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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Guru Roundup: Penn's Princess Helps Quakers Rule Yale; PAC-12's Plum Gets to 3,000

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

PHILADELPHIA – If you are going to be the Ivy League’s new royalty then having a princess on your roster seems like a worthwhile thing – especially in the case of defending champion Penn, whose Princess Aghayere has become an added factor in the Quakers’ climb back to their gaudy preseason prospects.

Aghayere, a 6-0 reserve forward from Reston, Va., had eight points off 4-for-5 attempts from the field Friday night to provide another weapon propelling Penn to a 66-55 win over Yale at home in the Palestra to run the Quakers’ win streak to five straight and prove things are becoming solidified after being the unanimous pick to repeat their Ivy finish of a year ago.

Indeed, the entire league picture got more interesting because up the road in Princeton’s Jadwin Gym, the Tigers, owners of five of the last seven Ivy crowns – Penn (2014, 2016) has the other two --fell to Brown in a high-scoring 98-88 setback.

Princeton (6-9, 0-2 Ivy) has not dropped its first two league games since 2000-01, a season after current Tigers coach Courtney Banghart graduated Dartmouth. The Tigers were a futile 2-25 overall and 2-14 in the league in 2001.

The two outcomes sets up an interesting matchup Saturday night in the first back-to-back Ivy weekend because it will be the top offensive power of the 2017 season in Brown (72.2 points per game prior to Friday’s results) against the top defensive unit in Penn (51.4). The Bears also are the worst in the latter category allowing 66.9 points per game.

But let’s return back here, before digressing further, to the Penn (8-4, 2-0 Ivy) triumph over Yale (9-5, 0-1), which heads Saturday to Princeton in the weekly two-night tradeoff.

Coach Mike McLaughlin spoke of Aghayere’s contributions since seeing more minutes, which began in California over the New Year’s break.

“She’s gives the two of them some rest,” he referenced his two workhorse post stars in Sydney Stipanovich and junior Michelle Nwokedi. “But more importantly she gives us another opportunity to score the ball.

“She’s got the ability to score against sized guards. She’s got ball skills. She can shoot it from 20 feet. Big addition for us. Once she started rolling the last four times and scored the ball off the bench, we’ve been a better basketball team.”

Stipanovich had a double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 6-for-12 from the field, while Nwokedi wasn’t far off from a triple double, scoring 11 points, grabbing eight rebounds and dealing seven assists and she also had a steal. She also shot 5-for-8 on field goal attempts.

Indeed, when it came to targeting the nets of the Palestra, the Quakers had their best shooting night of the season, hitting 51.9 percent of their shots off 27-for-52 attempts.

It was Penn's first home win of the season after dropping three earlier to Binghampton and two narrow Big Five tilts to Saint Joseph's and in overtime to La Salle.

Kasey Chambers, who was 4-of-6 overall, including a perfect 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, also scored in double figures  for the Quakers with 11 points, while Lauren Whitlatch, another ace from beyond the arc, was 3-for-5 on trey attempts, for nine points, the same total as Anna Ross.

A lopsided 21-9 third period, when Whitlatch scored all her points, coming out of halftime with a 32-25 lead, enabled the Quakers to build a 19-point differential at the end of the third before Yale lowered the margin the rest of the way.

“I give them credit,” McLaughlin said of Yale over the final 10 minutes. “They made some tough shots and hit some threes. They were coming at us at the end. I called a timeout to regroup. We try to live by the game is never over and sometimes you have to remind them live in a game and that’s what I did.

“We didn’t want Yale to get on another roll and get the game in single digits and I think we did a good job of that.”

Lena Munzer had eight points in the final quarter for Yale and finished with 19 points overall while teammate Tamara Simpson also scored in double figures with 12 points.

The Brown game Saturday night will also be a 5:30 p.m. start as this weekend the Brown and Yale men’s and women’s teams on the road are visiting their Penn and Princeton counterparts.

