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 12, 2017

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: Lincoln Lions Roaring Along While Unbeatens Reduced to Zero

By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)


 It was an exciting week in Philadelphia small college women’s basketball as the area’s lone unbeaten team was upset and then the team that upset them was soundly beaten in their next game. Several other teams were perfect on the week, getting back on the winning track or starting modest winning streaks.


We’re going to start our notebook off though, we the hottest team in the area right now and that would be Division II Lincoln University.  

The Lions ran their winning streak to four games, defeating Washington Adventist 77-53 on Thursday before crushing Chestnut Hill College 88-58 on Sunday improving to 5-3 on the season.   


Chestnut Hill College was the team that upset #11/#17 University of the Sciences on Saturday, ending the Devils seven game win streak and handing them their first loss, but we’ll get to that game a bit later.


Back to Lincoln, the Lions put on an explosive performance in the final two quarters against Chestnut Hill, outscoring the Griffins 25-15 and 20-8 to cruise to the win.  

LU point guard Brianna Logan broke the school’s record for assists in a game with 12 and recorded her first career double-double by adding ten points. Teira Pendleton led the Lions with 20 points while McKenzie Spencer added a career high 17.  Shahra Madison notched her second consecutive double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. 


The Griffins (5-5) were led by Jaeda Wildgoose’s 13 points while Cassie Sebold contributed 11 off the bench.  Shannon Glenn added ten points.


Madison and Division I transfer Michelle Fitzgerald both recorded double-doubles in the Lions’ win over Washington Adventist with Fitzgerald scoring a career-high 24 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while Madison chipped in 14 points and 12 rebounds.  Logan had a career-high 16 points.


Back to Chestnut Hill, the Griffins outplayed nationally ranked USciences on Saturday, pulling away late to earn  a 72-65 win and hand the Devils (7-1) their first loss of the season.  Glenn scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Wildgoose had 13 points and 10 rebounds.  

The Griffins scored four straight points to break a 51-51 tie midway through the fourth quarter and take the lead for good.   An Alex Thomas three-pointer win the final seconds brought the Devils within three, 68-65, but they could get no closer.  Sarah Abbonizio finished the game with a career-high 26 points while Thomas added 18.  Jordan Vitelli chipped in 11 for the Devils who shot an uncharacteristically low 20% from three point range (6-30) and 31.8% from the field (The Griffins shot 43.6%).


The USciences upset was the Griffins’ lone victory on the week as another hot team in the CACC, Jefferson Universit,y defeated Chestnut Hill  81-71 in overtime on Tuesday and earned their third straight win on Saturday, defeating Holy Family University 73-67.


Against the Griffins, Jefferson’s Caitlyn Cunningham scored a game-high 24 points off the bench with seven rebounds while Jessica Kaminski notched a double-double in the win behind 15 points and 13 boards. 

Ayoola Oguntuase also scored 15 points in the game.  Vicky Tumasz had 19 points for the Griffins while Wildgoose had 18 points and 17 boards.


A tie game heading into the fourth quarter, the Griffins took a four point lead early in the period before a 3-ball from Cunningham and a basket by Oguntuase erased the deficit and gave the Rams a one point lead. 

Jefferson, formerly known as Philadelphia U., extended their lead to six with under a minute to go in regulation before the Griffins rallied with an 8-2 run to send the game into overtime.  

Trailing by one with three second left, Sebold was fouled and had a chance to put the Griffins ahead, but made just one of two to tie the game at 67-67.


In the overtime the Rams dominated, outscoring the Griffins 14-4 to earn the victory.


On Saturday against the Tigers, Kaminski notched another double-double with 11 points and 11 boards and also dished out seven assists in the 73-67 win.  Cunningham led the team with 18 points.  Elizabeth Radley led the Tigers (1-9) with 23 points.


The Tigers outscored the Rams 23-5 in the second quarter and led 41-28 at the break before the Rams countered with a 21-11 effort to close within three and then take the lead early in the fourth quarter before pulling away for the win.


Jefferson now has an area best nine wins with only one loss, and moved up to third in the latest D2SIDA Regional poll; USciences dropped to fourth. 


West Chester University got back on the winning track with a 72-53 win at home against Mercyhurst University on Saturday, the Golden Rams’ lone game of the week, improving their record to 5-3.


A low scoring affair in the first half, the two teams were tied at 22-22 heading into the third quarter.  West Chester scored the first five points of the period enroute to opening up a nine point lead heading into the final period where the Golden Rams dominated, pushing the lead to 20 on five separate occasions before finishing up with the 19-point win and move to 2-3 in PSAC games this season.


Porscha Speller and Katherine Fisher had 14 points apiece to lead West Chester.  Mia Hopkins had a team high eight rebounds.


