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, January 16, 2018

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: An Abundance of Streaking Teams

By Bob Heller (@bob_heller1)

As the outside temperatures remain cold with the season of winter producing arctic like weather, it has been anything but inside on the basketball courts for our area small college women’s basketball teams.  

No less than five area squads are turning up the heat on their opponents right now producing current winning streaks of six or more games.  

This week’s notebook will start off looking at those five teams who are absolutely scorching their opponents of late. 

 Two of those teams are members of the NCAA Division III Colonial States Athletic Conference – Cabrini University and Neumann University.

Cabrini Wins its Tenth Straight game…
The Cavaliers from Cabrini have not lost a game since November and are currently riding a ten-game winning streak with their wins over Rosemont, Notre Dame University of Maryland and Cedar Crest last week.  

The three wins place the Cavs overall record at 12-2 and a perfect 6-0 in CSAC games.  

Cabrini is averaging 71.9 points per game over the course of the win streak while their opponents are averaging just 53.3 points per game over that same span.

A mix of several players are all providing contributions to the Cabrini offense including a pair of freshman Kate Lannon and Lexi Edwards.  

Lannon, a former Sun Valley High School star comes off the bench and is the Cavs leading scorer at 12.9 points per game. 

 In Cabrini’s 74-53 win over Rosemont Lannon had 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds.  She also reached double figures in Cabrini’s 68-44 win over Cedar Crest, scoring ten.

Edwards, a Central Bucks South grad, is starting and averaging 10.1 points per game for Head Coach Kate Pierson’s squad. 

 She leads the team with 18 three-point field goals and has scored in double figures in seven of the Cavs last ten wins.

Junior Nomi Washington (Phoenixville HS) and sophomore Meghan Matthews (St. Hubert’s) are also averaging double figures.  

Washington is averaging 10.9 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (6.7 rpg.) and steals (38).  Matthews is averaging ten points a game and leads the team with 19 blocks.

 Washington and Matthews along with junior Gaby Jones led Cabrini with 13 points apiece in their 81-35 win over Notre Dame (Md.) on Thursday. Jones also led the team with 13 points in the Cedar Crest win.

…While Neumann Extends Win Streak to Seven
Neumann University is also perfect in CSAC games with a 7-0 conference record and is currently riding a seven-game win streak.  

The Knights overall record currently stands at 12-4 after three wins last week, defeating Notre Dame (Md.) 85-58; Cairn University, 64-56 and Centenary (NJ) 78-38.  

Neumann’s offense, like Cabrini’s has been potent during their current win streak, averaging 72.8 points per game.  

Likewise, their defense has been stifling, allowing just 51.4 points per game over the same span.

The Knights’ win over Centenary also produced a milestone as Head Coach Frank Farnese earned his 200th win at Neumann.  

In his 13th season at the helm of the Knights, Farnese has a record of 200-138 and a .591 winning percentage.

Junior Nafisa Saunders has been a leading force on the Neumann offense this season, averaging 16.8 points point game. 

 The former Coatesville Area HS grad was the leading scorer in all three of the Knight’s wins last week, netting 20 points against Notre Dame, 18 against Cairn and 22 against Centenary.  

Saunders also grabbed 14 boards against Cairn to record her third double-double this season.

Minnika Glenn, a freshman out of Neumann-Goretti HS, notched two double-doubles on the week, with 16 points and 10 rebounds against Notre Dame and 17 points and 13 rebounds against Centenary.  She also added 12 points against Cairn. 

 Glenn is the team’s second leading scorer (12.1 ppg.) and rebounder (6.6/gm.).

Neumann’s third offensive threat is senior Lauren Legler (Middle Township HS (NJ)).  Legler is averaging 10.6 points per game and leads the team with 27 three-point field goals. 

 She tallied 17 points against Cairn last week and added 12 against Centenary.

Mariah Maciejewski has been a force inside for the Knights shooting 55.8% from the field and leading the team in rebounding (8.0/game).  She had recorded ten or more rebounds in four straight games including the Knights win over Notre Dame before her streak was snapped when she tallied nine against Cairn.
D-II USciences Wins Eighth Straight

Moving into the Division II ranks, we have three area teams currently boasting win streaks of six or more games, all from different conference.

 Leading the pack is the University of the Sciences out of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).

The Devils ran their win streak to eight games last week with a tough road win at Bloomfield College 58-50 and a solid home victory over Dominican College, 60-44 to improve to 15-2  overall and 7-1 in league play. 

USciences is currently receiving votes in both national polls (D2SIDA media poll and WBCA coaches poll).

Defense has been the key to USciences’ winning ways, allowing just 53.3 points per game during their current eight game win-streak while scoring at an average of 67.9 points over the same stretch. 

 The three-point field goal has been the Devils’ bread and butter this season as they have made and average of 11.3 over their eight game winning streak and 10 per game overall on the season (fifth best mark in NCAA Division II).

Junior Alex Thomas tossed in 28 points against Bloomfield and added 20 against Dominican.  She is the Devils’ leading scorer, averaging 16.4 points per game  and is second on the team with 36 three point field goals made.

