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.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Guru's College Report: Saint Joseph's and Rutgers Advance While La Salle Falls

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

After looking like a vintage Saint Joseph’s team dispatching 10th-seeded George Mason 71-43 Thursday afternoon, the seventh-seeded Hawks will head into Friday’s quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. in the Atlantic 10 tournament at the Richmond Coliseum in Virginia against a second-seeded Dayton team (23-5) with which the two are familiar foes in this postseason event.

Two years ago in the comfort of home at Hagan Arena Saint Joseph’s upset the tourney favorite in the semifinals and a week later traveled up to Brooklyn and edged local upstart Fordham to end an NCAA drought that existed more than a decade.

The Hawks were two of three of the Guru’s local Division I PhilahoopsW group that played Thursday and survived.

The other survivor was No. 23 Rutgers, the fifth seed which for the second time within a week conquered 12th-seeded Indiana, this time 63-52, to move to Friday’s Big Ten quarterfinals against 24th-ranked Northwestern, the fourth-seed which the Scarlet Knights lost to eight days ago in suburban Chicago as the end of the regular season approached.

Meanwhile Saint Joseph’s sister Big Five team La Salle fell short to sixth seeded Rhode Island 65-6t0 and with a losing 15-16 record the 11th-seeded Explorers are precluded from any discussion about being examined by the WNIT folks.

Saint Joseph’s (13-16), with plenty of WNIT participation in the past, can’t get there either since it is too late to get to .500 without winning the A-10 tourney so the Hawks are about to launch a short or long all-or-nothing string in which another A-10 title Sunday will lead to daylight or a setback will cause many Hawks’ next appearances to be back in the Philly summer league in which all of them excelled.

One exception to this fate might be senior Natasha Cloud, who has been observed by several WNBA coaches during her final collegiate season.

The Hawks had total control Thursday over the Patriots, whom were held to their lowest output of the season. Saint Joseph’s also dominated the inside 36-14 and got 16 points out of forcing 15 George Mason turnovers.

Cloud and Ciara Andrews each scored 14 points for the Hawks and Cloud also dealt seven assists.

In a rare start freshman Chelsea Woods had a game-high 12 rebounds to go with her 12 points for a double double.

Saint Joseph’s managed to keep the Patriots (13-17) and A-10 scoring leader Taylor Brown well below her 21.8 points per game average at 11 points.

It’s the second straight season the Hawks ejected George Mason, who moved over from the Colonial Athletics Association last winter.

In the La Salle game, Micahya Owens had another big night for the Explorers with 19 points and six rebounds. Jasmine Alston scored 11 points and tied a game-high with eight rebounds. Siobhan Beslow also scored in double figures with 10 points.

Charise Wilson, the A-10 rookie of the year and key reason for Rhode Island’s revival, had a game-high 23 points as the Rams move to a quarterfinal Friday against third-seeded Duquesne (20-9), which along with top-seeded George Washington (26-3), Dayton, and fourth-seeded Fordham (19-10) all had double byes into the quarterfinals.

The Explorers were ahead 58-57 with 47 seconds left in regulation when Tayra Melendex’s three-pointer gave the advantage back to the Rams, who then hit 5-of-6 free throws to emerge triumphantly.

Rhode Island (17-12), which split Duquesne during the season, had a first-round bye and the win was the Rams’ first in the tourney in six years since they upset GW in the opening round of the 2009 tourney.

Because of the snow the A-10 announced a promotion Friday offering free admission to the games.

In other Thursday action in the tournament, fifth-seeded Richmond (18-12), playing in its home city, edged 13th-seeded Massachusetts 67-63 to meet Fordham at 2 p.m. Friday. The Minutewomen finished their season at 12-18).

Lauren Tolson had 22 points for the Spiders, who also got 18 from Janelle Hubbard and 12 from South Jersey’s Genevieve Okoro, who also grabbed nine rebounds.

In the other Thursday game, ninth-seeded Saint Louis (15-15), another team that has struggled in the league in the past, dispatched the city of Richmond’s other local team VCU 65-58 to advance against GW. VCU, the eighth seed, finished 16-15.

Rutgers Handles Hoosiers Again

Kahleah Copper scored 16 points, Tyler Scaife scored 14, and it was double double time again for senior Betnijah Laney, No. 19 for the senior star with 12 points and 15 rebounds, as the Scarlet Knights (22-8) now wade into deeper waters trying to improve their NCAA positioning when the tournament field and draw is announced a week from Monday on ESPN-TV.

