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.
By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru
Information to write the roundup was collected from team email and website reports.
Would you believe that Saint Joseph’s and Princeton are 0-2?
That can happen when you lose key players to graduation or transfers or injury and your programs have coaches that don’t shy away from playing challenging schedules right from the first tip of the season.
Of course it’s not helpful if you lose to teams against whom you are the favorite in some games in the first weekend. That’s what happened Friday night at home to Princeton, losing to neighborhood rival Rider before heading to George Washington, Sunday, where the Tigers suffered their second loss 56-45 at the Smith Center in the nation’s capital.
And it happened Sunday at home to Saint Joseph’s, squandering a 15-point lead to Patriot League favorite Bucknell and falling at the finish 64-61 in Hagan Arena after being routed Friday night at home by Temple in a both a Big Five and season opener for both teams.
But the news was good elsewhere among the Guru’s PhilahoopsW collection, Drexel came out of the weekend 2-0, not letting up from Friday’s big home win over Penn State by returning to the Daskalakis Athletic Center and beating Delaware State 69-44.
Penn State shook off the loss at Drexel to rout Saint Peter’s 106-50 at the Bryce Jordan Center at home in University Park to record the Lady Lions’ 900th victory in program history.
Delaware in both its season and home opener in the Bob Carpenter Center used a big fourth quarter and second half overall to grab a 67-51 victory over George Mason, a former Colonial Athletic Association rival now competing in the Atlantic 10.
The Guru, down on Tobacco Road for Sunday’s Penn-Duke game – a separate post is listed above this one – didn’t write up the one local D-1 team in action Saturday night, which was Villanova. The Wildcats recovered from Friday’s thrashing by 10th-ranked Mississippi State in the start of Maine’s tournament up north in Orono, but bounced back to beat Purdue in the third-place game.
And some notable things happened nationally, too, with rookie coaches getting their first wins.
So let’s look at it all one game at a time:
Drexel 69, Delaware State 44 – The Dragons are 2-0 for the first time since 2010-11 when they roared to a 5-0 start. This time it was Sarah Curran taking a turn as high scorer for Drexel (2-0) with 18 points but the Dragons also got 10 points each from newcomer Bailey Greenberg and Jessica Pellechio, the scoring bomber Friday night, while Greenberg also grabbed seven rebounds and Pellechio grabbed eight in the balanced attack.
Drexel was a defensive force, making the Hornets (0-2) commit 21 turnovers.
More Dragons newcomers got to see some action Sunday as Niki Metzel scored six points in nine minutes and Ana Ferariu in eight minutes made her one attempt successful in nailing a 3-pointer.
Drexel on Wednesday heads to Nashville to visit Vanderbilt, now coached by former WNBA Indiana Fever coach Stephanie White, who came out of her first competitive weekend with the Commodores at 1-1.
Delaware 67, George Mason 51 – Down a point at the half to the Patriots (1-1), the Blue Hens rallied with a 41-24 attack over the final two quarters with a balanced effort as Sade` Chatman, a junior forward, had 15 points, shooting 7-for-14 from the field, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing seven assists.
Sophomore forward Nicole Enabosi also scored 15 points while junior forward Makeda Nicholas and freshman Bailey Kargo each scored 10.
The Blue Hens outside attack featured a 4-of-6 effort on 3-point attempts.
“We made adjustments at the half and did a better job on defense,” said veteran coach TinaMartin, who began her 21st season at Delaware and now is just seven short of gaining her 400th victory.
The Blue Hens visit American University Wednesday in Washington and then return home Saturday to host St. Bonaventure.
Penn State 106, Saint Peter’s 50 – Maybe if Saint Peter’s coach Pat Coyle was still playing with her twin sister Mary for Rutgers like the duo did back in the old days of the Atlantic 10 wars with Penn State, the Lady Lions would still be a game short of a significant milestone.
But Coyle can’t stop the Lady Lions from the sidelines so Penn State rode the rout on both a bounce back from Friday’s upset loss at Drexel and its 900th win – the 16th such women’s achievement in NCAA history, which came at the home opener at Bryce Jordan Center.
Coach Coquese Washington now has a decade worth of wins without a loss at 10-0 in her ten seasons in Happy Valley.
It’s the first time in four season that PSU has reached over a century number on the final score.
Junior Lindsay Spann had a career-high 31 points while senior Kaliyah Mitchell had 11 points to bring her career total to 707, clearing 700, while she dealt a pair of assists to clear 100 and land at 101.
