for Penn States, Sierra Moore scored 12, and Candice Agee and Peyton Whitted each scored 11 points.

Penn State next hosts No. 5 Maryland Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Bryce Jordan Center. The Terrapins, the preseason conference favorites, are still unbeaten after winning at No. 20 Iowa 93-88.

Rutgers will host No. 15 Nebraska also on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Penn State and Rutgers are also unofficially part of the Guru’s 10-team locally-covered PhilahoopsW group.

Elsewhere, besides the Temple/UConn game that is separately posted above this roundup, Drexel topped UNCW 61-44 on the road in North Carolina and took a two-game lead over Hofstra in holding down second place all alone in the Colonial Athletic Association. (CAA).

The Dragons have traveling partner Delaware to thank after the Blue Hens won at Hofstra 73-62.

Villanova rallied but fell just short at DePaul, 49-47, as the preseason-favorite Demons gained vengeance for the Wildcats’ victory last month in overtime back East.

Drexel and Delaware Continue Winning Ways

The Dragons (14-7, 8-2 CAA) used a stifling defense, holding UNCW (8-13, 4-6) to 14 points in the second half to make it just the fifth time in the history of the program and third in the CAA that Drexel has won 8 of its first 10 games.

Rachel Pearson scored 13 points while Florence Ouattara had a career-high 10 points and balance in the attack was supported by four other Drexel players scoring at least seven points.

Coach Denise Dillon’s group shot 5.19 percent from the field, its best outing in CAA play and second best overall this season, in extending the current win streak to four games.

The Drexel reserves outscored the Seahawks’ equivalents 23-6.

Next up William & Mary visit Friday at 7 p.m. before league-leading James Madison, unbeaten in CAA play, comes to the Daskalakis Athletic Center on Sunday.

Delaware (0-11, 5-5) made coach Tina Martin happy by going on the road, winning back-to-back games and beating Hofstra (13-8, 6-4) to complete a season-sweep over the Pride.

Erika Brown had a career-high 31 points while Jody Salyer dealt nine assists, Joy Caracciolo had 12 points and 10 assists, and Hannah Jardine scored 13 points.

“This is a huge win to get back to .500 in the CAA after we dug ourselves a hole,” Martin said.

Delaware is back home for its next two games, hosting Northeastern Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Bob Carpenter Center followed by Sunday’s 2 p.m. visit from UNCW.

Villanova Rally Falls Short at DePaul

Taylor Holeman has been on a tear recently but her attempted game-tying basket at the finish did not drop and DePaul (17-6, 9-2 Big East) escaped with a season-split in Chicago after the preseason favorites fell in overtime last month on the Main Line in the Big East.

The Demons trail frontrunner Seton Hall by a game with the Pirates holding off a furious rally by St. John’s at home in Walsh Gym Sunday to continue their best season in a decade.

Villanova (13-10, 7-4) also found itself stranded in the Windy City after the game due to the mid-winter snow storm though the Wildcats don’t play again until they travel to Georgetown Sunday afternoon looking for a sweep of the Hoyas.

Emily Leer had 14 points for the Wildcats while Caroline Coyer, after a blazing set of games scoring 28 and 26 points, respectively, was held to 11. Holeman had 10 points and a career-high 18 rebounds.

Chanise Jenkins had 19 points for DePaul, while Philadelphia’s Brittany Hrynko scored 10.

Villanova’s streak of making at least one three-pointer is now up to 358 straight.

And that completes the weekend activity for the locals.

With no area games the next two days – the Guru is considering going to Connecticut Tuesday, weather conditions permitting, for Geno Auriemma’s shot at 900 win – the next post will turn to national affairs looking at the race for both overall coach of the year and the Maggie Dixon rookie Division I coach of the year, as well as notes off the update of the AP women’s poll database.

Before signing off, congratulations to Carol Kallan, who celebrated her 20th anniversary working at USA Basketball, mainly in the span as director of women’s basketball operations.

And with that, be back at worst in 24 hours but quicker on twitter and if news warrants so, back here also.

-- Mel

- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad


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