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, February 12, 2017

Guru's Overniter: Drexel's Creighton Launches Record Treys; Rider Streak Keeps Broncs in First

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

On Sunday everything came in three’s from Drexel’s Meghan Creighton,  who was spinning more records than the nearby radio DJs, while Rider continued to win, and Villanova completed a weekend sweep of the Big East Metro duo, and Delaware also chalked a win among the Guru’s local crowd that saw action.

Saint Joseph’s topped La Salle for a sweep and a game story is posted separately below.

Nationally, a new Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame class has been named and there was plenty of game action in advance of the Monday showdown as Connecticut goes for consecutive win number 100 against No. 6 South Carolina in New England.

Let’s start with Drexel and Creighton where the Dragons senior set a program record and tied a Colonial Athletic Association record nailing 10 three-pointers for her total career-high 30 points in a lopsided 76-51 win over UNCW at home in the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

The victory kept Drexel (18-6, 9-4 CAA) in third place, one game ahead of Delaware, which bounced back with a 56-45 win over Hofstra at home in the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

Creighton, who also reached her 1,000th career point – 24th in Drexel history -- and is known as much for her helpers, is running a fundraising “Assisting Others” program and her game-high four Sunday brought her ongoing pledge total to $13,000.

She completed her 10 triplets in 14 attempts to match the CAA record shared by Alyssa Frye of the College of Charleston and T.J. Jordan of Old Dominion. The long-range total also ties a high in the NCAA this season with Washington’s Natalie Romeo and North Carolina’s Stephanie Watts.

The 1,000 points enabled Creighton to join Old Dominion all-timer Ticha Penicheiro and James Madison’s Floretta Jackson as the only three players in CAA history with 1,000 points, 500 assists, and 400 rebounds.

She also picked a landmark appearance to have a special day because playing in career game number 133, which have all been starts, is also a new Drexel mark. Ceighton’s overall career scoring total is now 1,021 points.

Overall, the Dragons connected on 15 treys, which is third all time in conference history – why not just announce the CAA player of the week right now instead of Monday morning.

They have now collected 11 straight wins against the Seahawks (9-15, 4-9).

Freshman Bailey Greenberg hit a trey to go on to score 11 points and had a team-high six rebounds.

Sarah Curran scored 12 to set a career-best dozen straight games now scoring in double figures.

Drexel next heads to Towson Friday night at 7.

Delaware (14-10, 8-5) benefitted from the return of Nicole Enabosi from being sidelined with the flu in Friday’s loss to James Madison and she celebrated scoring 21 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in the win over Hofstra (10-14, 3-10).

Makeda Nicholas had 13 points and Erika Brown scored 10.

Ashunae Durant had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Pride.

“Communication on the defensive end was excellent today,” Delaware coach Tina Martin said. “We’re continually a work in progress, but we really kept our heads about us and executed well.”

Meanwhile at the top of the conference, in the head-to-head showdown defending champion and preseason favorite James Madison made it a sweep, beating Elon 61-54 at home in Harrisonburg, Va., to move the Phoenix aside in a first-place tie but owning the top CAA seed at the moment because of the 2-0 record.

Amber Porter had 20 points for the Dukes (18-6, 11-2 CAA), who finished strong with a 16-2 run in the fourth quarter. Elon is now 19-6 overall and 11-2 in conference play, both teams two games in front of Drexel.

Rider Streak Reaches Six To Stay Tied for First in the MAAC

The Broncs continue to kick up a storm in their landmark season in the Lynn Milligan era of 10 years and on Sunday finished strong and from behind to beat Canisius 61-50 at home in Alumni Gymnasium in Lawrenceville, N.J., to collect another sweep of a league rival and stay tied with Quinnipiac at the top of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

The Bobcats kept the pressure on from their side, winning at Siena, 76-60, as Aryn McLure scored 21 points for Quinnipiac (20-6, 13-3).

The first-place duo lead Fairfield by two games. Quinnipac hosts Iona Friday looking for revenge from a loss in New Rochelle, N.Y., earlier this season.

Meawhile, Kamila Hoskova had 18 points for Rider (19-6, 13-3 MAAC).

“This team understands that we had to defend to beat Iona (Friday night) and we had to defend to beat Canisius today,” Milligan said.

“Kami was a big part of getting us going in the third quarter. She does so many different things for us and does the little things for us that sometimes go unnoticed by people outside our locker room.”

Freshman Stella Johnson also scored in double figures with 13 points.

Sara Hinriksdottir had  20 points for Canisius (8-17, 7-9).

Rider will be going for another season sweep Tuesday night, hosting Marist, whom the Broncs beat last month in a rare triumph in Poughkeepsie.

Villanova Stymies Seton Hall for Weekend Sweep

The Wildcats were wildly accurate with their shots Sunday connecting from the field with 57.4 percent accuracy in beating Seton Hall 87-52 on the road in a Big East game at Walsh Gym in South Orange, N.J.

Jordan Dillard was 7-for-8 from the field and scored 15 points for Villanova (14-11, 9-5 Big East), freshman Kelly Jekot was 4-for-6 and scored 12, freshman Mary Gedaka was 4-for-5, scoring 11, while 10 points each were registered by Alex Louin, Samantha Wilkes, who shot 5-for-8; and Jannah Tucker, who was 4-for-6.

Louin also grabbed nine rebounds and has collected 41 in her last five games while the Wildcats also connected from deep outside with nine three-pointers.

Lubirdia Gordon had 18 points for Seton Hall (11-15, 5-10), and LaTecia Smith scored 10.

The Wildcats, who are 10-3 in their last 13 games, next host Xavier Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Pavilion.

Elsewhere in the Big East, No. 18 DePaul stayed in first, beating host Butler 92-62 in Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis as Brooke Schulte had 23 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, for the Blue Demons (22-5, 14-1 Big East), who have won 16 of their last 17 games.

Butler fell to 5-20 overall and 2-12 in the conference.

Swoopes Headlines New Six-Inductee Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class

Sheryl Swoopes, the former WNBA and Olympic great, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass., last September, was named as one of six inductees into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2017, who will be inducted in Knoxville, Tenn., in June.

The other five are longtime referee Sally Bell, the third of her profession, joining Patty Broderick and NCAA co-ordinator June Courteau;
AIAW founder and administrator Christine Grant, who has a ballroom at NCAA headquarters named for her;
Middle Tennessee coach Rick Insell;
 former Connecticut star Kara Wolters, who becomes the third of the heralded trio of Rebecca Lobo and Jen Rizzotti fro the program’s first NCAA title in 1995 to reach induction, besides  Huskies coach Geno Auriemma;
and former Southern Connecticut coach from the AIAW era Louise O’Neal, who later became a Dartmouth women’s administrator.

Last month for the first time the hall announced 12 finalists of which the group emerged.

The other six who were finalists are:

Former Long Beach State, Arizona and Seattle coach Joan Bonvicini, who now broadcasts on the Pac-12 Network;
ACC women’s administrator Nora Lynn Finch, the first chair of the NCAA women’s tournament committee.
Rose Battaglia, who coached Anne Donovan among others to numerous titles in high school at Bergen Catholic in northern New Jersey, she also coached Junior College
Former WNBA star Crystal Robinson;
Successful Junior College coach Evelyn Blalock, who died in 1911 at age 72
And former WNBA and international star Yelena Baranova from Russia.

More to come but the roundup is done.