A year ago, getting into the Big Dance was the problem, but Rutgers made the best of its omission by winning the WNIT, the other major postseason tourney that the Scarlet Knights spurned in the past.

This time they have the profile for selection but to gain one of the coveted top 16 seeds with the perk of as many as two early home games, they must reverse their last outcome to Northwestern and then assuming top-seeded Maryland will be waiting they will need to shock the Terps to get to the conference title game at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Ill., to heighten their NCAA placement prospects.

Meanwhile, on the floor against the Hoosiers (15-16), who got as game-high 19 points from Tyra Butts, Rutgers was in control most of the day.

Elsewhere in Friday’s round in the Big 10 tourney, seventh-seeded Nebraska (21-9)topped 10th-seeded Illinois 86-71 as the winning Cornhuskers’ freshman Natalie Romeo tied a school record with seven three pointers on the way to a career-high 26 points.

The Illini finished at 15-16 on the season.

Nebraska will meet 14th-ranked and second-seeded Iowa in Friday’s quarterfinal round.

Meanwhile sixth-seeded Minnesota escaped an upset from Purdue, the bottom seed at 14, by emerging with an 82-78 win.

The Gophers (23-8) rode the hot hand of Shae Kelly’s 26 points to victory over the Boilermakers (11-20), which gives Minnesota its most wins since the 2004-05 season.

Next up in the quarterfinals for the second straight season, is a match with third-seeded Ohio State.

Meanwhile, in the battle of state teams, ninth-seeded Michigan State topped 8th-seeded Michigan 69-49 and heads to the other quarterfinal, facing fourth-ranked Maryland, which went unbeaten in its first year in the conference.

Rutgers is also in its first year in the league.

Maryland is looking to claim the title and thus perhaps land one of the four No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament for the effort a year after coming through as an under seed and getting to the national finals in Nashville.

Ariel Powers set a tournament record for the Spartans with 15 rebounds to go with her 16 points.

The Gophers have never lost to the Wolverines in five meetings in the tourney between the state schools. Both teams are at 16-14.

Conference Tourney Scores

Here is the daily rundown from the AP of all conferences with pairings set and games to come along with results of tourneys that have gotten under way.


Conferences at a Glance

All Times Eastern

America East Conference
At The Events Center
Binghamton, N.Y.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Maine vs. Binghamton, Noon
New Hampshire vs. Hartford, 2:30 p.m.
Albany vs. Vermont, 6 p.m.
Stony Brook vs. UMBC, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Maine-Binghamton winner vs. New Hampshire-Hartford winner, 2 p.m.
Albany-Vermont winner vs. Stony Brook-UMBC winner, 4:30 p.m.
Championship
At Higher-Seeded Team
Friday, March 13
Semifinal winners, 4:30 p.m.

American Athletic Conference
At Mohegan Sun Arena
Uncasville, Conn.
First Round
Friday, March 6
UCF vs. Cincinnati, 4 p.m.
Memphis vs. SMU, 6 p.m.
Tulane vs. Houston, 8 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Temple vs. East Carolina, Noon
UConn vs. UCF-Cincinnati winner, 2 p.m.
South Florida vs. Memphis-SMU winner, 6 p.m.
Tulsa vs. Tulane-Houston winner, 8 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Temple-East Carolina winner vs. UConn_UCF-Cincinnati winner, 5:30 p.m.
South Florida_Memphis-SMU winner vs. Tulsa_Tulane-Houston winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Atlantic Coast Conference
At Greensboro Coliseum
Greensboro, N.C.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Wake Forest 69, Boston College 53
Virginia Tech 58, N.C. State 56
Georgia Tech 80, Clemson 53
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Wake Forest 85, Syracuse 79
Miami 62, Virginia 52
Virginia Tech 51, Pittsburgh 45
North Carolina 84, Georgia Tech 64
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Duke vs. Wake Forest, 11 a.m.
Notre Dame vs. Miami, 2 p.m.
Florida State vs. Virginia Tech, 6 p.m.
Louisville vs. North Carolina, 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Duke-Wake Forest winner vs. Notre Dame-Miami winner, Noon
Florida State-Virginia Tech winner vs. Louisville-North Carolina winner, 2:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Atlantic Sun Conference
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Friday, March 6
North Florida at Florida Gulf Coast, 7 p.m.
Lipscomb at Stetson, 7 p.m.
South Carolina-Upstate at Northern Kentucky, 7 p.m.
Kennesaw State at Jacksonville, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Florida Gulf Coast-North Florida winner vs. Kennesaw State-Jacksonville winner, 7 p.m.
Stetson-Lipscomb winner vs. South Carolina-Upstate-Northern Kentucky winner, 7 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.