Chester County’s third Division II squad Cheyney University dropped an 87-46 decision to #16 Edinboro on Saturday to fall to 1-9 overall and 0-5 in PSAC games.  Briana Hedgepeth led the Wolves with 12 points.


Moving across counties and Divisions into Delaware County and the area Division III schools, Cabrini University had a perfect week, defeating Cairn University 59-40 and later Susquehanna 64-60 on Saturday, improving to 5-2 overall and 2-0 in CSAC games.


Against Cairn, the Blue and White were paced by Nomi Washington and Kate Lannon who each tallied 16 points. Washington added six rebounds and five steals, while Lannon chipped in five boards and two assists. 


The Cavaliers used a strong third quarter to pull away from the Highlanders, opening the period with a 13-2 run capped by three-pointers from Washington and Lexi Edwards to take a 38-19 lead and extended it to 49-27 by quarters end.


On Saturday, The Cavaliers used a late 12-2 run in the fourth quarter to secure the win over host Susquehanna University.  Washington again led Cabrini with 20 points while Lannon and Sabrina Hackendorn added 12 points apiece.


Cabrini held a 34-31 lead at halftime, courtesy of a Washington 3-ball at the buzzer but the River Hawks responded with a solid third quarter to lead by two 50-48 entering the final period.   Susquehanna pushed the lead to six midway through the fourth quarter before the Cavs produced their decisive 12-2 spurt to pull out the win.  Hackendorn had six of the 12 points.


Gwynedd Mercy University and Neumann University are also undefeated in CSAC games as the Griffins lost a pair of non-conference tilts and the Knights split two non-conference games.


Gwynedd Mercy opened the week with an 85-60 loss to DeSales University before falling to Kings College 58-53 to drop their overall record to 4-3 while remaining steady at 2-0 in league play.


In the loss to Kings Susan Bossler led the Griffins with 16 points and eight rebounds.  Gwynedd Mercy would hold a slim lead at halftime before falling behind by six early in the third quarter.  The Griffins rallied to tie the score at 40-40 before a Monarch bucket but the host team back on top 42-40.


A 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter gave the Griffins a four point lead.  King’s rallied to tie the game before the Griffins retook the lead 53-51 on a Bianca Adams three-pointer.  Kings closed out the game with a 7-0 spurt to pull away with the win.


Sydney Thompson led the Griffins with ten points in their 85-60 loss to DeSales.


Neumann opened the week with a 77-69 win over Rutgers Camden but lost on Saturday to Catholic University 65-42.  The Knights are 5-4 overall and 2-0 in league play.


Against Rutgers-Camden, Nafisa Saunders led four Knights in double-digits with a game-high 20 points. Lauren Leicht netted 13 points, including 7-for-9 at the line. Minika Glenn scored 11 points while Mariah Maciejewski added 10. 


Gabby Greene and Michelle Obasi led Rutgers-Camden with 17 and 16 points respectively.


The Knights used a 20-3 uprising in the second quarter, taking command of the game while reversing a 27-20 deficit to lead by ten at the half 40-30.  The teams played equally throughout the third quarter and the Knights held a 59-48 lead heading into the final 10 minutes. 

Neumann built up a lead as large as 15 points during the final quarter. With under a minute remaining, Rutgers-Camden hit a three-pointer to get back to within six, 73-67. Leicht and Saunders hit key free throws down the stretch to seal the win and prevent the comeback attempt.


Saunders was the lone Knight in double figures in Neumann’s 23-point loss to Catholic Universitywith 13 points.  Legler added eight.


Neumann led early in the first quarter before an 11-0 run by the Cardinals put the hosts in control with an 18-10 lead heading into the second quarter.  The two teams played evenly in the second quarter but the Cardinals doubled up the Knights in the third to take firm control of the contest, holding a double digit lead the rest of the way.

Eastern University won their first two games of the season last week, defeating a pair of CSAC schools, Rosemont, 70-39 and Immaculata 60-53.


In the “Battle of the Birds”, the Eagles jumped out to a 23-1 lead in the opening quarter and never looked back as they cruised to the 31-point win.  


Regie Robinson and Amanda Riiff finished with 16 points each, and Taylor Price picked up her first double-double of the year with 14 points and ten rebounds.


The Eagles held the Ravens to just 25.4% shooting from the field and used a 12-0 run to start the second half to take a 43-9 lead.  Rosemont did cut the deficit to 22 points with a 12-0 run of their own midway through the third.


Amber Lomax was the lone Ravens player in double figures with 11 points.  Rosemont falls to 6-2 on the season.


Eastern earned their second win of the year later in the week, defeating Immaculata 60-53 behind Brianna Young-Harris’ 19 points.  The eagles improve to 2-5 on the season.  Immaculata falls to 2-6.


Annie Kohutka led Immaculata with 19 points while Theresa Kearney added 11.


