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.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report - D2 Edition: USciences Draws First Blood in CACC Showdown

Guru note: A separate D3 edition will be moving late Monday

By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)

The top two NCAA Division II teams in the Philadelphia area faced each other for the first of two regular season meetings on Saturday as nationally ranked (#16 D2SIDA media poll) Jefferson University visited University of the Sciences at the Bobby Morgan Arena in West Philadelphia.

The two teams battled back and forth and needed an extra five minutes as USciences finished strong in the overtime frame and came away with the 72-67 victory.

The Devils have now won six straight and have a 13-2 overall record and are 5-1 in CACC games.  The Rams fall to 12-2 and are also 5-1 in league play with the loss, snapping their six-game win streak.

USciences’ Sarah Abbonizio became the 18th player in program history to reach the 1,000 point milestone, joining teammate Alex Thomas who accomplished the feat last week.  

Needing just eight points to reach the milestone, Abbonizio hit the mark late in the second quarter after making a pair of free throws.  She went on to score 18 more points in the second half and overtime to lead all scorers with 26 points.

The game itself saw eight ties and 13 lead changes much of which occurred in the fourth quarter and overtime. The matchup was fairly turnover free and both teams shot the ball well; the Devils shooting 47.9% from the field (Including 11-18 beyond the arc) and the Rams shot 44.6% from the field.

A 59% shooting effort by the rams in the first two quarters gave the visitors a six point lead at the break, 34-28.

  Sciences battled back to take the lead midway through the third quarter on an Abbonizio three-pointer, 39-36 and held the lead until Beverly Kum put the Rams back on top 45-43 in the waning seconds of the quarter.

  USci’s Colleen Walsh ended the period with a three-pointer, putting the hosts back on top.

Neither team led by more than four points throughout the fourth quarter as the period saw four lead changes and two ties.  Another Walsh three put the Devils up by three 58-55.  

Jefferson’s Jess Kaminski added a free throw before an Alex Thomas layup increased the Devils lead to four 60-56 with 2:04 remaining. 

 Two missed free throws by the Devils with 35 seconds left opened the door for the Rams who tied the game with a three-pointer from Erin Maher with 20 seconds left, eventually sending the game into overtime.

The Devils opened the overtime with a 9-2 flourish with Abbonizio and Thomas netting four points apiece over the run. USciences then held off one final comeback attempt from the Rams. 

Caitlyn Cunningham nailed a three-pointer and Kum sank a free throw to pull the Rams within three 69-66 in the final minute but that would be as close as they would get.  The Devils converted three of four free throws in the final 17 seconds to seal the win.
Kum finished the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds to record her first double-double of the season for the Rams.   Thomas had 19 points for the Devils, complimenting Abbonizio’s 26.  

Jefferson’s Alynna Williams and USciences Colleen Walsh each had 14 points.

The Devils also won their mid-week game, defeating Goldey-Beacom College 60-42.  

Laura Trisch record a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds.  Abbonizio and Thomas added 15 and 14 points respectively.

Lions Continue Winning….

Elsewhere around the area, the Lincoln University Lions continue to roar as they won back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, defeating Fayetteville State University, 64-60 and St. Augustine’s University, 72-61.

  The Lions have now won eight of their last nine games and four straight, improving to 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA).

Lincoln trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter against Fayetteville State but launched a serious comeback in the second half, taking the lead late in the third quarter.

  FSU went back up by three with 4:23 left in the game but the Lions scored seven straight to take control and pulled away with the win.

  Teira Pendleton led Lincoln with 18 points (eight in the fourth quarter).  Shahra Madison just missed a double-double with 10 points (5-5 FG) and nine rebounds.  Michelle Fitzgerald and Shecquan Bailey also had 11 points apiece.

Madison got her double-double the next day, grabbing 11 rebounds and scoring 11 points as the Lions held off a late rally to defeat St. Augustine’s.  McKenzie Spencer came off the bench to lead Lincoln with 14 points while Fitzgerald and Pendleton added 13 and 11 respectively.

A 17-6 run bridging the first and second quarters turned a tie game into a double-digit lead for the Lions. 

 Lincoln increased the lead to as many as 18 before the Falcons scored 12 straight points to close within six early in the fourth quarter.  SAU would come no closer than five as the Lions pulled away late with five free throws in the final minute.

…as does West Chester

Just down the road from Lions country, the Golden Rams of West Chester University were busy winning their third straight, defeating Mansfield University 91-73 to improve to 8-4 overall and 5-3 in PSAC games.

Mia Hopkins led the Golden Rams with 19 points and nine rebounds. Destiny Jefferson and Camden Boehner added 17 and 16 respectively while Katherine Fisher chipped in 12 points.