  Senior Sarah Abbonizio (Episcopal Academy) scored 12 points in USciences win over Bloomfield and is averaging 16.2 points per game this season while making 32 three-pointers. 

 Both Thomas and Abbonizio recently scored their 1,000th career  points becoming the 17th and 18th players in program history to reach the milestone mark.

Another key contributor has been sophomore Jordan Vitelli (Central Bucks South HS).  She scored 13 points against Dominican to join Thomas as the lone two players to reach double figures. 

Vitelli leads the team with 43 three point field goals made and is averaging 11.9 points per game.  

Senior Colleen Walsh (Shipley School) is the fourth Devils player to make 30 or more ‘threes’ so far this season with 31.

 A third senior, Laura Trisch (Archbishop Wood HS) leads the team in rebounding at 5.5 per game.

Lincoln Wins for Sixth Straight Game…
Southwest of the city, in a quiet little part of southern Chester County, Lincoln University has been stringing together win after win and boasts a current streak of six straight victories after defeating Shaw University on Monday 78-57 and knocking off regionally ranked Bowie State University 70-64 on Saturday.

  Lincoln is also 10-1 in their last 11 games and 11-4 overall.  The senior laden squad is also off to their best start ever in conference play with a 6-1 record in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) games. The Lions are also a perfect 8-0 at home this year.

Senior Teira Pendleton poured in a career high 27 points in the win over Bowie State after recording 13 in the win over Shaw.  The senior forward had the right shooting touch in the two wins, making 65.2% of her shots from the field. 

Her breakaway layup in the waning seconds helped seal the win over the Bulldogs of Bowie State on Saturday.  Pendleton leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game.

While Pendleton’s play has been a key component in the Lions’ resurgence, Head Coach Darrell Mosley has gotten key contributions from different players each time his team takes the court.

  On Monday last week it was freshman DeeDee Irwin (Coatesville Area HS) who came off the bench to make a season high four three pointers en route to a 14-point performance.  

Senior Michelle Fitzgerald contributed 13 points.  Fitzgerald is second on the team in scoring averaging 13.6 points per game while shooting 52.8% from the field (4th best in CIAA).

The CIAA’s best shooter, Shahra Madison recorded her fifth double-double of the season against Bowie State, scoring 13 points while grabbing a career-high 19 rebounds. 

 Madison is shooting at a 57.3% clip on the season.  She is the team’s leading rebounder at 8.7 per game. 

Shecquan Bailey was another big contributor in the Lions huge win over Bowie State.  The senior guard came off the bench to score 15 points, six in the final 33 seconds of the game to provide the winning margin for Lincoln.

…As does West Chester in the PSAC
Just down the road from the Lions’ Den, West Chester University has also strung together six straight wins, all of them in conference play, including victories last week over Cheyney University, 77-62 on Wednesday and Lock Haven University 88-55 on Saturday. 

 West Chester is now 11-4 overall and 8-3 in Pennsylvania State Athletic conference (PSAC) games. The Golden Rams have averaged a whopping 80.3 points per game over the course of their six game win streak while allowing just 63.3 points per game.

They have had one of the more potent offenses in the PSAC this season and leading the way has been a trio of seniors. Porscha Speller, Mia Hopkins and Camden Boehner.  

Speller had 10 points and eight rebounds in WCU’s win over Lock Haven and leads the team with a 16.1 points per game scoring average.

Hopkins scored 17 points against Cheyney and added 11 points and nine rebounds against Lock Haven.  She leads the team in rebounds, averaging nine a game while scoring at a 14.5 points per game clip.  Hopkins has scored in double figures now in five straight games.

Boehner is the Golden Rams third leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points per game this season.  The senior guard chipped in 11 points in WCU’s win over Cheyney.

Freshman Justyn Roberts had her biggest game of the season in the win over Lock Haven scoring a season high 18 points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field.  She also grabbed seven rebounds.

Lexi Bruno and Katherine Fisher have also been big contributors to the golden Rams success so far this season.  Both players are averaging just under ten points a game.  

Fisher led the team with 19 points against Cheyney and added 12 against Lock Haven.  

Bruno meanwhile is shooting 48% from the field this season and dishing out assists at a 3.6 per game rate.  She had 11 points in the Lock Haven win.

Jefferson’s Rachel Day Scores 1,000th Career Point
Staying within the Division II ranks, it seems like every week of late we have another area player scored their 1,000th career point and this week was no exception as Jefferson University’s Rachel Day notched her 1,000th point in the Rams 84-70 win over  Nyack College on Wednesday.

Day becomes the 32nd player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. 

Scoring a game-high 26 points against the warriors, Day reached the 1,000-point mark with a late free throw with just 4.1 seconds remaining in the contest.

Erin Maher had a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Jess Kaminski nearly recorded a triple double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.  Beverly Kum added 15 points in the win.

Three days later Kum exploded for a career-high 29 points in the Rams’ 76-66 win at Post  University.  She was joined in double figures by Day (14 points)and Alynna Williams (12 points, seven assists).

