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 19, 2017

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: Individuals Shine As Streaks Continue and Snap

 By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)

A lighter schedule last week due to final exams at our area small colleges but there was still some great games on the docket as winning streaks were extended, others broken and same great individual performances took place, including one player reaching the 1,000-point milestone which is where we will start this week’s notebook.

Taylor Price became the fifteenth player in Eastern University women's basketball history to reach 1,000 points for her career, but her 23 points were not quite enough as the Eagles dropped a heartbreaking 79-72 decision to Kean University in overtime.


Regie Robinson added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Eagles.


Price reached the milestone in the overtime period, having entered the game needing 19 points to do so and finishing with 18 in regulation.  No time to celebrate however as the game was still too close to call at that moment. 

 Her basket with 1:07 left in the overtime cut Kean’s lead to three at 69-66 but it was short-lived as the opposition would follow with seven straight points to take a ten point lead at 76-66.  Price’s three-pointer with five seconds left was the final points for the Eagles.


The first team in our area to reach the ten-win mark on the season is Jefferson University.  The Rams extended their winning streak to four games and moved to 10-1 on the season with a 71-58 road win over Bloomsburg University on Saturday.

Alynna Williams led the Rams with 20 points while Jessica Kaminski scored 16 points and had eight rebounds. Rachel Day added 10 points on the day while Beverly Kum scored nine while grabbing a game-high 15 rebounds and dishing out a team-high four assists.


The Huskies led early but a 10-0 run in the second quarter put the Rams in control at 30-23 midway through the second period before settling in for a six point lead at 34-28 by halftime.


Jefferson pushed their lead to 14 points midway through the third quarter on a Kaminski layup and the Huskies never came any closer than ten points the rest of the way.  


Earlier in the week when the D2SIDA media polls were released the Rams moved up to #3 in the East region poll and #22 in the D2SIDA national poll, their first appearance in the national poll this year.


The areas other hot team, Lincoln University, saw their win streak snapped at four as they opened conference play on the road in Charlotte, North Carolina with an 86-64 loss to defending CIAA Tournament Champions Johnson C. Smith University on Thursday.


The Lions placed four players in double figures led by Michelle Fitzgerald’s 13 points and the third consecutive double-double from Shahra Madison (12 points, 11 boards) but could not overcome the strong shooting from the Golden Bulls who shot over 50% in every quarter (52% for the game).


JCSU took control in the second quarter on the strength on solid long range shooting (7-10 from beyond the arc in first 20 minutes) and led by seven at the break, 35-28.   

A high scoring third quarter saw the Lions close within one but the Golden Bulls pushed the margin back up to seven before dominating the fourth quarter, outscoring the Lions 26-11 for the 22-point win. 


Lincoln got back on track two days later with a 75-66 win at Winston-Salem State University, improving to 6-4 on the season.  Fitzgerald recorded her fourth double-double of the year with 19 points and 12 rebounds.  Teira Pendleton added 14 points and fell one rebound shy of a double-double with nine.


The Lions built a ten point lead by halftime, only to see the Rams charge back to take a 50-49 lead after three quarters.  The Lions quickly regained control, using a dominant fourth quarter (7-13 FG, 10-12 FT) to pull away with the nine point win.


The Philadelphia area’s other HBCU, Cheyney University, got a big performance from TaKayla Ellis as the Wolves earned an 81-69 road win over West Liberty University for just the second victory of the year.


Ellis poured in a career high 34 points connecting on 14 field goals (14-23) with four of those from deep.  She added seven rebounds.   Ellis had 20 of her team’s 37 first half points as the Wolves held a 37-31 lead over the Hilltoppers at halftime.


The Hilltoppers came back and tied the game at 60-60 with 7:21 left and the Wolves held just a two point advantage 68-66 with only 3:38 remaining.  Cheyney followed with an 11-0 run to put the game out of reach and take their largest lead of the game at 13 points 79-66 with just 20 ticks left on the clock.

Marlon herring scored seven of her 13 points in the fourth quarter while Ellis also had seven points in the period.


Moving on to action in the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC), just four of the conference Philadelphia area programs saw action last week with Neumann University and Gwynedd Mercy University winning their only contests during the week and Rosemont College dropping two of three non-conference clashes. Immaculata also lost their only game of the week.


In the closest game of the week, Neumann University held on for a 58-56 win at Lancaster Bible on Saturday afternoon. Minika Glenn led the Knights with 20 points. Nafisa Saunders added 16 points. 


The game was close for all four quarters as neither team could produce a key run to take control.  The Knights built a seven point lead in the first quarter only to see Lancaster Bible cut it to four and then pushed their lead to 11 in the second, with Lancaster Bible again cutting into the lead with a 9-0 run as the Knights led by just two at the break.


Two minutes into the final quarter, Lancaster Bible built a six points lead, 50-44. Neumann answered with the next six points to tie the game.