The four schools later on will have the same doubleheader setup in New England at Yale in New Haven, Conn., and Brown in Providence, R.I.

This is part of the domino effect of the new four-teams men’s and women’s Ivy tournaments that will be held alongside each other at the Palestra in March heading into the two NCAA tourney selection days.

The title games, which will determine the Ivy automatic bids, in a twin-bill will be on the same Sunday as the NCAA men’s announcement that comes just before the Monday night women’s draw.

All of this is a reason why Princeton’s Banghart is probably not in an otherwise major distraught mood after Friday night because the key for the Tigers now is just be one of the four Ivy tourney teams at the finish and then be ready to play the best basketball of the season.

On Friday night, however, it was Brown holding the upper hand in Jadwin Gym despite some noteworthy moments for the Tigers such as newcomer sensation Bella Alarie setting a Princeton freshman record blocking seven shots.

Also, Leslie Robinson had a career-high with 21 points and completed a double double with 11 rebounds while also dishing two assists and adding a block and a steal to her stat line.

Robinson is the daughter former Tigers men’s star Craig Robinson and the niece of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, who is Craig’s sister.

After Saturday night, Princeton goes on its annual long break for finals so this report or the next one will be the last time the first couple in relation to Robinson will be referred to in the current tense in terms of their White House residence.

Meanwhile, as for how it went for the Tigers against Brown, in addition to Robinson and Alarie’s performance, sophomore Gabrielle Rush set a career mark with 16 points and five 3-pointers, while Tia Weledji also scored 16 points.

Alarie broke the Tigers individual block record last set by Lehigh Washburn against Penn during the 1995-96 season.

But at the outset Friday night Princeton missed seven of its first eight shots and Brown (10-4, 1-0) took a 13-2 lead. The Tigers, however, rallied, even took leads, and at the half trailed 48-43.

However, another Bears surge, 14-3, in the third period enabled them to hold a nine-point lead with 10 minutes left in the game. And in the fourth another lopsided stretch, 10-5, made the advantage too much for Princeton to overcome.

Brown’s Justine Gaziano was responsible for much of the carnage with an Ivy season-high 33 points, shooting 13-of-22 from the floor. Double digit scoring from the visitors were also registered by Shayna Mehta, with 17 points; Abby O’Keefe with 12, Erika Steeves and Taylor Will with 11 each.

No other Ivy team played Friday night. Harvard, a renewed championship threat, is idle this weekend and stands at 13-1 overall and 1-0 in the league after winning one at the finish against La Salle in town here on Wednesday.

New Columbia coach Meghan Griffith, a former Tigers assistant who has returned to her alma mater, makes her Ivy debut as a mentor Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. when the Lions visit Cornell, their league travel partner.

Hahn’s Hot Hand Carries Villanova Over Seton Hall

Sophomore Adrianna Hahn continues to keep Villanova from falling too far off the mark in the Big East and is helping the squad move closer to .500 or better overall on the season.

The product of Wilmington’s Ursuline Academy was at it again Friday afternoon, joined in by other Wildcats long-range shooters to give Villanova a 69-52 victory over Seton Hall at home in the Pavilion in front of its annual matinee-produced Education Day crowd that included over 1,400 students from area schools.

Hahn, who played all 40 minutes, scored a game-high 22 points, most of which were acquired by shooting 7-of-12 three point attempts, making her overall performance the third in the last four games in which she has scored 20 or more points.

She was responsible for half of ‘Nova’s 14 treys in the game.

 Hahn has reached that mark six times overall while in the last seven games on trey attempts, Hahn is shooting 32 of 62 for a  .516 average and in Friday’s game besides not committing any turnovers she also had five assists, three steals and three rebounds.

Alex Louin played just two minutes less than Hahn for the Wildcats (7-9, 3-3 Big East) and scored 20 points and collected seven rebounds.

