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, January 19, 2017

Guru's Local Roundup: Temple Win Streak Hits 10; St. Joe and La Salle Post A-10 Wins

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

It’s getting like old times, at least until the end of the month for Temple, which claimed its 10th straight victory Wednesday night, winning an American Athletic Conference at Houston 69-57.

In other action, Saint Joseph’s kept its positive reversal going as the Hawks beat Fordham 47-44 at home in an Atlantic 10 game in Hagan Arena, while on the road also in the Atlantic 10 La Salle beat Richmond 63-58.

Thursday night Nebraska visits Penn State while Rider tries to recover from Saturday’s tough overtime loss to Fairfield when the Broncs visit Saint Peter’s in Jersey City, N.J.

Meanwhile, down in Houston Temple (14-3, 5-0), which is in the forecast field in the latest ESPN bracketology for the NCAA tournament, had to withstand Cougar runs in the second and third period, but also had their own runs to provide answers.

The Owls, who can wrap up the Big 5 title outright with a win next Wednesday, shot 9-for-21 for 42.9 percent in three-point attempts and owned the boards with a 49-31 rebounding advantage.

Senior Feyonda Fitzgerald was at it again with another double double, scoring 22 points and dishing 11 assists. Donnaizha Fountain had a game-high 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds while Ruth Sherrill had another standout night on the boards establishing a new career high with 19 rebounds.

Alliya Butts also scored in double figures with 14 points.

Houston (8-10, 1-4) had four players in double figures with Serithia Hawkins scoring 12 points, Jasmyne Harris scoring 11, and Angela Harris and Jacqueline Blake each scoring 10 points.

Temple next hosts Memphis in an AAC game  in McGonigle Hall at 2 p.m. Saturday. The Owls had to go into overtime on New Year’s Day in Tennessee to beat the Tigers when the two met on the front end of the their home-and-home series.

Saint Joseph’s Hand A-10 Leader Fordham Its First Loss 47-44

A tight game throughout came down to the final minutes the way many have had in the series since former Hawks coach Stephanie Gaitley arrived in the Bronx from her previous job at Monmouth.

In this one, Saint Joseph’s led 45-38 with 1 minute, 30 seconds to play, but a run by the Rams got the visitors within two at 46-44 when Fordham’s G’mrice Davis scored on a three-point play.

Early in the season there is a good chance the home team wouldn’t have left the building smiling, considering the number of leads that were yielded until the current four-game streak began.

Even then, with a chance to increase the advantage to four, the Hawks missed two foul shots with 26 seconds left, but after Fordham (15-6, 6-1 Atlantic 10) took possession, the Hawks(7-11, 4-2) got the Rams to commit a turnover with 7.8 seconds left.

Adashia Franklyn’s foul shot made it a three-point advantage and Fordham missed its final chance to force it into overtime.

Chelsea Woods had 14 points and nine rebounds for Saint Joseph’s, while Franklyn scored eight points, had a team-high 13 rebounds, and blocked four shots.

The Rams were held to 25.4 percent from the field.

Depth has become a factor in this latest turn of events with the Hawks mining 26 points from their bench.

Saint Joseph’s heads to a revitalized Dayton squad Saturday and will Fordham again Feb. 9 in the Bronx.

La Salle Edges Richmond

The Explorers broke away at the finish in a tight game on the road, using a 6-2 run with less than three minutes to beat the Spiders 63-58 in an Atlantic 10 game in the Robins Center.

Amy Griffin, the leading scorer in the conference and top scorer last season, hit a couple of jumpers while Adreana Miller hit a pair of free throws.

Ashanti Freeland, who had 10 rebounds for La Salle (10-8, 3-3 Atlantic 10), provided security stealing an inbounds pass after Miller’s foul shots.

Jasmine Alston had 15 points – 11 in the first half – and 13 rebounds, of whch eight came in the first half for the Explorers. Griffin was explosive again, scoring 22 points, of which 13 were collected in the second half.

Miller had 10 points.

Janelle Hubbard had 23 points for the host Spiders (9-10, 3-3).

La Salle stays on the road in the conference and heads to Davidson on Saturday for a 2 p.m. tip.

 Iowa Downs Rutgers in Second Half
The Guru is adding this to the report because in having to catch a train back Tuesday and getting back late he didn’t have a chance to file.

So much for the Scarlet Knight’s three-game win streak at home and forward progress in recent weeks.

Iowa, which was once coached and built into prominence by Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer, left the Hall of Famer to deal with wonderment over her team’s Tuesday night performance in a Big Ten game in the Rutgers Athletic Center.

Iowa emerged wth a 71-59 win as Megan Gustafson was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field and had 19 points for the Hawkeyes (12-7, 3-3 Big Ten) while Tania Davis had 15 points, built over a hefty 0-for-11 at the line, and Makenzie Meyer scored 10.

Shrita Parker matched her career mark with 20 points for the Scarlet Knights (6-14, 3-4) and Khadaizha Sanders scored 11.

Each team made 25 fields goals but Rutgers took 32 more shots and also had a dominating 23-4 on the offensive glass and on second chance points outscored Iowa 19-6.

But Stringer knows what produced the stats and it certainly wasn’t anything worth boasting over.

“If you have offensive rebounds, it probably means you need to finish layups, know what I mean?” She said. “That’s so sad. That’s so sad. We knew they were going to take drives. We knew they were going to get to the free throw line.

“There were a number of things that could have been done that we didn’t do, weren’t able to do. They’re a good team. They never stop. There’s nothing they did that surprised us,” Stringer said.

“But at the end of the day, we have to finish layups. We’re missing layups when nobody is … quite frankly we have to do better. And we have to have a lot more control. We just have to learn win games. We’ve come from behind before. I thought we could today. But we were tired and they kept coming at us.”

Rutgers heads to No. 3 Maryland Sunday.

AP Women’s Poll Trivia: Streaking UConn Beyond Wins and Losses

Besides the NCAA continuous streak-breaking actions being exercised by the University of Connecticut women, now at 92 straight, the Huskies continue to put up impressive poll numbers.

They have not missed being in the Top 10 the entire decade, now at 138 weeks, and within that group, nor have they missed being in the Top 5.

They were rolling in both categories at the end of the last decade, so add the 54 Top 5 appearances and the streak is 192 while even further back add 86 straight dating back to 2005 and its 224 straight Top 10 rankings.

Maryland is now sixth all time with 448 appearances having just snapped a tie with Louisiana Tech.  


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