 After the teams traded the baskets, Glenn put the Knights up 54-52 with 3:58 left in regulation. A jumper by Mariah Maciejewski gave Neumann a four point advantage. 

Two free throws by the Chargers with 2:22 on the clock made it a one possession game. Neither team would find the basket until Saunders hit two free throws with 15 second remaining to seal the win and put the game out of reach, even as Lancaster Bible hit a layup with two seconds remaining.


Gwynedd Mercy used a solid second half to dispatch Alvernia University, 58-39 to improve to 5-3 on the season.


Bianca Adams led the Griffins with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, all team highs. Sydney Thompson added 11, knocking down a trifecta of three pointers.


The Griffins trailed by just one point at half time 25-24, but a defensive surge in the third quarter helped limit Alvernia to a total of 14 second-half points as they outscored the Golden Wolves 34-14 over the final two periods.

  GMU’s defense limited Alvernia to just four field goals and 16.7% shooting from the field (4-24) in the second half and 23.5% for the entire game (12-51).


The long ball played a big role in the Griffins offense in the third quarter as they outscored Alvernia 17-8.  GMU got four three point field goals courtesy of Adams, Thompson and Susan Bossler as well as a traditional three-point play from Marissa Sullivan.


Alvernia cut the lead to six early in the fourth quarter but the Griffins’ defense tightened up while the offense used a 15-2 run down the stretch to pull away for the win.


Rosemont won their first game of the week, defeating Wesley, 69-53 on Wednesday night.


The Ravens outscored Wesley 28-8 over the final ten minutes en route to the win and took full advantage of the long ball, connecting on 11 three-pointers out of 19 attempts, making 9-of-11 attempts in the second half to fuel the victory.

Ke'alohilani Naone-Carter had a monster night, scoring a game-high 27 points on 9-of-17 shooting. She made six three pointers on the night. Her 27 points marked the second time she has scored that much in a game this season. Jasmyn Parker scored 15 points, while Ayanna Thompson netted 11.


The Ravens followed their win with a pair of losses over the weekend, falling to Arcadia University 64-60 on Saturday and Eastern Mennonite University 75-66 on Sunday to fall to 7-4 on the season. 


Arcadia placed four players in double figures led by Taylor Frist’s 18 points.  Taylor Dunn added 15, Courtney Hoffman 12 and Camille Menn’s ten.


Naone-Carter again had a huge game, scoring 28 of her team’s 60 points.  Parker added 16.

The Knights came out of the gates hot, going on an 8-2 run over the first three minutes of the game, with Dunn and Fritz leading the way. Arcadia would end the first quarter leading 18-12.  

The lead ballooned to 16 points midway through second quarter before the Ravens battled back with a 17-1 uprising over the final 4:31 to head into the locker room tied at the half.  Naone-Carter scored all 17 Rosemont points during the run, including a 10-11 effort from the free throw line.

Arcadia dominated most of the third, using a 14-5 run over the final 7:45 to overcome a four-point deficit and take a five-point lead heading into the final quarter, 51-46. 

Entering the final stanza, the Ravens tried to make a comeback; however Courtney Hoffman solidified the game with five points from the charity stripe, including the final three, to give the Knights a 64-60 victory as they improve to 5-5.

Naone-Carter did not play in the Ravens final game of the week as they fell to 7-4 with a loss at Eastern Mennonite University, 75-66.   Parker led the team with 27 points.  Thompson and Jayme Byers added 11 points apiece.  Thompson also had 12 assists.

EMU scored the first ten points of the game and led wire-to-wire as the Ravens could not get their offense on track in the early goings.  Rosemont closed the gap to five points by the end of the third quarter and an Amber Lomax 3-ball pulled the ravens within two to open the final period but this would be as close as they would come as the Royals controlled the final minutes.

Washington College handed Immaculata (2-7) an 82-48 loss in the Mighty Macs only game of the week. Freshman Theresa Kearney was the bright spot for the Mighty Macs, scoring a career high 20 points.

The Shorewomen led wire-to-wire and held Immaculata to just 29.3% shooting from the field.

Moving back into the Division II ranks, The University of the Sciences will most likely drop out of the WBCA Top 25 coaches’ poll when the next rankings are announced as the #24 Devils dropped their second consecutive contest, losing to American International College, 72-62 in the opening game of the Saint Rose holiday Classic on Saturday.

Sarah Abbonizio led the team with 24 points while Alex Thomas and Jordan vitelli added 13 points apiece.

The Yellow Jackets outscored the Devils in each of the first three quarters forcing the Devils to play from behind for much of the contest.   Three-pointers from Abbonizio, Colleen Walsh and Thomas gave the Devils a 9-4 lead in the opening period before AIC used an 11-4 spurt to take a 15-13 lead at the end of one period.  

Another three-ball from Abbonizio pulled the Devils within one in the second quarter before the Yellow Jackets ran off nine straight points to push the lead to double digits.  USciences got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

The Devils came back the next day to defeat host College of St. Rose, 64-51 to improve to 8-2 on the season.  Vitelli led the team with 22 points.

