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.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Guru's Roundup: Penn, Drexel and Villanova Close to Clinching WNIT Berths

(Guru’s note: A separate on Princeton is posted above this)

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

The postseason, most likely in the WNIT, got rosier for Penn, Drexel and Villanova Friday night in which the trio joined Ivy front-runner Princeton in a four-team sweep by the local Division I Guru’s PhilahoopsW teams that saw action.

Penn and Princeton have no conference tournament playing in the Ivy League, so everything is here and now for the southern duo portion of the Ancient Eight.

The Quakers couldn’t close the two-game gap behind the Tigers Friday night in their 75-58 win against Brown at home in the Palestra but the Penn triumph widened its gap to three games in second place over Cornell and Yale, which at the finish of the league race would be good enough to land the automatic qualifier to the WNIT.

Penn can eliminate Yale, personally, with a senior night win over the Bulldogs Saturday in the Palestra (7 p.m.) while either a Dartmouth win over Cornell Saturday or a win at Cornell next weekend by the Quakers would do the trick, though a few other scenarios also exist.

Even a slip to third, however, would see the Quakers taken as an at-large team.

Drexel clinched a seed of no worse than third in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament in two weeks at the Showplace Arena in Upper Marlboro, Md., by edging Elon, a conference newcomer,54-50, at home Friday night.

Second would land the CAA automatic qualifier for the Dragons to the WNIT but Drexel is likely to also at worst get an at-large bid to the WNIT it won two seasons ago and Rutgers won last season.

Villanova held fourth in the Big East with a 71-62 win at home in the Pavilion in a nationally televised game against Providence to avenge a tough loss to the Friars earlier at Providence bust Sunday against Creighton at 3 p.m. at home for Senior Day could produce a result that would make the Wildcats part of a wild gridlock.

The Big East tournament opens again as last year in the middle of next week in suburban Chicago at the Allstate Arena in suburban Rosemont near O’Hare airport.

Penn Keeps Rolling

Looking to be the best Ivy team not named Princeton and one of the best of the 10-team local D-1 PhilahoopsW squads, Penn helped itself and got help to stay in second place three games ahead of Cornell and Yale and two behind the front-running Tigers by beating the Bears.

Harvard’s win over Cornell at home and Princeton’s win over Yale helped Penn out besides the Quakers handling the Bears of Brown to add to the equation.

Penn can end Yale’s bid Saturday night with a win at a game in which seniors Kara Bonenberger, Katy Allen, Renee Busch, and Kathleen Roche, whose winningest class in history has now produced70 triumphs, will be honored.

They already have an Ivy title and piece of the Big 5 crown in their collection.

As for the win over Brown (10-15, 4-7), Sydney Stipanovich had 18 points and 10 rebounds while rookie Michelle Nwokedi had 15 points and nine rebounds and blocked four shots to run her season total to 52.

The only other two players to block 50 or more shots at Penn in a season were Stipanovich and Katarina Paulson who have each gone over 50 blocked shots twice.

Roche had `14 points and became the ninth Pernn player to score more than 50 threes in a season and Bonenberger scored 10 points.

Freshman Anna Ross tied a career high with eight assists.

Drexel On the Move

Once again the Dragons did not let a close score affect them as they handled Delaware on Sunday after yielding a 12-point lead.

Sarah Curran had a game-high 17 points, including 13 in the second half. Rachel Pearson scored 12 points and Florence Ouattara scored 10 points.

The win by the Dragons (18-9, 12-4 CAA), kept Drexel in second a game in front of Hofstra, who play Elon Sunday. The can’t drop to worse than third after increasing their lead over fourth place Elon (16-11, 9-7) to three games.

Towson visits for a televised game at 3 p.m. on senior day Sunday and Drexel finishes up Wednesday at Northeastern. Jackie Schluth and Jamillia Thompson will be honored.

Temple, in a key game at home in McGonigle Hall at 2 p.m. Saturday (today) is the only other PhilahoopsW team in action, playing East Carolina in a key American gsame with Third place still up for grabs among four teams.

Senior Tyonna Williams will be honored.

Coyer’s Explosion Carries Villanova over Providence

Caroline Coyer, a contender for local player of the year, tied a career high with 28 points as Villanova (17-12, 11-6 Big East) topped Providence 71-62 at home at the Pavilion. She shot 8-for-17 from the field and connected on 6-of-11 three point attempts, also tying a career high, and she also made all six foul shots.

Providence (5-23, 2-15) made several attempts to take the game over but the Friars were not nearly as successful as they were in December when Villanova visited the Friars in Rhode Island still depleted with injuries.

Emily Leer, one of the seniors to be honored Sunday, scored 12 points for the Wildcats while Samantha Wilkes had a season-high nine points.

Taylor Holeman, Kate Brunori, and Lauren Burford are also departing seniors.

Creighton, which joined the Big East last season, is the final visitor at home, though Villanova is likely to return to host a WNIKT game, though the Wildcats can’t be counted out of the hunt for the Big East title.

-- Mel












- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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