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: Temple Wins Third Straight Rout

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

Temple made it three straight one-sided thumpers Saturday night beating East Carolina 76-43 in an American Athletic Conference road game played in Greenville, N.C.

The Owls (19-5, 9-2 AAC) come home to play SMU Wednesday night back in McGonigle Hall in the annual Play4Kay game to fight breast cancer and then they will get a second chance, this time on the road, to go through the nationally-ranked conference duo of South Florida and Connecticut.

They are currently in third place behind those two and two games in front of fourth.

As for dealing the Pirates, the Owls defense held East Carolina (10-15, 1-11) to under 13 points in each of all four periods and shot near 50 percent for the game. They also dominated the boards 48-34.

Feyonda Fitzgerald, who has made several watch lists for general player or just guard accolades, had a game-high 21 points and dealt six assists while Donnaizha Fountain double doubled again, this time with 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.

Alliya Butts scored 12 points, hit a career-high with six rebounds, dealt four assists and grabbed three steals.

If they should beat South Florida next time around, the NCAA tournament drought will be over well ahead of the conference tournament next month once again at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Penn State Wins Rutgers Loses in Big Ten Action

The Lady Lions were home in the Bryce Jordan Center and topped Purdue 79-73 while Rutgers got trounced at Minnesota 80-46 in Big Ten action.

In the Penn State game, Teniya Page had 24 points, while Kaliyah Mitchell had a double double with 10 point and 12 rebounds, Peyton Whited scored 11, and Sierra Moore had 13 points for the Lady Lions (17-8, 7-6 Big Ten).

Ashley Morrissette had a team high 17 points for the Boilermakers (15-11, 6-6).

Penn State next gets to go on the road Tuesday on Valentines Day to play at Illinois.

Meanwhile, Rutgers didn’t get any love from Minnesota in Minneapolis.

The Golden Gophers (13-12, 4-8 Big Ten) got 32 points off turnovers and scored 27 off free throw attempts.
Jazlynd Rollins with 11 points and Shrita Parker with 10 were the only two players scoring in double figures for the Scarlet Knights (6-19, 3-9).

Rutgers next plays Purdue on Wednesday at home at 7 p.m.

D2 Action: Lincoln Upsets No. 5 Virginia Union

In local Division II action, Lincoln’s season of struggle reached an enjoyable moment Saturday as the Lions upset No. 5 Virginia Union 82-78 at home at Manuel Rivero Hall.

Teira Pendelton had a career-high 22 points and Lincoln (7-17, 4-10 CIAA) won the game with a rally from a double digit deficit in the second half of the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association contest.

It’s the second straight season Lincoln upset a nationally-ranked team at home and each time it was Saturday’s opponent. The Panthers, who are 4th in the WBCA D2 poll and 7th in the D2SIDA poll fell to 21-2 overall and 12-2 in the league.

Kholby Oliver scored 16 points for Lincoln, She'cquan Bailey scored 13 points and Monique Cheek scored 10.

Looking Ahead

Technically, it’s also a Big 5 game but Temple already wrapped up the title with a 4-0 sweep so La Salle’s visit to Saint Joseph’s in Hagan Arena Sunday at 2 will just determine who finishes third and who finished fourth.

However, both are in a tight race in the upper portion of the Atlantic 10 and the winner will tie Fordham for fourth. Though Saint Joseph’s, which won at La Salle earlier in the season, split with the Rams, at the moment, the Hawks have a better win in St. Louis, which is in second, to gain the tiebreaker.

Upon further review, the Guru just noticed that George Washington is hosting first-place Dayton. Should the Colonials lose, they fall into a tie with two of the three but if they win, they move into a second-place tie with Saint Louis.

In other local action, Villanova will be at Seton Hall at 2 p.m. in the Big East.

Rider will be hosting Canisius at 1 p.m. trying to hold on to at least a piece of first in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

In the Colonial Athletic Association, Denise Dillon off her 250th win will try to keep Drexel in third place when the Dragons host UNCW at 2 p.m., while Delaware, just behind, will be hosting Hofstra at 4 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Class to be Announced

After previously revealing 12 finalists for the first time, the six-member Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction class for this year will be announced at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.

Sheryl Swoopes, who was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in September, is likely to be one of the six. The Guru has no insider information at this hour but he will bet these five Sally Bell (official), Christine Grant (contributor), Rose Marie Battaglia (coach), Joan Bonvicini (coach), and Rick Insell (coach).

That’s the wrap.


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