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.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Guru's PhilahoopsW Roundup: Delaware Wins While Princeton Drops Narrow Outcomes

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Information from other than Princeton and Delaware games compiled from team reports.

NEWARK, Del. And PRINCETON, N.J. -- Delaware narrowly avoided the Blue Hens’ first loss of the season while playing at home Saturday night and beating  St. Bonaventure 43-40 after earlier in the day Princeton just missed gaining its first win, falling at home in overtime to Dayton 62-56 in overtime before the Guru’s two PhilahoopsW teams face each other Tuesday night at Delaware in their long-running series.

Temple, meanwhile, narrowly missed making it a two-year home-and-home sweep of nationally ranked Florida, falling on the road Saturday afternoon 83-76 in Ocala, while up in Bethlehem Lehigh at home in the Stabler Arena handled Sacred Heart 68-62.

Down in Louisville, in a meeting of two Philadelphia-bred coaches, Jim Foster’s Chattanooga team easily beat Theresa Grentz’s Lafayette squad 68-43 in the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Women’s Basketball Challenge.

On Sunday Villanova  (1-1) will host George Washington at 1 p.m. At The Pavilion while Penn State at home welcomes No. 13 Tennessee, La Salle (0-3), looking for its first win, will host American at Tom Gola Arena. Rutgers (0-3), looking for its first win, visits Virginia on its third of a four-game road trip before visiting Princeton Friday afternoon.

Drexel (2-1), fresh off a tough loss at Vanderbilt, hosts No. 14-Syracuse, last season’s NCAA runnersup to Connecticut, Monday night at the Daskalakis Athletic Center, while Saint Joseph’s (0-3), looking for its first win of the season, travels to Penn (1-2) Tuesday night in the Hawks’ second and Quakers’ first Big Five tilt in the annual City round-robin.

The Guru was at both the Princeton and Delaware games, the reason for the double dateline at the top of this post.

In the Princeton game at Jadwin Gym, the Tigers, who have already fallen to Rider and George Washington, built an 11-point lead with 6 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter before the Flyers (2-1) began cutting into the advantage.

A 3-point barrage caused a 12-2 Dayton surge and by the time the quarter ended it had moved in front 43-41.

Dayton went up five late in the game in regulation, but Alarie Bella, an exciting 6-4 freshman guard-forward from Bethesda, Md., scored for the Tigers and Muhammad Jordan nailed a trey with 1:01 left in regulation before Dayton missed two chances to score and Princeton one to end the game tied in regulation 50-50.

In the five-minute overtime, Princeton drew first blood on a layup by Leslie Robinson, a 6-0 junior forward who is the daughter of former Tigers men’s star Craig Robinson and niece of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle, also a former Princeton student and currently until Jan. 20 first lady of the United States.

The two teams stayed close playing through the 12th tie of the game before Dayton completed a 7-0 run, all points gained at the foul line, to emerge with a 62-56 victory following Wednesday’s 83-64 win at Wisconsin.

This is Princeton’s worst start for the Tigers and Courtney Banghart since an 0-4 launch at the outset of 2007-08 season.

“This is a good experience we get with this young team, every minute we get,” said Banghart, who is completing a decade coaching the Tigers. “I’d rather have the schedule I have being 0-3 than playing easier teams.

“Defensively, we’re getting there, which is good, and than offensively it’s just the sign of a young team. We hit that three late, we win it. Bella hits that layup late, we win it. And so a young team gets a little tighter at the end.

“In the second half we battled back to take the lead and then they got a little nervous and we stood around a bit. It’s having a young team getting game confidence, so give them time.”

Bella had her first double double of her career with 11 points and rebounds while Sydney Jordan scored 10 points for Princeton and Robinson grabbed 11 rebounds.

Lauren Cannatelli had 13 points and a trio of critical treys for Dayton while Alex Harris and Jayla Scaife each scored 11 with Harris also grabbing 14 rebounds.

“I told our players, this is a program (Princeton), Courtney does an amazing job, to come in here and know they’re going to be prepared, they were going to be ready for us and they attacked us in a lot of areas, and it was our weaknesses,” said first year Dayton coach Shauna Green, a former assistant under Father Judge grad Joe McKeown at Northwestern.