Sophomore Teniya Page has 19 points, including her 500th, while Peyton Whitted scored 12 points and Sierra Moore scored 10 pints. Amari Carter dealt a career-high nine assists.
Penn State will stay right at home for Wednesday’s visit from Akron before hosting Tennessee next Sunday.
Bucknell 64, Saint Joseph’s 61 – The Hawks (0-2) seemed on the way to recovery from Friday’s Temple thrashing when they built a 15-point lead against the Bisons in the first half.
But Bucknell (2-0) rallied to stay unbeaten after sliding by Saint Joseph’s in the final minutes as Claire DeBoer, Sune Swart and Ky English went a nearly perfect 5-for-6 from the line in the final 1:23 to gain a 62-59 lead before Chelsea Wood scored with six seconds to go to cut it to one point.
That was the last stand as Kaitlin Slaugus padded the lead with two foul shots for the visitors and a three-pointer from the Hawks’ side failed to rescue the Hawks.
If you want to find culprits in terms of statistical numbers for Saint Joseph’s setback, the Hawks shot 35.9 percent from the field and were outrebounded 49-27.
Junior Adashia Franklyn keeps getting better and had a career-high 18 points go to waste, which also occurred to her seven rebounds, while Chelsea Woods had 15 points and a career-high six steals, and Alyssa Monaghan had 12 and Jaryn Garner scored 10 points.
Swart had a monster game for Bucknell, scoring 25 points while the Bisons as a team were 16-for-21 from the foul line.
Saint Joseph’s next heads to MAAC power Iona on Wednesday, and then to Penn a week from Tuesday on Nov. 22.
George Washington 56, Princeton 45 – The Tigers (0-2) were unable to shake off Friday’s home loss to neighborhood rival Rider but the Colonials, who also had a hometown encounter the same night losing to Georgetown, shook over theirs to give new coach Jen Rizzotti her first GWU (1-1) win after her previous at Hartford.
“It wasn’t super pretty,” said Rizzotti, a former University of Connecticut star, “but we did a nice job adjusting to the style of th game.
“We anticipated (Princeton) would play a lot of zone but it is always different when you see it for the first time and I thought our team adjusted, made a lot of great passes and got some really good looks at the basket so it was nice to see those shots go down later in the game.”
The Colonials were able to build a 17-point game before the differential reduced to 11 in the final score.
Princeton’s Jordan Muhammad had a career high 12 points while Leslie Robinson had a career high eight rebounds. Freshman Bella Alarie had eight points and five rebounds after being the Tigers’ top player Friday night against Rider.
Hannah Schaible and Kelli Prange each scored 11 for the visitors and Schaible also grabbed nine rebounds.
Nationally Noted: A first-ever victory as a head coach was grabbed by Megan Griffith, a native of Havertown, Pa., in the western suburbs of Philsfdelphia. The new Columbia coach saw her Lions in Richmond take the Spiders 65-58 in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
Former James Madison assistant Sean O’Regan got his first victory as head coach of the Duchesses, an 83-57 win over Saint Francis of Brooklyn, as the squad shook off a tough home loss against Tennessee Friday night.
Precious Hall owned the baskets again, this time scoring 24 points, to make it 63 in the two combined games offered by Hall for JMU.
Former George Washington coach Jonathan Tsipis had another tough outing at his new haunts at Wisconsin as the Badgers (0-2) got 31 points from junior Cayla McMorris and 100 points overall as a team but dropped their home opener 103-100 to St. Francis, Pa., at the Kohl Center Sunday night in Madison.
Looking Ahead: Temple makes its Home opener Monday night, 5 p.m. In McGonigle Hall as the Owls look to go both 2-0 on the season and in the Big Five against La Salle. .. Up the road Rider, off its upset of Princeton, will be looking to go 2-0 in its first home game, which will face Lafayette, also looking to go 2-0 after beating La Salle, Friday night in the Explorers’ home opener. Rutgers will try to shake off Friday’s home loss to Chattanooga, visiting Elon in North Carolina. The home team was picked second in the CAA ahead of Drexel.
Three national clashes highlight Monday as four-time defending NCAA champion Connecticut visits nationally-ranked Florida State before returning home to meet No. 2 Baylor on Thursday night in Storrs, Conn.
Texas visits Stanford while South Carolina, ranked fourth, visits Ohio State.
And that’s the report.