Freshman guard Kelly Jekot had a career-high 17 points in her first start and was 4-for-9 on three-point attempts.The 14 treys overall made it the seventh time this season the Wildcats have had 10 or more connects from beyond the arc.

Villanova outrebounded Seton Hall 45-26.

Center Lubirdia Gordon had 20 point for the Pirates (8-9, 1-5) while Kaela Hillaire scored 15 points.

The Wildcats stay right at home in the conference hosting St. John’s Sunday at 2 p.m. Then they visit Penn Wednesday in a Big 5 game that keeps a City Series tie with Temple alive with a win – the Owls would then have to beat Penn at the Palestra the following Wednesday to win outright.

If Villanova loses, Temple backs into the local crown outright with a win or loss because the Wildcats would be 2-2 and Temple would be either 4-0 or 3-1.

Meanwhile in another Big East game of note, DePaul topped Butler 100-69 at home in McGrath Arena in Chicago as Brooke Schulte scored 24 points and Amarah Coleman had a career-high 20 points. It’s the ninth straight win for the Blue Demons (15-4, 7-0 Big East), whose conference start matches the 7-0 liftoff that occurred in 2010-11.

Drexel Heads for CAA First Place Showdown at Elon After Lopsided Win at UNCW

The Dragons breathed fire once again Friday night after last Sunday's rout of Northeastern in Boston.

This time the lopsided outcome, which occurred in Wilmington, N.C., had a 71-38 victory label in the Colonial Athletic Conference matchup for Drexel (12-3, 3-1 CAA).

Sarah Curran had 17 points for the Dragons and Meghan Creighton scored 10 while freshman Ana Ferariu came off the bench and delivered 12 points. The other prized newcomer, Bailey Greenberg, was a perfect 4-for-4 in 18 minutes and scored nine points while grabbing six rebounds.

Madison Raque scored 12 points for the Seahawks (5-10, 0-4), still looking for their first CAA win this season. Jordan Henry had a double double with 11 points and 10 rebounds while Rebekah Banks had 12 rebounds.

Drexel after 15 games is still matching the best overall start in program history.

Elsewhere in the CAA, Elon thumped Charleston on the road 84-56 in South Carolina for the Phoenix’s eighth straight, the longest streak since becoming a Division I program.

Lauren Brown, whose five field goals were all made 3-pointers, had a game-high 16 points for Elon (12-4, 4-0 CAA), which is the last unbeaten team in conference play but hosts a revenge-seeking Drexel Sunday after the Phoenix had edged the Dragons back in Philadelphia a week ago Friday.

Charleston fell to 2-2 in the conference but is 5-10 overall.

Elon also got 15 points and 12 rebounds from Malaya Johnson while Jennifer Rhodes had 10 points and 10 rebounds in 15 minutes of play.

Elon coach Charlotte Smith, a former North Carolina star, called her team’s performance “solid.”

Meanwhile, at Delaware, veteran coach Tina Martin was denied her 400th career victory by defending CAA champion James Madison, which took last weekend’s upset loss to Towson out on the Blue Hens with a 66-51 victory in the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

Redshirt senior Precious Hall, the conference preseason player of the year, had 28 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Dukes (10-5, 3-1 CAA), who held Delaware to its lowest shooting percentage on the season at 25.4 percent. The Blue Hens also made just four 3-pointers of which all but one came in the final quarter.

Freshman Kamiah Smalls from Neumann-Goretti in Philadelphia dished a career-high five assists for JMU.

Delaware’s Nicole Enabosi had a team high 12 points and grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds but a 9-0 JMU run late in the third period helped keep the Blue Hens (7-8, 1-3)  grounded.

It’s the second straight loss and fifth of the last sixth for Martin’s squad.

The Dukes are tied for second with Drexel so if they win Sunday and the Dragons, there will be a three-way tie for first along with Elon. A JMU win and Drexel loss gives the Dukes second place outright in the standings for the moment.

