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 26, 2017

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: Part 2 - The Division III Action

By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)

Nine area Division III schools saw action last week as the area women’s basketball programs got some of their final non-conference action in before the holiday and before beginning conference play in earnest in January.

Cabrini University won their fourth straight game, defeating William Paterson University 60-55 to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Lexi Edwards and Sabrina Hackendorn led the Cavs with 18 and 16 points respectively.  Hackendorn added 11 rebounds for a double-double.

Cabrini used a 17-9 run to close of the first quarter and take an eight point lead over William Paterson.  The Cavaliers extended their lead to 12 points on three occasions in the second quarter and took a ten point lead at the break, 30-20.

An Edwards basket capped off a 15-7 run by the Cavs pushed the lead to 18, 45-27 with just over three minutes left in the third quarter.  The Pioneers would not go down without a fight, however as they ripped off a 15-4 run to bring the score to 49-42 heading into the final stanza. 

A three-pointer by the Pioneers just 20 seconds into the fourth quarter cut the Cavs lead to just four as the William Paterson squad was gaining momentum. The Pioneers worked the score back to just a three point defect, but that is as close as they would get. A pair of layups from Hackendorn put a halt to the Pioneers run and sealed the game in favor of the Cavaliers.

Elsewhere in the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC), Neumann University picked up their seventh win of the season, defeating Penn State-Abington, 73-55.

Nafisa Saunders led the way for Neumann, registering a double-double with a team-high 24 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Mariah Maciejewski also tallied a double-double, notching 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Neumann came out of the gates strong in the game's opening quarter and set the tone for what would be a comfortable win with a 15-2 run to start the period. The Nittany Lions trimmed the lead as the quarter progressed, cutting their deficit to nine, 21-12 by the end of the period.

Penn State Abington closed the gap to six in the second quarter before the Knights took control with a 17-8 flourish in the second to keep their firm grasp on the lead, 40-25 at the break.

The Knights increased their lead to as many as 28 points in the fourth quarter which was enough to hold off a late Nittany Lion run as Neumann cruised to the 18-point win.

Ursinus College from the Centennial Conference won their final game before the Christmas holiday, cruising past Immaculata University 75-60 to improve to 6-5 on the season.  Immaculata falls to 2-8 overall.

Aliyah Stephens led the Bears, scoring a team-high 13 points and added five rebounds in just nine minutes on the floor, while Lydia Konstanzer and Rachel Guy each tallied 12 points. Konstanzer came up one board short of a double-double and added three assists.

Theresa Kearney led the Mighty Macs with 16 points while Annie Kohutka tallied 13 points. Natalie Ayoub chipped in 11 points.

The Bears took control of the game with a 22-8 showing in the second quarter, turning a two point game into a double-digit advantage, 41-25 at halftime.

Ursinus continued to fire on all cylinders in the second half, increasing their lead to as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter before settling in for the 25-point win. 

 The Bears defense held the Mighty Macs to just 19% shooting over the final three quarters and 26.3% for the game.  The Ursinus offense shot 50% from three-point range (8-16) and 41.8% for the game.

Widener University evened their record at 5-5 with a 76-64 road win over Marywood University.

Madison Ireland led four Widener players in double figures with 16 points.  Devan Rimmer and Allison Gallagher added 13 points apiece and Julia Venturelli chipped in 11 points.

After a back and forth first quarter which saw the Pacers hold a slim one point lead, the Pride came to life in the second quarter, outscoring their hosts 18-9 in the period which including a 12-2 flourish in the final 3:48 to take a 38-30 lead at the break.  Ireland and Venturelli combined to score all 12 points in that Pride’s flourish to end the half. 

A pair of Ireland free throws with 2:21 left in the third gave Widener its biggest lead of the quarter at 54-40 before Marywood cut the gap to single digits 56-47 at the end of the period. 

 Marywood would come no closer than eight in the final quarter as Widener started to pull away late en route to the 12-point win.

Also in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), Eastern University earned their third win of the season, edging Penn State-Brandywine 56-53.

Taylor Price scored nine of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as Eastern held off the late charge from the Nittany Lions.  The Eagles outscored the Nittany Lions 16-1 in the second quarter to turn a tied game into a 29-14 lead at halftime, getting baskets from five different players for a well-balanced offensive attack.

Price’s basket early in the third quarter extended the run to 20-1 and gave the Eagles a 19-point lead.  Penn State responded with a 20-8 flourish to get right back into the game and cut the Eagle lead to seven, 41-34.

The Nittany Lions would score the first seven points in the final period to tie the game at 41-41.  Eastern countered with nine straight points with Price netting seven of them to go back up by nine 50-41.  An 8-1 run by Penn State again made the game a one possession affair at 51-49 with 3:05 left.  EU’s Amanda Riiff followed with a three-pointer and Price added a layup to push the lead back to seven 56-49 with 2:20 left.  

 PSU did score the final four points to make the final score 56-53.

Over in New Jersey, The College of New Jersey women’s program earned their seventh win of the season with a 64-60 overtime win over Transylvania University.

Kate O’Leary led the Lions with 19 points.  Jen Byrne and Shannon Devitt added 15 and 12 points respectively.

The two teams battled in the early goings with five lead changes in the first quarter and a sixth to open the second before Transylvania took control and opened a nine point lead late in the quarter before sending the half up seven, 36-29.

The Lions trailed by as many as 11 in the third quarter and were still down by seven, 53-46 with 4:40 left in the period when O’Learysank a three-ball, starting a 9-0 run to give TCNJ their first lead since the first quarter at 55-53 with just 19 seconds in regulation. Transylvania’s Ashton Woodard tied the game with a bucket with 13 seconds left to send the game into overtime.

O’Leary opened the overtime with another long range jumper before TU’s Celia Cline scored five straight to give the Pioneers a 60-58 lead with 1:41 left.  TCNJ scored the final six points as the Pioneers missed six straight shots in the final 36 seconds to hang on for the win.

Area Leading Scorers (Div. III)   
through games of 12/26/17
(points per game)

1. Shayna Rodriguez, PSU-Abington (NEAC)21.8
2. Jen Byrne, TCNJ (NJAC)20.5
3. Ke’alohilani Naone-Carter,  Rosemont (CSAC)17.2
4. Lydia Konstanzer, Ursinus (Centennial)16.4
5. Ashley Smink, Delaware Valley (MAC-Com.)16.3

Team Offensive Leaders (overall record) 
(average points per game)

1. Rowan University (6-4)75.3
2. Rosemont College (7-4)74.2
3. Rutgers-Camden University (6-5)71.2
4. Penn State-Abington (6-3)70.1
5. Widener University (5-5)68.6

Team Defense Leaders (overall record) 
(Fewest points allowed per game)

1. Haverford College (7-2)47.0
2. Ursinus College(6-5)54.3
3. Gwynedd Mercy University (4-2)54.6
4. Arcadia University (5-5)59.3
5. Penn State-Abington (6-3)59.4



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