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, December 11, 2016

Guru Report: Army Defense Stops Delaware

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

NEWARK, Del. – After four years of precision firepower from long range in the person of sharpshooter Kelsey Minato, these days Army’s women’s basketball squad is resorting to more of tis defensive pressure  to bring down opponents.

That's what Delaware learned at home Sunday afternoon in the Blue Hens’ first-ever meeting with Army, which triumphed 61-47 in the non-conference matchup here at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Sophomore forward Madison Hovren had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Black Knights (8-2), the reigning Patriot League champions, who also gained an NCAA tournament access with another conference crown in 2014.

Destinee Morris had 11 points while junior Aliyah Murray from Delran High in Delran, N.J., had 11 rebounds and also grabbed three steals.

“She’s a neighbor of (Penn coach) Mike McLaughlin,” said Army coach Dave Magarity, who had his own area homecoming along with several other of his players. “He put me on to her.”

Margaret Anne Hubbell, a junior forward, is from Doylestown, Pa., and Germantown Academy, while freshman Libby Tacka is from Blue Bell, Pa., and Mount Saint Joseph’s Academy.

The game here, contrary to assumption, was not a stop on the way home for the Army women from Baltimore and Saturday’s Army-Navy football game.

"We didn’t see the game,” Magarity said. “We just flew in from Minnesota where we had a rough time,” Magarity explained of a 70-52 loss to the Big Ten school. “We didn’t shoot the ball well so we couldn’t get into our pressure, which we live off of.”

Delaware (6-4) opened with an 8-2 lead that was still at six points at 13-7 with 5 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter before Army rallied and launched a 16-0 run to the end of the period and never trailed again.

“We’re not very big,” said Magarity, a native Philadelphian. “We don’t have a very strong inside presence.  I’ll tell you what we don’t have – we don’t have Kelsey Monato.

“The kid Hovren has been pretty consistent for us, but she needs to  understand, she’s a 5-11 power forward, and she doesn’t use good judgment sometimes. If she can incorporate like a counter move and a ball fake and whatever she can be unbelievably tough.

“But she jumps in the air, she’s got an incredible touch and she’s a real throwback. Every shot is off the glass. Everything’s off the glass but her shot sometimes – her angle against size – she struggled against Minnesota, but she had 17 rebounds and 17 points,” he continued.

“We had 37 rebounds but we shot 19 percent for the game. Teams like this will really bother us because if they get us in a half-court game – I felt we got (Delaware) playing a little bit out of their comfort zone today.”

Delaware committed a season-high 20 turnovers, allowing Army a 21-12 advantage in points off turnovers.

Nicole Ebosi had a double double for Delaware with 11 points and 13 rebounds while Sade Chatman had 14 points.

“They press pretty well,” Delaware coach Tina Martin said of the Army defense. “What are they now, 8-2? They have a lot of strong veteran players. They’ve got some juniors and seniors that do a great job of leadership and they just come at you very hard and you have to take care of the ball.

“We’re playing some younger guards and we panicked today. We threw the ball around instead of bringing the ball up a couple of times – we weren’t even trapped and we’re throwing the ball up because we’re panicking – that’s maturity, that’s experience. We’re lacking some of that in this situation. This is the most pressure we’ve had,” she continued.

“We have to get better. We have to get better at handling the pressure and keeping our guards keep our composure. Give it to Army. They played very well. They’ve obviously played a tough schedule as well. And they’re an NCAA team. Period. That’s who they are. You can’t give a ball away against an NCAA team 20 times and expect to win. You just can’t.”

Delaware is off until Hartford visits Dec. 21 and then it’s on to the league schedule in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Martin will be going for career win No. 399.    


Rider Stops Towson to Continue Win Streak

Robin Perkins followed up her performance against Lehigh Thursday with a game-high 23 points for the Willingboro, N.J., native, while Kamila Hoskova of the Czech Republic of the Czech Republic scored 21 to give the Broncos a 79-75 win at Towson in Maryland and run their current win streak to four straight and an overall 7-2 record.

Towson (-4), in the non-conference game, got 22 points from Sianni Martin.

Rider led by as many as 21 points before the Tigers began to rally.

It was another strong start for the Broncs, moving from a 4-2 deficit to a 14-0 run and 19 of the final 21 points of the period.

The visitors made 6 of 8 of their free throw attempts in the final minute to seal the win.

Rider stays on the road one more time, traveling to Seton Hall at the end of the week on Sunday where the game at Walsh Gym in South Orange, N.J., will tip at noon.