“We had all the looks we wanted tonight, but we needed to make open shots and it’s just that simple,” Martin said. “That was the story of the game. The opportunities were there but we were just unable to step up and knock down shots.

“When you get the ball inside and have good position, you have to convert and we didn’t,” Martin added.

“We held JMU to 10 points under their scoring average, but we are struggling to make shots, and that includes some of our best shooters. Our kids are frustrated but we just have to keep working on it.”

It was the fifth straight loss at home after the Hens opened with four wins in their arena.

Martin’s next chance to get her 400th comes Sunday when Delaware visits Hofstra in the Mack Sports Complex in Hempstead, L.I.

PAC-12 Report: Plum Reaches Three Grand as  No. 8 Washington Tops Arizona

Saturday will likely belong to the Huskies of Connecticut as the four-time defending NCAA champions visit SMU in Dallas in an American Athletic Conference matchup in which they are a prohibitive favorite to acquire consecutive win No. 91, thus breaking their tie with themselves in setting a new NCAA win streak mark.

But Friday belonged to the other Huskies out West in the PAC-12 and one particular individual: No. 8 Washington’s Kelsey Plum, who scored 36 points in a 90-73 win at Arizona to become the 12th member of the 3,000th career points club.

After landing all the national player of the week honors off of last weekend’s performance, Plum kept doing her own prolific streak of scoring against the Wildcats.

“I mean it’s an honor to be part of the list,” she said afterwards in remarks reported by the Associated Press. “But I was really concerned about the win. You know, the PAC-12 is tough.

Any given night anything can happen and this is not a game we wanted to give up.”

Plum, who leads the nation at 31 points per game, shot 12-for-19 from the field and connected on 10 of 11 free throw attempts as Washington (17-2, 5-1 PAC-12) won its third straight league win in Tucson.

She’s the first of either gender to reach that total since expansion changed the conference name to the PAC-12 and she’s the first woman from a conference school to reach 3,000 snce the legendary Cheryl Miller at USC in 1986.

Ironically, the Wildcats’ new coach of the home team, Adia Barnes, was a Washington assistant who coached Plum prior to landing the Arizona job in the off-season.

As for the Huskies’ head coach observations of his star player, Mike Neighbors said, “Everything we’ve ever asked her to do, she’s done it, and she keeps improving.”

Plum helped land Washington as one of three surprise teams along with the no-surprise UConn bunch last April in Indianapolis at the Women’s Final Four.

“The records mean nothing to her, the wins do,” Neighbors said. “But the fact she’s been able to do it, set records, while raising the level of play on our team and in our league, I think is the true beauty of what she’s been able to do.”

“We have a ton of history,” Plum said of her past with Barnes. “She recruited me in high school. We’re from San Diego. I can hear her talking the whole game.

“She’s just been awesome in my development as a basketball player. It was kind of a weird feeling seeing her on the other side, you know, the bad guys, but it was cool at the same time.”

Barnes likewise tossed compliments to her former employers.

“It’s good to see their success. I wish Kelsey wouldn’t have had so much success against us, but she’s a great player. She’s a tough matchup. We threw different looks at her and she did her thing. That’s why she just scored over 3,000 points, why she’s one of the best players in the country. She’s going to be a great pro.”

Arizona (10-6, 1-4) got 20 points from LaBrittany Jones.

Washington starter Heather Corral was out of action after injuring a knee at shootaround earlier in the day.

Considering the next stop on the weekend road trip is Sunday’s visit to No. 19 Arizona State in Tempe, Plum seemed to indicate that game is a bigger deal then her milestone Friday night.

“I’ve never beaten Arizona State in my career,” Plum said, adding that a win over the Sun Devils “would mean twice as much as 3,000 points.”

Elsewhere in the Pac-12 Friday night, the scene was much calmer and not as wild as last weekend with upsets and first-time, longtime wins in the conference get-togethers.