A 26-6 run spanning the third and fourth quarters enabled the Devils to take control and erase a five point Golden Knights lead.  USciences scored ten unanswered points over a 3:40 span bridging the two final quarters to take a 16-point lead at 50-34 with 8:57 left in the game.  St. Rose would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

Chestnut Hill college split their two non-conference games last week, defeating Mercy College 81-76 on Tuesday before falling at University of New Haven on Wednesday, 76-53.

Jaeda Wildgoose led four Griffin players in double figures with 17 points.  Cassie Sebold moved into a starting role and added 15 points and a team high six assists.  Vicky Tumasz and Shannon Glenn added 13 and 10 points respectively.

The Griffins used a strong first quarter, outscoring the Mavericks 31-15 as Wildgoose notched 11 of her 17 points in the first quarter.   The Mavericks gained some ground in the second quarter, cutting the Griffins lead to 11 at the half, 50-39.

Chestnut Hill pushed the lead back to 16 at 59-43 in the third quarter when the Mavericks ran off eight unanswered points in a two minute span to close the gap to 59-51. 

 Mercy trimmed the lead to six 66-60 by the end of the period and scored the first four points of the fourth period to pull within two 66-64. Still leading by two, Sebold triggered a 7-0 Griffin run with a layup at the 3:37 mark and found Tumasz and Wildgoose open for back-to-back baskets as the Griffins pushed the lead to 77-68, enough to withstand one final charge from the Mavericks.

The Griffins closed out their non-conference schedule with a 23-point loss at New Haven on Wednesday.

Wildgoose again led Chestnut Hill with 18 points (12-12 FT).  Tumasz added 13 points and was the only other player in double figures for the Griffins.

The Griffins were limited to just 25.5% (12-47) shooting from the field in the game.  

The Chargers opened up a double digit lead early in the opening period and increased it to 17, 41-24 by halftime.

After the break, the Charger lead ballooned to as many as 26 points midway through the third quarter  with the Griffins only able to close the gap to 14 before the Chargers pulled away with the 23-point win.

In other Division III action, Bryn Athyn College won both of their games last week, dismantling Bryn Mawr College 71-47 and edging Keystone College 59-54 to improve to 4-7 on the season.

 Allie Warren knocked down four 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 20 points as Bryn Athyn College cruised to a 71-47 non-conference victory over Bryn Mawr College Wednesday night 


In addition to Warren, Shaneika Smith, Zeniyah Sanders, and Clayshonia Cogmon also scored in double figures. Smith had 12 points, while Cogmon and Sanders each posted 11 points.

Trailing by two in the first quarter the Lions finished the period strong and held a 23-9 lead.  The lead ballooned to as many as 34 points at 63-29 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter before the Lions settled in for the 24-point win.  Bryn Mawr remains winless at 0-9 on the season.


Against Keystone, the Lions scored seven points in the final 34 seconds of the game to erase a two point deficit and stun Keystone on their home court 59-54


Trailing 54-52 with 34 seconds left on the clock, Shaneika Smith made two free throws to knot the score at 54. The two points also capped off a 14-point, 10-rebound day for Smith. 

After getting a turnover on Keystone's next possession, Allie Warren—Bryn Athyn's leading scorer with a game-high 17 points—put the Lions in front 57-54 with a layup and free throw with seven seconds to play. 

Sha'Vion Woodland sealed the victory, stealing the ball on the final Keystone possession. Clayshonia Cogmon, who had 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, provided the exclamation point with a fast break layup to close out the scoring.


Arcadia University won their early game of the week, defeating Rutgers-Camden 62-60.  Taylor Dunn and Jaime Manzo led the Knights with 18 and 17 points respectively.


Cara Racobaldo and Michelle Obasi had 16 and 14 points apiece for Rutgers-Camden (6-5) while Gabby Greene added 11.


Staying with the NJAC, Rowan University handed Widener University an 86-68 loss on Saturday.


Alex Raring led the Profs (6-4) with 26 points while Olivia Rulon had 15.  Devon Rimmer had 17 points to lead Widener (4-5).


Rowan used a dominant second quarter, outscoring Widener 20-9 to take control of the game and a 39-26 lead into the locker room at halftime.  The Profs increased their lead to as many as 25 (57-32) in the third quarter and held a double digit advantage throughout the rest of the game.


The College of New Jersey also beat an area team, as they cruised to a 17-point win 68-51 over Delaware Valley University on Saturday.


Kate O’Leary led TCNJ (6-3) with 28 points while Delaware Valley (2-7) got 29 points from Ashley Smink.


After a close first two quarters which saw neither team leading by more than six throughout and TCNJ holding a 32-29 lead at the break, the Lions roared out with a 12-2 flourish in the third quarter to lead by 13, 44-31 and pushed the lead to 15 by the end of the period. 

TCNJ would increase the lead to as many as 20 in the final quarter with DelVal only coming as close as 17 down the stretch.


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