Other Locals:  Lafayette and Lehigh Drop Road Tilts

Timeout: Before posting, just learned Drexel hosting Niagara Tuesday is at 5 p.m. Which allows you to get over to Saint Joseph’s for the Hawks game which starts at 7 p.m. hosting NJIT.

Now back to the roundup.

Lafayette fell at Duquesne 67-52 in Pittsburgh to extend the current losing streak of the Leopards (1-10) to 10 straight after taking the season opener on the road at La Salle.

Amadea Szamosi and Chassidy Omogrosso each got 15 points for Duquesne (5-6) and Szamosi grabbed 10 rebounds while Sammy Stipa had 13 for Lafayette, which next hosts Drexel on Dec. 21 in Easton, Pa.

Lehigh, meanwhile, fell at California 96-63 in Berkeley though Quincy Mann had somewhat of an enjoyable homecoming matching a season-high scoring 23 points for the Mountain Hawks (5-6).

California extended its season-long unbeaten streak to 9-0, Kristine Anigwe, the national women’s freshman of the year last season voted by the United States Basketball Writers Association (USBWA), scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Lehigh next begins league play in the Patriot, hosting Army, Dec. 30 after a break for the holidays and finals.


National Notes: UConn Stops Another Unbeaten While Texas Tops Tennessee

Top-ranked UConn followed up its 1 vs. 2 win at Notre Dame that occurred Wednesday to win at previously unbeaten Kansas State 75-58 on Sunday.

Meanwhile 17th-ranked Texas held off Tennessee 72-67 at the Erwi Center at home in Austin in a non-conference game that used to be a marquee game on the national schedule but dimmed somewhat this time due to the early struggles of the Longhorns (3-4) and Lady Vols (4-4).

In the UConn win before a sellout Kansas State crowd of 12,528 in Bramlage Coliseum Katie Lou Samuelson had 26 points for the Huskies (9-0), who have won 84 straight heading into their next game at hosting nationally-ranked Ohio State, Nov. 19, in Hartford at the XL Center. Napheesa Collier had 22 points and eight rebounds.

The 84-win streak is second in the NCAA to only the UConn streak of 90 several years ago.

Breanna Lewis had 17 points and eight rebounds for Kansas State (9-1).

Kansas State hosts Princeton on Sunday.

From down in Texas, Sunday has not been good for the Lady Vols, who have lost to then-unranked unranked Penn State, then-unranked Virginia Tech, at home to then-No. 4 Baylor, and at No. 17 Texas. The next three Sunday dates are visiting No. 10 Stanford this week; visiting ranked Kentucky, Jan. 1, and visiting No. 5 Mississippi State, Jan. 8.

Tennessee came all the way back after trailing by 15 points in the first half to go ahead in the second before Texas retook the advantage to win the third straight in the series in which the Lady Vols have the overall advantage at 23-15..

Jaime Nared had a career-high 22 points for Tennessee, while Diamond DeShields scored 15 points.

Brooke McCarty and Jada Underwood each had 13 points for Texas, which also got 12 each from Joyner Holmes, Lashann Higgs, and Kelsey Lang.

"I think this win is much needed for our team," Texas coach Karen Aston said. "This was just a little bit of a preview of what our games might be like for a while, and that’s not a bad thing. It was a good learning experience for our young players.”

Tennessee hosts Appalachian State at home Wednesday night while on Thursday Texas hosts UT Rio Grande Valley.

Elsewhere, No. 15 Kentucky fell to Arizona State 73-71 in overtime at Rupp Arena at home in Lexington.

Maci Morris had a career-high 29 points for the host Wildcats (7-3).

Sophie Brunner scored what became the game-winner for the Sun Devils (6-2) with just over five seconds remaining in the extra period. She finished with 18 points.

Kentucky next hosts Radford on Sunday.

 No. 6 South Carolina (7-1) got 22 points from Kaela Davis and a Dawn Staley-coached record 16 three-point field goals, one short of the overall Gamecocks program record in a 98-58 win over Minnesota (7-4) at home in Colonial Life Arena in Columbia. Clemson visits Thursday.

Kelsey Mitchell had 19 points and Tori McCoy had 17 and 11 rebounds as No. 12 Ohio State (8-3) handled Canisius 89-56 at home in a non-conference game at the Value City Arena in Columbus. The Golden Griffins dropped to 2-7.

The Buckeyes host Alabama State Friday before visiting Top-Ranked Connecticut next Monday in Hartford.


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