In Boulder, Colo., No. 24 California ended its three-game losing streak, beating Colorado 65-53 at the Coors Events Center  after rallying from a 12-point deficit. Kristine Anigwe had 25 of her 29 points in the second half for the Golden Bears 14-3, 2-3). Colorado, which was ranked earlier in the season, fell to 11-5 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

“This was a gut check win for us,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said. “On the stat sheet every win counts the same, but wins in this conference are hard to get, especially on the road.”

In Salt Lake City, No. 13 Stanford took down host Utah 77-58 pulling away in the fourth quarter with a 27-point outburst.

Karlie Samuelson had 14 points, Erica McCall scored 11, and Alanna Smith had 10, all in the second half, for the winning Cardinal (14-3, 4-1 PAC-12) at the Hunstman Center.

Emily Potter had 15 points for Utah (12-4, 1-4).

Stanford is now 21-0 all-time against the home team.

After making some history sweeping the Los Angeles schools at home in the conference last weekend, Washington State did not fare as well on the road Friday night at Arizona State.

Sophie Brunner had 20 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Sun Devils in a 68-49 win. Reili Richardson had a career-high 15 points for Arizona State (13-3, 4-1 PAC-12).

The Cougars (8-9, 3-3) were held to 24 points below their scoring average.

In an upset by ranking numbers but maybe not that much of a surprise in the scheme of things No. 17 UCLA topped No. 10 Oregon State 66-56 in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Well, on second thought, considering the Bruins snapped a 12-game win streak by the Beavers.

The Bruins (15-2, 4-1 PAC-12) rode a 25-10 fourth period advantage to the win over Oregon State (15-2, 4-1), which dropped its first conference game of the season.

UCLA’s Jordin Canada had 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Monique Billings scored 17 and Kennedy Burke scored 10. Gabriella Hanson had 13 for Oregon State.

Looking Ahead

On Saturday, besides the Ivy games already mentioned, and the UConn arrival to another moment of history, Temple will go for its ninth straight win when the Owls visit Tulsa in an AAC game at 3 p.m.

Rider, off a major conference win at Marist Thursday night, returns home to alumni gym to host Fairfield at 2 p.m. In a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference game in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Saint Joseph’s looks to get its third straight win while La Salle looks to recover from its last-second non-conference loss to Harvard on Wednesday when the Hawks travel to the Explorers’ Tom Gola Arena at 1 p.m. in an Atlantic 10 game that does not also count as a Big Five matchup.

The City Series counter will occur later when La Salle travels to Hawk Hill. But a year ago, Saint Joseph’s was upset at Tom Gola Arena, a loss that knocked the Hawks out of a potential Big Five tie, which then went outright to Villanova, which had finished its City Series slate 3-1.

Rutgers, which has dropped two straight after a brief win streak, hosts Michigan State at noon at the RAC in Piscataway, N.J., in a Big Ten game that will air on the Big Ten network.

And that’s the roundup.