Atlantic 10 Conference
At Richmond Coliseum
Richmond, Va.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UMass 55, St. Bonaventure 49
La Salle 74, Davidson 63
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Saint Louis 65, VCU 58
Richmond 67, UMass 63
Saint Joseph's 71, George Mason 43
Rhode Island 65, La Salle 60
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
George Washington vs. Saint Louis, 11 a.m.
Fordham vs. Richmond, 2 p.m.
Dayton vs. Saint Joseph's, 4:30 p.m.
Duquesne vs. Rhode Island, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
George Washington-Saint Louis winner vs. Fordham-Richmond winner, 11 a.m.
Dayton-Saint Joseph's winner vs. Duquesne-Rhode Island winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Big East Conference
At Allstate Arena
Rosemont, Ill.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
Marquette vs. Providence, 3 p.m.
Xavier vs. Georgetown, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Sunday, March 8
Seton Hall vs. Marquette-Providence winner, 1 p.m.
St. John's vs. Creighton, 3:30 p.m.
DePaul vs. Xavier-Georgetown winner, 7 p.m.
Villanova vs. Butler, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Seton Hall_Marquette-Providence winner vs. St. John's-Creighton wnner, 6:30 p.m.
DePaul_Xavier-Georgetown winner vs. Villanova-Butler winner, 9 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 8 p.m.

Big South Conference
At The HTC Center
Conway, S.C.
First Round
Tuesday, March 3
Gardner-Webb 63, Longwood 55
Presbyterian 47, Charleston Southern 39
UNC Asheville 68, Coastal Carolina 54
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
Liberty 59, UNC Asheville 51
Campbell 65, Winthrop 52
Gardner-Webb 70, Radford 56
High Point 75, Presbyterian 62
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Liberty vs. Campbell, 6 p.m.
Gardner-Webb vs. High Point, 8:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 5 p.m.

Big Ten Conference
At Sears Centre Arena
Hoffman Estates, Ill.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Indiana 68, Penn State 63
Purdue 58, Wisconsin 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Michigan State 69, Michigan 49
Rutgers 63, Indiana 52
Nebraska 86, Illinois 71
Minnesota 82, Purdue 78
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Maryland vs. Michigan State, 12:30 p.m.
Northwestern vs. Rutgers, 2:55 p.m.
Iowa vs. Nebraska, 7 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Minnesota, 9:25 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Maryland-Michigan State winner vs. Northwestern-Rutgers winner, 7 p.m.
Iowa-Nebraska winner vs. Ohio State-Minnesota winner, 9:25 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 7 p.m.

Big 12 Conference
At American Airlines Center
Dallas
First Round
Friday, March 6
Kansas State vs. Kansas, 7 p.m.
West Virginia vs. Texas Tech, 9:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Saturday, March 7
Oklahoma State vs. Iowa State, Noon
Baylor vs. Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma vs. West Virginia-Texas Tech winner, 7 p.m.
TCU vs. Texas, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Oklahoma State-Iowa State winner vs. Baylor_Kansas State-Kansas winner, 2:30 p.m.
Oklahoma_West Virginia-Texas Tech winner vs. TCU-Texas winner, 5 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Colonial Athletic Association
At The Show Place Arena
Upper Marlboro, Md.
First Round
Thursday, March 12
Towson vs. College of Charleston, Noon
Delaware vs. Northeastern, 2:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 13
James Madison vs. Towson-College of Charleston winner, Noon
Elon vs. UNC Wilmington, 2:30 p.m.
Drexel vs. Delaware-Northeastern winner, 5 p.m.
Hofstra vs. William & Mary, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 14
James Madison_Towson-College of Charleston winner vs. Elon-UNC Wilmington winner, 1 p.m.
Drexel_Delaware-Northeastern winner vs. Hofstra-William & Mary winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
At Times Union Center
Albany, N.Y.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Monmouth 68, Canisius 56
Saint Peter's 62, Rider 54
Niagara 57, Manhattan 51
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Quinnipiac vs. Monmouth, Noon
Iona vs. Siena, 2:30 p.m.
Marist vs. Saint Peter's, 7 p.m.
Fairfield vs. Niagara, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Sunday, March 8
Quinnipiac-Monmouth winner vs. Iona-Siena winner, 11 a.m.
Marist-Saint Peter's winner vs. Fairfield-Niagara winner, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Monday, March 9
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Northeast Conference
First Round
Sunday, March 8
LIU Brooklyn at CCSU, 2 p.m.
Mount St. Mary's at Bryant, 1 p.m.
Fairleigh Dickinson at Robert Morris, 1 p.m.
St. Francis (N.Y.) at Sacred Heart, 1 p.m.
Semifinals
Wednesday, March 11
Lowest-remaining seed at highest-remaining seed, 7 p.m.
Third-remaining seed at second-remaining seed, 7 p.m.<
Championship
Sunday, March 15
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Ohio Valley Conference
At Municipal Auditorium
Nashville, Tenn.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
UT Martin 68, Eastern Illinois 35
SIU Edwardsville 72, Austin Peay 69
Thursday, March 5
Belmont 55, Jacksonville State 45
Tennessee State 81, Morehead State 66
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
UT Martin vs. Belmont, 1 p.m.
SIU Edwardsville vs. Tennessee State, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Saturday, March 7
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

