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.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: Area Unbeatens Quickly Reduced to One

By Bob Heller

Four area teams entered this week with unblemished records conference play got under way for the two division II squads and continued on the D-III level.  When the dust settled after several competitive contests this week, only one of the four, Division II University of the Sciences remains in the ranks of the area unbeatens having recorded a perfect 3-0 record last week.


The nationally ranked Devils actually dropped in the two polls released earlier in the week having been idle the previous week, falling to #13 in the D2SIDA media poll and #20 in the WBCA Coaches’ poll. 

‘Sciences opened conference play on Saturday with a 57-45 win over Holy Family University dropping the Tigers to 1-7 on the season.  Five different players scored eight of more points for the Devils’ balanced offense led by Alex Thomas and Irisa Ye scoring 13 points apiece. The Tigers were led by Casey Thomas’ 15 points and eight rebounds.


Earlier in the week the Devils took home a hard fought four-point victory (67-63) at perennial east region power Adelphi University.  Sarah Abbonizio had a season-high 24 points (9-13 FG) in the contest.  The Devils then closed out the week on Sunday with a rematch of last year’s regional semi-final opponent Queens College, defeating the Knights 61-54 at the Bobby Morgan Arena, remaining perfect on the season with a 6-0 mark.  Thomas and Ye again led the team with 15 points apiece.


Of note, USciences’ Head Coach Jackie Hartzell moved into second place on the Devils all-time win list last week, passing Andy McGovern with her 80th career win against Adelphi.  In four-plus seasons, Hartzell’s record is 82-41.


Haverford College played their first game outside the state on Saturday and suffered their first loss of the season, falling at Stevens 54-42.  Sierra Berkel had a stellar performance in the loss scoring 24 points on 9-16 shooting.  


The Fords opened the week with a pair of wins, defeating Bryn Mawr College 74-33 at home and earning a 67-55 win at Franklin and Marshall.  Against F & M, Berkel recorded a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Samantha Wetzel had the double-double against Bryn Mawr with 20 points and 12 boards.


Haverford is still perfect in conference play with a 3-0 record and sitting in second place behind pre-season favorite Muhlenberg College with a 4-0 conference record.  Muhlenberg (7-0 overall) and Gettysburg College (5-0) overall are the lone unbeaten teams in the Centennial.   


The Fords  will travel to one of the two remaining undefeated teams in Centennial Conference on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 as they face Muhlenberg College.


Rosemont College, the other division III unbeaten entering this week, dropped their first game of the season, losing to Colonial States Athletic Conference rival Neumann University 73-71 on Wednesday.  The Knights, who led by 11 with 1:24 left in the game, held off a furious rally by the Ravens who cut the lead down to three on a Shawn Dowd bucket with 13 seconds left.  Minika Glenn’s free throw with ten ticks on the clock however made it a two possession game at 73-69.  A Raven bucket at the buzzer provided the final points but was not enough to pull off the road win.  Mariah Macijewski led the Knights with 19 points and 14 rebounds.  Leilani Naone-Carter led Rosemont with 21 points.

The Ravens recovered from the loss and went on to defeat Notre Dame University of Maryland 92-46, placing five players in double figures led by Jasmin Parker’s 19 points.


The Knights followed their opening CSAC win with a 74-41 trouncing of Keystone College.  Macijewski and Lauren Legler led the Knights with 17 points apiece.  Neumann improves to 2-0 in the CSAC South and 4-3 overall and holds down first place in their division.


Staying within the CSAC, Gwynedd Mercy University improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the CSAC North with wins over Marywood and Centenary.  The Griffins currently hold down first place in their division.


In GMU’s 65-57 win over Marywood, Bianca Adams and Susan Bossler led the Griffins with 14 and 11 points respectively. Juliana Hoisington and Adams were the key contributors in the Griffins 56-41 win over Centenary scoring 14 and 12 points respectively.


Cabrini University improved to 3-2 overall with a huge 81-53 win in their CSAC opener over Immaculata University.  Kate Lannon led the Cavs with 14 points while Lexi Edwards and Nomi Washingtonadded 12 points apiece.  The Mighty Macs fell to 2-4 with the loss and were led by Gina Cocci’s 12 points.


The area’s three Chester County Division II teams were also busy last week.  Lincoln University was a perfect 2-0 on the week as they evened their record at 3-3.  The Lions opened the week with a 93-80 win over Wilmington University as Michelle Fitzgerald recorded the first of two-consecutive double-doubles on the week with 21 points and ten rebounds.  


Fitzgerald added 14 points and 10 rebounds as the Lions won their annual “Battle of the First” contest against Cheyney University 74-66.  Teira Pendleton led the Lions with 18 points.  Lincoln led wire-to-wire and was up by as many as 17 before the Wolves closed the gap to single digits with a 12-3 run late in the game.  Yasmine Dorrielan led CU with 18 points.


Cheyney meanwhile is 1-8 on the season after the loss to Lincoln and two PSAC losses to Pitt-Johnstown (71-53)  and #7 Indiana U. of Pa. (86-55).


