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, December 03, 2017

The Guru Report: Temple Thrashes Harvard While Rutgers Passes Last Season Win Total

By Mel Greenberg @womhoopsguru

PHILADELPHIA - A year ago up in Cambridge, Mass., an eventual Ivy Final Four Harvard squad took down an eventual Temple NCAA participant that contained WNBA draftee Feyonda Fitzgerald and Alliya Butts.

Twelve months later Fitzgerald has graduated from the Owls and Butts was lost during the preseason with a knee injury.

So when the Crimson came visiting McGonigle Hall Saturday afternoon in a non-conference matchup, if there was any wonderment how might the Owls react coming out of Wednesday’s Big Five narrow win over Saint Joseph’s, the answer came quickly and emphatically.

Temple bolted to a 20-2 run at the outset  — the Crimson deuce came first - and while the Owls band courteously doesn’t start chanting “I Believe That We Have Won,” until the final moments, even in games already well in hand, to the spectators in the arena this affair was in the books well before the halftime break arrived.

The final tally was 86-64, boosting Temple to 6-2, the Owls’ best season start since 2009-10, while Harvard fell to 4-4.

The Crimson have at least one more visit to town on the books when they come to battle Penn at the Palestra in the regular season Ivy race and are hopeful to return again repeating as an Ivy semifinalist when the league’s second tourney is again held in March at The Palestra.

“You know Harvard’s a really good team and obviously we got stung by them last year at their place,” said Temple coach Tonya Cardoza in her first game since the school’s announcement Thursday that her decade on North Broad Street would be extended contract-wise through 2022.

“We knew coming into the game, we were going to have to make jump shots in order to be in the game,” she added. “The way we started by knocking down threes, everyone fed off of it and we just ran with it from there.

“That’s two games in a row where I feel we’ve done a really good job containing (the other team’s) shooters.”

If Tanaya Atkinson makes it to the WNBA next spring after her senior season concludes, she should have plenty experience talking to the media being an ongoing postgame presence, including Saturday after she posted her seventh double double in eight games, this one to the tune of 27 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

Mia Davis, who has stood out among a core of talented newcomers, had 13 points and seven rebounds, while senior Khadijah Berger had 12 points and freshman Desiree Oliver had 12 points and five rebounds.

Sophomore Shannen Atkinson was active on the defensive end setting a career high with six rebounds.

The Owls’ lead eventually grew by as many as 30.

Temple was 10-for-22 on three-point attempts — Berger was 4-for-5 — and 22-for-26 from the line versus 6-for-8 for the Crimson.

Jeanine Boehm was the only Harvard player to score in double figures, collecting 12 points.

The Owls dominated on the boards, outrebounding the opposition 56-31.

Next up on the long home stand that extends through Dec. 21 when Dawn Staley’s defending NCAA champion South Carolina team visits next door in the Liacouras Center is a visit from Hampton Thursday night here at 7 p.m. in McGonigle Hall.

Rutgers Pounds Siena

The Scarlet Knights (7-2), another of the Guru’s local teams on a long home stand, made it two straight beating Siena of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference 59-47 in the Rutgers Athletic Center to top last year’s win total — yes it really was that bad.

Senior Tyler Scaife, who missed the carnage due to a heart condition — which was a reason much of the carnage came about — had 18 points to take over sixth place on the all-time program list and is within a few points of fifth. 

Ciani Cryor, one of the many on the roster who have the word redshirt attached to their name, had 10 points while Stasha Carey had nine rebounds and Caitlin Jenkins tied a career high with six blocks.

Kollyns Scarborough was the only player in double figures for the Saints (3-4), scoring 10 points.

The opposition was forced into 20 turnovers.

Hall of Fame coach C. Vivian Stringer is now within 16 triumphs to gain her 1,000th career win.

Next up is Monday night when Virginia visits at 6 p.m.

Weledji’s Career Night Carries Princeton Over Delaware

In a game between two of the Guru’s local teams in what has been an annual non-conference rivalry, Princeton ended Delaware’s brief two-game win streak as senior Tia Weledji had a career high 22 points to lead the Tigers to a 78-60 win at home in Jadwin Gym in central New Jersey.

Carlie Littlefield had 15 points, while Leslie Robinson had 14 points and 10 rebounds for Princeton (4-2), 

The Tigers next head to Lafayette Wednesday night to launch a three-gamed road trip.

Delaware, meanwhile, dropped to 4-4 to waste another fine performance from Nicole Enabosi, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Samone DeFreese had 15 points and eight rebounds while Abby Gonzales scored 11 points.

“This was a very tough Princeton opponent and we fought and executed, but we didn’t finish plays,” said first-year coach Natasha Adair, formerly with Georgetown. “We respect our opponent, but there were things that impacted this game that had nothing to do with who we were playing.

“There were plays that we should’ve finished, but as a coaching staff, we can fix the technical side. I’m most proud of the mindset of this team and how we didn’t quit.”

Delaware next travels to Army on Wednesday.

La Salle Falls at Wisconsin

The Explorers’ three-game win streak died with a short-lived rally on the road as La Salle was edged by Wisconsin 71-60 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Coach Jeff Williams’ team suffered from the floor with a 30.5 percentage, though on the line the Explorers (4-4) made 19-of-24 attempts.

Amy Griffin had 19 points for La Salle, while Adreana Miller had 18 points and Shaquana Edwards scored 11 against the Badgers (5-3), who are coached by Jonathan Tsipis, previously with George Washington.

La Salle returns home Wednesday to host Rider at 7 p.m. in the Tom Gola Arena at the TruMark Financial Center.

And that’s the report.





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