VILLANOVA, PA. – In women’s basketball action on Friday afternoon, the Villanova Wildcats connected on 14 three-point field goals en route to a 69-52 win over the visiting Seton Hall Pirates. With the victory, Villanova improves to 7-9 overall and 3-3 in Big East Conference play, while the Pirates fall to 8-9 overall and 1-5 in conference action.
Villanova led 11-7 at the 3:26 mark of the opening quarter when the Wildcats closed the quarter on an 8-4 run to take a 19-11 advantage at the end of one. Sophomore guard Adrianna Hahn led the Villanova spurt with two three-point fields and an assist on a Jordan Dillard lay-up off a two on one break.
Hahn struck again on Villanova’s first possession of the second quarter when she drained a deep three to increase the Wildcat lead to 22-11. Following a three-ball by Seton Hall guard Kaity Healy that pulled the Pirates within seven at 25-18 with 4:14 left in the first half, the Wildcats finished the quarter on a 7-2 run to grab a 32-20 halftime lead. Senior forward Samantha Wilkes recorded three free throws in the run, while Hahn had a triple and one foul shot.
After Seton Hall’s LaTecia Smith opened the second half scoring by draining a three from the right corner, Villanova freshman guard Kelly Jekot connected on a three of her own to put Villanova back up double digits at 35-23. Following a lay-up by Seton Hall center Lubirdia Gordon that made it a 35-25 game, Hahn drained her sixth three of the game and Jekot buried a 15-foot jumper and the Wildcats led 40-25 midway through the third stanza.
Trailing 45-31 late in the third quarter, Seton Hall scored seven straight points to get back in the game at 45-38. Pirate guard Kaela Hilaire had a three and a lay-up, while Gordon added two free throws to account for the seven Seton Hall points. Freshman forward Mary Gedaka ended the Pirate spurt when she scored the final points of the third quarter with two free throws. The Gedaka foul shots gave Villanova a 47-38 advantage at the end of threes.
A lay-up by Gordon at the 6:23 mark of the fourth quarter pulled the Pirates within seven at 52-45. On the game’s next possession, the Wildcats worked the ball around before junior guard Alex Louin was fouled on a drive to the basket. Louin made both free throws to give her team a 54-45 lead.
Seton Hall came right back and scored 12 seconds later on a Gordon lay-up to slice the Villanova advantage to 54-47. Following two defensive stops, Louin gave the Wildcats a 57-47 lead with 4:45 remaining by making one of two from the stripe and a reverse lay-up in the lane.
The Pirates made one last charge and cut the Villanova lead to 57-50 with 3:27 to play on a three by JaQuan Jackson. On the Wildcats next possession, Jekot missed  on a three, but Wilkes came up with a big offensive rebound. Villanova turned the extra possession into a 60-50 lead on a three by Hahn. Hilaire answered for Seton Hall and got the game to single digits at 60-52 on a running lay-up with 2:50 left on the clock. Villanova would put the game away and take a 63-52 lead at the 2:32 mark when Jekot drained a three form the left wing.
In the win, Hahn scored a game-high 22 points on 7-of-12 shooting from three-point range and a 1-of-2 effort from the foul line. Hahn also added five assists, three steals, three rebounds and no turnovers in 40 minutes of action. Louin recorded 20 points and seven rebounds, while Jekot scored a career-high 17 points and six rebounds in her first career start. She finished 4-of-9 from three-point range. Wilkes led the Wildcats on the glass with eight rebounds.
Seton Hall was paced Gordon who was 8-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from the foul line for 20 points. Hilaire chipped in with 15 points.
For the game, Villanova was 20-of-58 from the field (34.5%), 14-of-37 from three-point range (37.8%) and 15-of-22 from the foul line (68.2%), while the Pirates shot 37.5 percent from the floor (21-of-56), 26.7 percent from behind the arc (4-of-15) and 75.0 percent from the charity stripe (6-of-8). The Wildcats owned a 45-26 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 15, when the Wildcats host St. John’s. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova leads the all-time series with Seton Hall by a 38-22 margin and have won seven of the last 11 versus the Pirates…There were over 1,400 students from local schools in attendance today for Villanova’s annual Education Day…Adrianna Hahn has scored 20 points or more in three of the last four games and has six 20-point games to her credit this season…Adrianna Hahn is 32-of-62 (.516) from three-point range in the last seven games…Villanova was credited with an assist on 15 of its 20 made field goals…Adrianna Hahn and Alex Louin combined to play 78 of a possible 80 minutes (Hahn – 40; Louin 38)…Today was the seventh time this year that Villanova has made double digits three-point field goals.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – The Drexel women’s basketball team took care of business on the road on Friday night, jumping out to an early double-digit lead and rolling to a 71-38 victory at UNCW. The win was the 10th in a row for the Dragons in their series with the Seahawks and improved their season record to 12-3, keeping pace with the best 15-game start in program history.