West Chester University played on their home court for the first time this season after being forced to play at Widener earlier in the season after a busted geothermal pipe forced major repairs at Hollinger Field House.  

Hollinger wasn’t too friendly though for the Golden Rams over the weekend as they dropped both PSAC games, losing to Indiana University (Pa.) 86-75 and Seton Hill University (86-76).


Mia Hopkins continued her stellar play for the Golden Rams, tallying a game-high 22 points, 14 boards, five assists, and a pair of blocks in the loss to IUP and added 13 points in the Seton Hill loss.   Porscha Speller threw down 31 points in the loss to Seton Hill.   

The two losses dropped West Chester’s record to 4-3 overall and 1-3 in league play.


West Chester and Cheyney will host Mercyhurst and Edinboro respectively on Saturday for their only upcoming action this week.


Moving across the river to the NJAC we have Rowan University and Rutgers-Camden sitting in the middle of the pack with 4-3 overall records.  Rowan was a 99-79 winner over William Patterson on Saturday, putting six players in double figures led by Alex Raring (22 points and Olivia Rulon (17 points).  The Profs are 2-1 in league play.


Rutgers-Camden was also a big winner on Saturday, pounding New Jersey City University 76-49 to earn their first conference win against two losses.  Gabby Greene led the team with 14 points while Cara Racobaldo had 12 points and five assists.


Meanwhile, back in the MAC (Middle Atlantic Conference) Arcadia and Widener are winless in conference play with both teams holding 3-3 overall records.  Albright College handed Arcadia a 66-46 loss in their conference opener on Saturday.  Sydney Cyr was the Knights only double figure scorer with 11 points.   


Widener University has played two conference games, losing 56-54 to Lebanon Valley on Wednesday and 73-60 to Stevenson on Saturday.  In Wednesday’s game, Allison Gallagher hit a game-tying free throw with 17 seconds left before LVC’s Anne Lehr sank a basket with one second left on the clock to seal the win.  Nikki Petri led Widener with 13 points.


The MAC Freedom division has yet to start conference play.  Delaware Valley University is 2-5 overall.  DVU put up 104 points in their 104-42 win over Goucher on Wednesday before falling 76-67 to Penn State Abington on Saturday. 

 Ashley Smink and Lauren Moretti had 19 points apiece in the Aggies win over Goucher while Sarah Wills added 16. In the loss to PSU-Abington, Smink led the team with 19 points while Danielle Skedzielewski added 16.

Eastern University, the other area team in the MAC is winless at 0-5 on the season.  Taylor Price leads the team, averaging 10.2 points per game.


Heading back into Philadelphia, Division II Jefferson University dropped their first game of the season, falling 73-69 at Kutztown University on Wednesday.  Beverly Kum led the Rams with a game-high 21 points while Rachel Day put up 16 points.  The Rams trailed the Golden Bears by nine with 1:07 left but closed the gap with a 6-2 run but ran out of time to catch their hosts. 


The Rams recovered and won their conference opener 80-64 over Georgian Court on Saturday.  Erin Maher scored a career-high 26 points while Kum and Alynna Williams added 13 apiece.


Chestnut Hill also won their conference opener on Saturday, beating Goldey-Beacom College 77-53 to move to 4-3 overall, 1-0 in league play.  Vicki Tumasz pumped in 29 points (11-19 FG) while Cassie Sebold chipped in 12.


Upcoming this week, the four area CACC schools will play each other with Holy Family hosting Jefferson on Tuesday and USciences hosting Chestnut Hill on Saturday.   The Griffin will also travel south for a non-conference tilt with Lincoln on Sunday.  


A smattering of conference games will be on tap this week in the Division III ranks with the aforementioned Haverford-Muhlenberg matchup topping the bill.  Much of the area Division III slate will be non-conference action.


Weekly Awards


Here is a list compiled of all the conference weekly award winners that are playing on area teams during the 2017-18 season.


Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC)


12/4/17Erin MaherJeffersonPlayer of the Week

​    Irisa Ye​     USciencesRookie of the Week

11/27/17.       Vicky TumasChestnut HillPlayer of the Week

Caitlyn CunninghamJeffersonRookie of the Week

11/20/17Jessica KaminskiJeffersonDefensive Player of the Week

11/13/17Jordan VitelliUSciencesCo-Player of the Week

Caitlyn CunninghamJeffersonRookie of the Week

Beverly KumJeffersonDefensive Player of the Week


Colonial State Athletic Conference (CSAC)


12/4/17Bianca AdamsGwynedd MercyPlayer of the Week

Marisa SullivanGwynedd MercyDefensive Player of the Week

11/27/17Ke’alohilani Naone-CarterRosemontPlayer of the Week

Ayanna ThompsonRosemontDefensive Player of the Week

11/20/17Minika GlennNeumannPlayer of the Week

Nomi WashingtonCabriniDefensive Player of the Week