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.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Hahn Scoring Louin Foul Shooting Propels Villanova Over La. Salle

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Villanova, Pa. – Villanova took control with perfect 8-for-8 foul shooting in the fourth quarter at home in The Pavilion and sophomore Adrianna Hahn was in control all night to propel the Wildcats to a slim 52-49 victory over La Salle Wednesday in a Philadelphia Big 5 game.

The outcome enabled two streaks to end and one to continue as Villanova’s annual mastery of La Salle was extended to eight straight dating back to the 2009-10 season.

The Wildcats (2-4, 1-0 Big Five) opened defense of their City Series title that was won last season outright with a rare 3-1 record – usually a sweep is needed – courtesy of La Salle upsetting Saint Joseph’s in the last game of the local round robin.

They also snapped a three-game losing streak by finally clamping down on the defensive side of things.

At the same time it was a tough loss for the Explorers (3-4, 0-2), who swept a tournament in Florida last weekend to even their record after dropping the first three games and now at 0-2 in the Big Five they are likely out of local contention.

“We’re finally getting healthy,” La Salle coach Jeff Williams said prior to the game explaining what sparked the recent reversal of fortune. “At one point we were down to six players.”

The Explorers seemed ready to break out of the Wildcats’ hold over them when they reached their largest lead of the game at six points 36-30 with 2 minutes, 12 seconds left in the third period.

But Samantha Wilkes, the unsung heroine for Villanova behind Alex Louin’s perfect 6-for-6 foul shots in the last stanza and Hahn’s overall play, hit a free throw and Hahn gained a tie with a pair of foul shots and a 3-pointer before the Explorer’s Amy Griffin beat the buzzer to end the last quarter clinging to a 38-36 advantage.

In the fourth, Wilkes tied it again before Griffin gave La Salle its last lead.

Then Jannah Tucker, the sensational newcomer who was kept under wraps in this one, tied it for Villanova before Wilkes and Louin completed the mini 6-0 run for a 44-40 lead with just over six minutes left in regulation.

Then Louin went to work on the line with her six straight free throws that got it to 50-46 before Hahn completed her night with two more points on the line for a six-point lead with 12 seconds left before La Salle’s Adreana Miller completed the scoring for everyone with a meaningless three-pointer before time expired.

“Typical Big 5 game,” Villanova veteran coach Harry Perretta said. “Both teams knew each other very well and it came down to us being able to make some shots at the end when we needed to.

Perretta noted that the lineup near the end had just one senior. “We were trying to play young.”

If Elena Delle Donne back in the day was the Ursinus Academy star in Wilmington, Del., who got away, Hahn from the same school is the one the Wildcats snareda fe years later.

On this night she had 20 points, shooting 6-for-13 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, while being perfect on the line at 6-for-6 while dishing three assists and swiping the same number of steals.

Louin finished with 13 points fueled by 7-for-8 shooting on the line.

“We were just trying to stay in the offense, trying to set picks, we had a couple of mismatches so we tried to take advantage of that and we made our foul shots, which certainly helped us,” Louin said of the final minutes.”

The Wildcats were 16-for-20 from the line for the game while La Salle was 9-for-11.

“We’ve been playing some pretty tough teams so we like where we are right now, we’re definitely getting better, we’re going to try to bring the same energy to Saint Joe’s,” Louin said.

Villanova visits Hawk Hill Saturday, 4 p.m., at Hagan Arena and after the early going the Wildcats and Temple (2-0 Big 5) are the only teams left who can win outright at 4-0, They meet each other Dec. 10 at Villanova.

La Salle’s Amy Griffin, the leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 last season, had 16 points, shooting 7-for-13 from the field and Miller scored 10 points.

The Explorers next travel to Dayton Sunday for a rare early season opener in the Atlantic 10, caused in part by the new conference tournament format for March, and then visit Penn next Wednesday.


Penn and Princeton Flex Ivy Muscles in Dominant Wins

The Quakers of Penn finally looked like the local power they were predicted to be in powering their way to a 64-47 win at Lafayette in Easton, Pa., while Princeton delivered another stunner in the psuedo Garden State tourney, blasting Seton Hall 94-67 at home in Jadwin Gym to follow up the Tigers’ recent demolition of Rutgers for a 2-0 sweep among the three traditional New Jersey Division I women’s teams.

In the Penn game, the Quakers improved to 2-3 as Michelle Nowkedi had 16 points and eight rebounds while center Sydney Stipanovich scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds.

In this one, some outside help arrived with Beth Brzozowski scoring 13 points.

Lafayette (1-7), which won its season opener at La Salle, dropped its seventh straight off a heavy slate of games early, especially in the recent Hall of Fame Women’s Challenge that finished Sunday at Springfield, Mass.

Anna Ptasinski was the only Leopard in double figures with 10 points.