Sarah Curran led all scorers with 17 points. Ana Ferariu chipped in 12 points off the bench. Both Curran and Ferariu added five rebounds to their lines. Bailey Greenberg was a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, scoring nine points and pulling down a team-best six rebounds. She also had three assists, matching her season best. Meghan Creighton scored 10 to go along with two assists. Sara Woods added seven points, Kelsi Lidge and Aubree Brown each scored five, and Tereza Kracikova chipped in four while Niki Metzel had two points.

Drexel turned the ball over just five times on Friday night, a season-low. The turnover total also was a record low for a UNCW opponent in that program’s history.

The Dragons took control early and never looked back. Drexel spotted the Seahawks a quick 2-0 lead on a pair of free throws before rattling off the game’s next 16 points. Sarah Curran and Meghan Creighton each scored five during the run. Drexel held UNCW without a field goal for the first 5:37 of the contest, and although UNCW responded with eight quick points to end the Dragons’ run, Drexel did not back down.

The first quarter ended with a highlight for the Dragons when Kelsi Lidge barely beat the final horn, launching a 30-footer that banked in to give the Dragons a 25-14 edge. It was the third time that Drexel scored 25 points in a quarter this season, their most prolific quarters of the year.

The offense, which hit at a 52.9 percent rate in the first quarter, slowed a bit in the second but the Dragons’ lead only increased as their defense picked up the slack. Drexel held the Seahawks to just seven points in the second quarter on 2-of-11 shooting, and took a 36-21 halftime lead. Creighton would finish the first half with 10 points and Curran sat right behind her with nine. Aubree Brown added five points and a pair of rebounds, while Ana Ferariu scored four and corralled four boards. Lidge and Bailey Greenberg ended the opening 20 minutes with three points and three rebounds apiece. Drexel finished the first half with just one turnover, while forcing seven UNCW giveaways.

Just under three minutes into the second half, Lidge drove to the basket and scooped it in to build a 21-point Drexel lead, 42-21, and force a UNCW timeout. The Dragons would trade baskets with UNCW most of the rest of the quarter, leading by 24, 53-29, heading into the fourth quarter.

Though the game was well in hand, Drexel did not let up on the defensive end in the fourth quarter. UNCW hit just three of 10 attempts in the fourth and turned the ball over six times. The Dragons held the Seahawks without a field goal over the final 5:40 and without a point over the final 3:28, ending the game on a 7-0 run.

Drexel’s win sets up a battle for first place on Sunday afternoon. The Dragons will head across North Carolina to take on Elon at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday in a rematch of the Dragons’ only loss of the last month-and-a-half. With a win, Drexel would move into a tie for first place in the Colonial Athletic Association. Sunday’s game will be televised nationally on the American Sports Network, and locally in Philadelphia on the Comcast Network.

NEWARK, Del. --  University of Delaware sophomore Nicole Enabosi scored a team-high 12 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds, but a 9-0 run late in the third quarter helped James Madison take control and down the Blue Hens 66-51 in Colonial Athletic Association women’s basketball action Friday night at the Bob Carpenter Center.

Delaware (7-8, 1-3 CAA), which lost its second straight game and its fifth in the last six outings, battled back from a 33-27 halftime deficit and pulled to within four points at 37-33 with 5:50 left in the third stanza before the Dukes ran off nine straight points to take control and never looked back.

The defending CAA champion Dukes (10-5, 3-1 CAA) shook off an upset loss at Towson Sunday and won for the fifth time in the last six games. James Madison outscored the Hens 15-8 in the third quarter and stayed in front by at least 14 points during the final stanza to post the win.

Enabosi (Our Lady of Good Counsel/Gaithersburg, Md.) led the Hens in points, rebounds, and assists (3) and recorded her seventh double-double of the season but it wasn’t enough to lift Delaware. Senior guard Erika Brown (Kennedy/Paterson, N.J.) added 10 points while junior forward Makeda Nicholas (North Babylon/North Babylon, N.Y.) and freshman guard Abby Gonzales (North



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