A close first quarter saw West Chester hold a narrow 22-21 lead heading into the second where the WCU defense came alive, holding Mansfield to just 11 points in the quarter.  

The offense meanwhile scored 23 points in the period to put the Golden Rams in firm control 45-33 at halftime.  West Chester pushed the lead as high as 25 in the third quarter before settling in for the 18 point win.

The Golden Rams also won their mid-week game, traveling to Millersville and defeating the Marauders 76-69.  Hopkins led the Golden Rams with 22 points while Lexi Bruno came off the bench to score 16.

Millersville got a strong jump to take the early lead and clung to a one point advantage by halftime, 37-36.  After an even up third quarter, Millersville held onto a slim lead until Bruno nailed a three-pointer three-minutes into the fourth, tying the game at 62-62 as the Golden Rams took control, making 10-of-12 free throws down the stretch to pull away with the win.

Cheyney earns First PSAC Win…

Cheyney University earned their first conference win of the season on Wednesday, defeating host Clarion University 63-60. 

 Jamyra Maye led a balanced scoring effort for the Wolves with 15 points.  Takayla Ellis and Yasmine Dorrielan added 14 and 10 respectively.

It was Dorrielan’s layup with 1:09 left in the game that put the Wolves ahead for good.  With Clarion leading 60-59 CU’s Marlon Herring stole a pass and found Dorrielan open underneath for the layup and the lead.  

Cheyney had led by as many as nine before Clarion rallied to take a 50-47 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run. The two teams would trade the lead four more times before the Wolves took the lead for good on the Dorrielan layup.

Cheyney dropped their weekend PSAC game, losing at Bloomsburg University, 69-60.  Ellis and Maye led the Wolves with 18 and 14 points respectively.

The Wolves record sits at 3-11 overall and 1-7 in PSAC games.  The Cheyney/East Stroudsburg game scheduled for Monday at Cheyney’s Cope Hall have been moved to West Chester’s Hollinger Fieldhouse due to heating issues at the Cheyney facility.

West Chester and Cheyney will face each other for the first time on Saturday at Cheyney’s Cope Hall.

....while Holy Family earns first CACC win

Back to CACC games, Holy Family University won their first two conference contests of the season last week, defeating Georgian Court University 92-68 on Wednesday and Goldey-Beacom College 63-45 on Saturday.  

The two wins improve the Tigers record to 3-11 overall and 2-4 in league games.

Jada Smith recorded her seventh double-double of the season against Georgian Court, leading the Tigers with 18 points and 13 rebounds while Elizabeth Radley also notched a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

Trailing by three at the half, the Tigers exploded with a 22-9 third quarter to take full control of the contest and lead by ten entering the final quarter. 

 After the Lions cut the deficit to single digits, the Tigers exploded with a 19-3 run building the lead as high as 25 points before settling in for the 24-point win.

  HFU’s 92 points are the most they’ve scored since putting up 93 against Wilmington during the 2015-16 season.

Against Goldey-Beacom, Casey Thomas put up a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds as the Tigers won their second straight, 63-45.  

Three lead changes highlighted the first quarter before the Tigers took control with an 8-0 run to close out the quarter. Following a 13-13 second quarter, the Tigers exploded with a 17-9 effort in the third quarter, pushing the lead to double figures where it remained for the rest of the game.

Chestnut Hill Wins Third Straight

Chestnut Hill College won their third straight game as Cassie Sebold came off the bench to score 19 points, leading six Griffins in double figures as they defeated Wilmington University 98-85.

The Griffins improve to 5-1 in CACC games and sit tied at the top of the CACC South division standing with USciences and Jefferson University.

Sebold also added a team-high seven rebounds and seven assist along with her second straight 19-point effort.

  Vicky Tumasz had 16 points and a team-high nine assists. Mary Trossi and Jaeda Wildgoose had 15 and 14 points respectively while Shannon Glenn and Mary Bode chipped in 13 and 10.

Chestnut Hill trailed early in the first quarter before a Sebold three-pointer sparked the Griffins who pushed their lead to 11 points by quarter’s end.  The Griffins increased their lead to 16 by halftime, 50-34.

The Wildcats scored the first seven points of the third quarter to whittle the lead down to single digits at 50-41 before the Griffins rebounded and pushed the lead as high as 20 on two occasions before heading into the fourth quarter with a 17-point lead.  

Wilmington put up 31 points in the fourth quarter and again cut the lead to single digits, 91-82 with a minute remaining. 

 The Griffins were nearly perfect at the line in the final minute (7-8) while holding the Wildcats to just a field goal, a three-pointer as time expired in the final minute enroute to the 13-point victory.

All seven area Division II programs will play twice this week with the CACC squads seeing action on Wednesday and Saturday while Lincoln, West Chester and Cheyney will play on Monday and Saturday.    


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