Penn next travels to Wagner Saturday on Staten Island, N.Y., before hosting La Salle next Wednesday at The Palestra.

Next up for Lafayette are visits to St. John’s Saturday and then to Princeton next Wednesday.

“We did a lot better offensively, we were able to get above 60 which was one of our goals,” said Kasey Chambers postgame as reported by the Penn website. “We really played well on the defensive end to kick-start our offense which was better than our last game.”

Princeton (4-4), meanwhile, continued to roll after its 0-4 start to win its third straight.

Freshman Bella Alarie is rapidly becoming the next great star in the Tigers program. The Ivy rookie of the week off her play in the Rutgers 64-34 and UMBC games, socked the Pirates for 26 points and 15 rebounds.

It's the first Princeton win over Seton Hall since 1987.

Both stats are fifth overall for achievements by a freshman at Princeton while her five treys were third and she also had six assists.

Senior Taylor Brown had 18 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 on 3-point attempts. Leslie Robinson had 17 points and Tia Weledji scored 11 off the bench.

The Tigers, who set a program record with 14 three-pointers at UMBC, scored 42 points in the paint, 32 off turnovers, and 13 on second chances with the bench also contributing 28 points.

The third quarter was crucial and the favored Pirates (4-2) were outscored 29-13.

Deja Winters had 16 points for Seton Hal (3-4) while Skylar Snyder had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Overall Princeton ruled the boards 53-39.


Penn State Wins One For the Conference

In the ongoing Big 10/Atlantic Coast Challenge this week Penn State got a win for the Big 10, beating Boston College 60-56 at Conti Forum in Chestnut Hill., Mass.

Teniya Page led a Lady Lions rally and finished with 24 points and reached the 600-point career mark. Her three-point play in the final half-minute gave Penn State the game and an improved record to 5-2 while the Eagles fell to 2-5.

It’s the first road win for PSU in the series and the Lady Lions overall in the series are 3-7.

Sierra More had 10 points off the bench  while Kaliyah Mitchell grabs 10 rebounds.

The Lady Lions next host Marshall Saturday at the Bryce Jordan Center.


Lehigh Tops NJIT 84-52

The Mountain Hawks got a game-high 16 points from Taylor Campbell, who also had a career high seven rebounds to go with three steals and a pair of blocks in any easy home win in Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa.

Kaylor Burton tied a career high with four treys for 12 points. Everyone saw action for coach Sue Troyan, whose bench outscored NJIT 50-10 to keep Lehigh unbeaten at 11-0 in the series.

NJIT fell to 3-4.

“There were definitely some bright spots but still some things to work on,” Troyan said with an eye to the tough spot on the schedule which has Lehigh visiting Villanova Monday night.


Around the Nation

Texas A&M made it back into the AP Poll Monday at No. 25 and quickly got bounced by Southern Cal 66-62 at home in College Station as the Women of Troy (6-1) made their own bid to join the elite. It’s the first loss for the Aggies (5-1).

Columbia ruled the boards and consequently the game in Baltimore beating Loyola of Maryland 65-53 at Reitz Arena as Josie Little got a career-high 19 rebounds. The Lions are now 4-2 under new coach Megan Griffith, a former Princeton assistant from King of Prussia, Pa., in the Philly western suburbs. Loyola, Md., fell to 2-4.


Looking Ahead

On Thursday night Duke visits Rutgers and while this was once a matchup of Top 10 teams in the polls neither tean is ranked, though the visiting Blue Devils seem to be faring better of the two.

Rutgers got it first win Sunday, beating Bryant after a program worst 0-5 start that includes last Friday’s pounding by Princeton.

Even if goes South and to 1-6 for the Scarlet Knights, there’s halftime to look to when Rutgers’ Cappie Pondexter of the WNBA Chicago Sky gets her number retired.

Temple drops in on Harvard, whom the Owls have played in the WNIT, while Delaware hosts Robert Morris.

DePaul visits UConn as Doug Bruno, who was an assistant on the gold-medal winning USA olympic staff, goes against his summer boss, one Geno Auriemma.

In anther big showdown, South Carolina is at Texas, yet another road stop of import for Dawn Staley and the Gamecocks, while the host Longhorns next have UConn at the Mohegan Sun on Sunday afternoon.

The schedule is light Friday but Canisius visits Rider, which got off to a 3-0 start, but fell twice in Florida last weekend,  and will try to get back on the winning track.

On Saturday, of local games not already mentioned, Bucknell, which has beaten up some local prominent, including Drexel and Saint Joseph’s, visits Rutgers.

On Sunday, new coach Chris Day, a former La Salle, St. Joseph’s, Penn and Indiana assistant, brings Vermont to play Temple.

Baylor is at Tennessee and on Monday James Madison visits Rutgers.




Post a Comment

<< Home