The Eagles led 23-20 at the half and held the Mighty Macs to just eight first half field goals and 27.5% shooting (8-29).  Immaculata used a 14-2 run in the third quarter to take an eight point lead 39-31 before the Eagles came back to close the gap to one at 41-40 heading into the final stanza.


A 10-3 run to start the fourth quarter put the Eagles in control as they held on for the seven point win.


Widener University split a pair of games, beating Albright College, 77-70 to start the week before falling to Lycoming 79-61, keeping their record even at 4-4 overall and 1-3 in league play.


In earning their first conference win of the season over Albright, Widener’s Madison Ireland scored  a career-high 28 points, 14 in each half as the Pride used a strong fourth quarter to come-from behind and win.


Albright led by six at the end of three quarters when the Pride scored the first seven points of the final period to take their first lead since 2-0. 

Widener later went on an 8-1 run to take a 73-68 lead with 2:26 left.  The Pride were a perfect 4-4 from the free throw line over the final two minutes to close out the game with the win.


Allison Gallagher scored a season-high 26 points as the Pride lost at Lycoming 79-61 on Saturday.  Widener got the early jump in the game as Gallagher scored nine of her points in the first with the Pride leading the majority of the frame before a late spurt gave Lycoming an 18-13 lead. The Warriors extended their lead as the second quarter went on, taking a 37-25 lead into halftime.


In the second half, the Blue and Gold battled back, opening the third period on a 15-9 run to slice the lead to six on an Ireland triple with 5:42 remaining. Lycoming recovered, however, and pushed the lead to 13 by the end of the frame and led by double digits the rest of the way.

Moving on to the Centennial Conference where the two top teams Haverford and #19 Muhlenberg met earlier in the week.  The match lived up to its billing as the two teams battled back and forth the whole way with the end result being a Muhlenberg win 53-51, handing the Fords their first conference loss.


Macy Goldbach led the way for the Fords offensively with 11 points while Sierra Berkel (nine points, 10 rebounds) and Samantha Wetzel (eight points, 10 rebounds) each narrowly missed double-double efforts.


A 9-0 run by the Fords gave the visitors a 17-12 lead before Muhlenberg rallied to retake the lead.  Haverford again rallied to lead by four at the break 23-19.  In the third quarter the Mules pushed the tempo with an 11-1 run to take a 39-30 lead before Ford 3-ball made it a six point game at 39-33.


Haverford tied the game at 39-39 in the fourth quarter before the Mules powered their way back to a five point lead 44-39.  Haverford whittled the lead back down to one on three separate occasions, the last being 52-51 in the final minute but the Fords could get no closer.


The Fords played their final game of 2017 Saturday at home against Washington College, cruising to a 58-32 win to improve to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

Wetzel led the Fords with 18 points while Berkel added 12.


Haverford scored the first eight points and never looked back jumping out to a 12-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and increasing that to 26-7 by halftime.  The Fords outscored WC in each of the four quarters 


Ursinus also lost to Muhlenberg last week, 76-70.  Lydia Konstanzer had 25 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bears. Toni Suler added 13 points while Marisa Morano chipped in ten points.


The game saw six ties and eight lead changes as the two teams battled it out on the hardwood.  

Ursinus held a 26-25 lead midway through the second quarter before the Mules rallied to lead 40-35 at the break.  A fairly even third quarter saw the Mules maintain their lead and increase it to seven midway through the fourth, 66-59. 

 The Bears clawed back within one on two occasions before the Mules were solid down the stretch and held on for the win.


Ursinus opened the week with a 12-point win at Swarthmore, keeping the Garnet winless in league play at 0-5.  Konstanzer had 15 points to pace the Bears.  Audra Woodside led Swarthmore with 15 points.


Finally we go briefly over the river to Rowan University, which split their two games last week, opening the week with an 87-82 win over the College of New Jersey before falling at Montclair State 61-48 to move to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in league play.


The Profs got a career high 30 points from Alex Raring in their win over TCNJ.  Dominique Peters and Olivia Rulon contributed 17 points apiece.


After a close first half (40-39) the Profs used a 25-4 flourish in the third quarter to lead by 22 65-43 before TCNJ cut the deficit in half 69-58 by the end of the quarter.  TCNJ pulled within three points with an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter and later tied the score at 76-76 on Jen Byrne’s triple with 2:56 left.  Back-to-back baskets from Raring put the Profs back up by five 81-76 which would be as close as the Lions would get down the stretch.


Raring led the Profs with 17 points as they fell to nationally ranked Montclair State on Saturday 61-48.

In weekly awards handed out by the New Jersey Athletic Conference, Stockton’s Sasha Williams, a senior forward from Cherry Hill West, was named player of the week while Shannon Devitt of The College of New Jersey, a freshman forward out of Westfield High, earned rookie honors.


Final exams are upon most of the area and many school will not see action during the week until Saturday if at all.  We’ll have a new notebook for you at least once more before Christmas.


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