“I don’t think we came out – we were dead, we didn’t have that life to us, but credit them. We found a way, even though it was ugly, we found a way to pull it out. We didn’t get any transition tonight. We didn’t play like we want to play.”

A year ago Princeton, more experienced and just short of another Ivy title, lost at Dayton by a similar narrow margin.

The Flyers on Tuesday travel to No. 3 Connecticut in Storrs where the host Huskies are likely to be up a notch in the rankings.

Meanwhile, down in Newark, both Delaware and Saint Bonaventure were as cold from the floor of the Bob Carpenter Center – the Blue Hens shot 23.6 percent from the field while the Bonnies (1-3) shot 30 percent.

  Delaware plodded to a 10-point lead – the Blue Hens had a 14-10 lead at the half – with five minutes left in the game in regulation when Mariah Ruff went on to hit a pair of critical 3-pointers for the Bonnies to a cap a rally, closing the deficit to one point at 41-40 with 55 seconds left,
Nicole Enabasi missed a jumper for Delaware with 25 seconds left and Ruff grabbed the rebound for the Bonnies. But Matea Britvar missed a potential game-winner inside with two seconds left, Enabasi grabbed the rebound, got fouled and went to the line to can two points fr the final 43-40 score.

“It’s a win,” said veteran coach Tina Martin. “I thought our defense was really good and it was a grinder. Like I said on the radio, we had some good looks, we didn’t make them, we’re relying a lot on freshmen and sophomores to score points.

“Tonight was one of those nights – we had some threes go in and out, we had some layups missed, we had a couple of things go off the rim – I don’t know, there was a lid on the basket for a while,” Martin continued.

“But our defense saved us and we continued to grind it and at the end of the game, we did exactly what we needed to do – we got them in foul trouble, we gout ourselves to the rim, we got ourselves to the foul line, we got some layups, we got a key 3-pointer, that was hit by Hannah Jardine, and that propelled us to the win.

“(St. Bonaventure) had some good looks and they didn’t make them either. Hopefully, the next day the ball will drop and we’ll knock down some of those good looks we had, and our defense will continue to stay solid.”

Enabosi had 11 points and 13 rebounds while Erika Brown scored 12.

Ruff was the only Bonnies player in double figures with 11 points and Gabby Richmond grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Bonnies, who compete in the Atlantic 10, as does Dayton, next plays Austin Peay in the UCF Thanksgiving Classic Saturday and hot Rider next Sunday.


Florida 83, Temple 76 – An 18-2 run at the outset of the fourth quarter on the campus of the College of Central Florida carried the 19th-ranked Gators over the Owls (2-1), who had a seven-point lead before the Florida surge.

Feyonda Fitzgerald had 19 points and nine assists to lead four Temple players in double figures, while Donnaizha Fountain had 15 points, Tanaya Atkinson had 14 points, 13 rebounds, and four steals, and Khadijah Berger had 12 points, all in the first half,  and Alliyah Butts scored 11.

Eleanna Christinaki had 21 points for Florida (3-0).

Temple is off until hosting Quinnipiac next Sunday in McGonigle Hall.


Lehigh 68, Sacred Heart 62 – Freshman Gena Grundhoffer picked up her first double double for the Mountain Hawks (3-1), scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in Bethlehem, Pa.

Cameryn Benz, another Lehigh freshman, scored 10 points, shooting 4-for-9 from the field.

Katherine Haines had a game-high 20 points for Sacred Heart (1-2).

 “It was another game that was a really strong team win,” head coach Sue Troyan said. “A lot of different kids stepped up in different areas and gave us strong performances. I thought Gena Grundhoffer played really well on the offensive end. She scored the ball, and was really aggressive around the basket.”


Chattanooga 68, Lafayette 43 – The Lady Mocs (2-2), who beat Rutgers in the season opener on the road, took control in the second half in the game played at the. Yum Center in Louisville, where the Leopards (1-3), who dropped their third straight, play the host Colonels on Sunday, and Bowling Green, Monday.

Anna Patasinki had 19 points for Lafayette, whose coach Theresa Grentz starred at Immaculata and had Chattanooga’s Jim Foster on her USA. Olympic staff at Barcelona in 1992.

Both Grentz and Foster coached at Saint Joseph’s and she also coached at Rutgers and Illinois while he coached at Vanderbilt and Ohio State.


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