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.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Guru's Roundup: Explosive 4th Quarter Results in Villanova Win Over Lehigh

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Several hours after the Villanova men’s basketball squad, also known as the reigning NCAA Division I champions, were placed No. 1 by the Associated Press men’s poll national media panel, the Wildcats women made it a completely happy on campus with a third straight dynamic performance in the fourth quarter to gain another victory.

Alex Louin was responsible for the successful finishes the two previous times with perfect foul shooting in the win over La Salle and then with an overall attack Saturday at Saint Joseph’s.

On Monday night others got into the act to deliver a 19-2 explosive final stanza, resulting in a 59-37 non-conference victory over visiting Lehigh at the Pavilion that brought Villanova back to .500 at 3-3 following the 1-3 stumble the first two weeks of the season.

“We have to do it with our defense because our shooting hasn’t been good,” Villanova coach Harry Perretta said.

Megan Quinn was the force in this one, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 rebounds for a double double.

“It was definitely a fourth quarter comeback,” Quinn said. “I think at the end we really needed to be aggressive. People were making plays on offense it we just had to finish at the end of the shot clock.”

In the first half, freshman Mary Gedacka, a Goucester Catholic grad out of Mullica Hill in South Jersey, came off the bench for eight points while Jannah Tucker stepped up her game with 10 points.

The Wildcats shot 63.6 percent in the fourth quarter, including 3-6 on on 3-point attempts.

Lehigh (5-4) got 13 points from Taylor Campbell but Villanova had everyone else on the Mountain Hawks were placed in lockdown by the Villanova defense.

Lehigh is getting teams during its current stretch who are having turnarounds. Next up is Rider, which is off to a 5-2 overall start and 2-0 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Broncs will visit Stabler Arena and the Mountain Hawks on Thursday.

Meanwhile Villanova will be off the rest of the week awaiting Saturday’s visit from Temple, which will first tune up at Hampton on Wednesdsy in a non-conference meeting after Sunday’s home win that came against Vermont.

Both Villanova and Temple are 2-0 in the City Series, each beating La Salle and Saint Joseph’s. Saurday’s winner will have a chance to win outright at 4-0 by either beating Penn next month at The Palestra. Penn, with a split with Saint Joseph’s and La Salle could get a share of the title for the second time in three seasons by sweeping the Hawks and Wildcats.

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Rutgers Suffers Tough Loss in Double Overtime to James Madison

The schedule was light Monday night locally and nationally but the other game of note in either category was the matchup in Piscataway, N.J., against host Rutgers and James Madison, the favorite to repeat as champions of the Colonial Athletic Association.

Earlier in the day the vote count in the latest Associated Press women’s poll revealed that Virginia Tech, under former JMU coach Kenny Brooks, had made the rankings for the first time in a while.

Then attention turned to the new era of Dukes, which is really the old era in new roles.

And so it was that in a season of struggle at Rutgers that this setback was the toughest in that the Scarlet Knights (2-7) had a chance to get their first significant win on the season with the other two being against Bryant and Bucknell.

Precious Hall, the preseason CAA player of the year, which just that to JMU, scoring a school-record 46 points to lead the visitors to an 82-76 win.

She shot 15-for-29 from the floor and 10-for-13 from the line to post the second best performance nationally this season.

Rutgers extended the game on two buzzer-beaters, the first by Kandiss Barber to cause a tie at the end of regulation. Then Shrita Parker’s trey beat the clock to keep the game going into a second extra stanza.

Hall scored 16 points for JMU across the two additional periods.

Dawn Evans had the previous high for JMU, scoring 42 in an overtime in December 2010 against Virginia.

Hall’s scoring broke the women’s record in the RAC, topping the 40 from Missouri State’s Tara Mitchem in a 2001 NCAA tournament upset in the early rounds.

JMU takes a 16-day break for finals before hosting St. John’s.

In the game, Rutgers got a career-high 22 from Barber, while Desiree Keeling had a career-high 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Khadaizha Sanders also scored in double figures for the home team, collecting 10 points.
Rutgers will now head out on the road visiting nearby St. John’s, Wednesday, and then Houston on Saturday.