Pacific-12 Conference
At KeyArena
Seattle
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Washington State 66, Oregon 64
UCLA 80, Arizona 62
Colorado 75, Southern Cal 63
Washington 75, Utah 64
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Arizona State vs. Washington State, 2:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. UCLA, 5 p.m.
Oregon State vs. Colorado, 9 p.m.
California vs. Washington, 11:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
Arizona State-Washington State winner vs. Stanford-UCLA winner, 9 p.m.
Oregon State-Colorado winner vs. California-Washington winner, 11:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 9 p.m.

Patriot League
At Higher-Seeded Teams
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Lafayette 58, Loyola (Md.) 46
Colgate 58, Boston University 48
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
Lehigh at Holy Cross, 6 p.m.
Lafayette at American, 7 p.m.
Colgate at Army, 7 p.m.
Navy at Bucknell, 7 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
American_Lafayette winner vs. Bucknell-Navy winner, TBA
Army_Colgate winner vs. Holy Cross-Lehigh winner, TBA
Championship
Saturday, March 14
Semifinal winners, 6 p.m.

Southeastern Conference
At Verizon Arena
Little Rock, Ark.
First Round
Wednesday, March 4
Auburn 71, Florida 49
Vanderbilt 66, Alabama 56
Second Round
Thursday, March 5
Arkansas 72, Mississippi 61
Texas A&M 57, Auburn 47
Georgia 75, Missouri 64
Kentucky 67, Vanderbilt 61
Quarterfinals
Friday, March 6
South Carolina vs. Arkansas, 1 p.m.
LSU vs. Texas A&M, 3:30 p.m.
Tennessee vs. Georgia, 7 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky, 9:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Saturday, March 7
South Carolina-Arkansas winner vs. LSU-Texas A&M winner, 5 p.m.
Tennessee-Georgia winner vs. Mississippi State-Kentucky winner, 7:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 3:30 p.m.

Southern Conference
At Kimmel Arena
Asheville, N.C.
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Chattanooga 78, UNC Greensboro 44
Furman 65, Samford 54
ETSU 73, Western Carolina 53
Mercer 75, Wofford 54
At U.S. Cellular Center
Asheville, N.C.
Semifinals
Friday, March 6
Chattanooga vs. Furman, 11 a.m.
ETSU vs. Mercer, 1:30 p.m.
Championship
Sunday, March 8
Semifinal winners, 1 p.m.

Summit League
At Denny Sanford PREMIER Center
Sioux Falls, S.D.
First Round
Saturday, March 7
South Dakota vs. IPFW, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State vs. Denver, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 8
Western Illinois vs. IUPUI, 1 p.m.
Oral Roberts vs. North Dakota State, 3:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
South Dakota-IPFW winner vs. Western Illinois-IUPUI, 1 p.m.
South Dakota State-Denver winner vs. Oral Roberts-North Dakota State winner, 3:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2 p.m.

West Coast Conference
At Orleans Arena
Las Vegas
First Round
Thursday, March 5
Loyola Marymount 68, Pepperdine 67
Santa Clara 66, Portland 58
Quarterfinals
Thursday, March 5
San Francisco 74, Pacific 64
BYU 65, Saint Mary's 64
Friday, March 6
Gonzaga vs. Loyola Marymount, 3 p.m.
San Diego vs. Santa Clara, 5:30 p.m.
Semifinals
Monday, March 9
Gonzaga-Loyola Marymount winner vs. BYU, 3 p.m.
San Diego-Santa Clara winner vs. San Francisco, 5:30 p.m.
Championship
Tuesday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 4 p.m.








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