Jefferson has now won eight of their last ten games and stands at 14-2 overall and is in a three-way tie for first in the CACC south with a 7-1 record with USciences and Chestnut Hill College.

Griffins Win Streak at Five…
Chestnut Hill has been hot of late, winning their last five including wins over Nyack (88-61) and Post (84-74) last week. 

 The two wins ups their record to 11-6 overall while keeping pace with ‘Sciences and Jefferson with a 7-1 league mark.

 The Griffins offense has been extremely potent during this streak, averaging 87.2 points per game over the five game stretch.

A key factor contributing to the Griffins’ success has been the rise of freshman Cassie Sebold (Archbishop Wood HS). 

 Sebold, the CACC’s Rookie of the Week in each of the last two weeks, has given Chestnut Hill a big boost off the bench while averaging 24 minutes over the last five games.  

She scored a career high 25 points in the win over Post while dishing out five assists and also added 12 points and five assists in the win over Nyack. Sebold has averaged 16.4 points per game over the last five contests.

Senior Vicky Tumasz (North Penn HS) has also been posting up solid numbers, averaging 18.6 points per game over the Griffins’ last five.  She scored 24 points against Nyack on Saturday after putting in 17 on Wednesday against Post.

Jaeda Wildgoose reached double figures in both wins last week for the Griffins, scoring 15 points against Post and 12 against Nyack.

  As CHC’s second leading scorer at 15.8 ppg., Wildgoose has scored in double figures in all but one game this year.  Shannon Glenn (Archbishop Ryan HS) was the fourth Griffin to reach double figures against Nyack scoring 15 points.

…While Holy Family Wins their Fourth Straight

Rounding out the CACC Schools is Holy Family University who has not lost a game in January (4-0) after struggling through the first two months of the season. 

 The Tigers are now 5-11 overall and 4-4in league play after wins over Felician College (60-55) and Dominican College (56-53) last week.

Casey Thomas (Cedar Creek HS) led the Tigers in both contests scoring 18 points against Felician and 12 against Dominican.  The junior center currently leads the team in scoring averaging 11.9 points per game.  

Katie O’Hare (Bayard Rustin HS) came off the bench to score 11 points in each of the two games while Alexis Hofstaedter (Council Rock South HS) scored 12 against Felician and Casey Schweitzer had 11 against Dominican.

Freshman Jada Smith (Merion Mercy Academy) was a force on the boards last week for the Tigers, grabbing 12 rebounds against Felician and seven against Dominican.  

She is also the Tigers’ second leading scorer on the season, averaging 9.5 points per game.

Some Big Games in the Centennial Conference…

On to the Division III Centennial Conference where Haverford College scored a big win at Gettysburg College 67-56.  

The Bullets were 6-0 in conference play entering the game and went on to knock off the top team in the league, Muhlenberg (#12 nationally) in their next game.

Samantha Wetzel led the Fords with 18 points while Sierra Berkel added 12 points and nine rebounds. 

 The two seniors also recorded double-doubles in Haverford’s next game a 67-50 win at home over McDaniel.  Berkel had 15 points and 11 rebounds while Wetzel scored ten points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Wetzel and Berkel are also the Fords top two scorers this season, averaging 13.9 and 13.8 points respectively.  Wetzel is also averaging 10.4 rebounds per game with Berkel grabbing 8.3 per game.

Johns Hopkins did hand the Fords their only loss of the week, 62-58; dropping the team to 10-3 overall and 7-2 in league play – third place behind Muhlenberg and Gettysburg. 

 Wetzel and Berkel again led the Fords with 17 and 14 points respectively.  Macy Goldbach (Garnet Valley HS) chipped in 13.  Wetzel also grabbed 12 rebounds to notch her ninth double-double of the season.  

Ursinus also went 2-1 on the week, defeating Washington College 67-36 and Dickinson College, 56-45 before falling to Gettysburg 64-59 in overtime on Sunday.

The Bears are now 8-7 overall and 5-5 in league play.

The Gettysburg game was played at the world famous Palestra on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania as part of a Centennial Conference showcase event.  

Sophomore Lydia Konstanzer (Pennridge HS) turned in another stellar performance with 25 points.  The Bears also got a career-high 19 points from Aliyah Stevens off the bench in the loss.  

Konstanzer leads Ursinus in scoring averaging 16.8  points per game. She is also the Bears’ top rebounder at 9.1 per game.

More CSAC Action…
Moving back to the CSAC, Gwynedd Mercy University remains atop the CSAC North winning all three of their games last week to extend their win streak to four.

The Griffins defeated Cedar Crest on Tuesday, 70-51; Clark Summit on Thursday 91-039 and Notre Dame (Md.) on Saturday 65-58 to improve to  9-6 overall and 6-1 in CSAC games.

Coach Keith Mondillo’s squad is getting it done without a single person averaging more than nine points per game. 

 Against Clark Summit, a total of 14 different players saw at least ten minutes of playing time (with 16 minutes played being the apex) and 14 different players also scored. 

 Fifteen different players scored in the win over Cedar Crest. Mondillo is now in his 23rd season at the helm of the Griffins program.

GMU’s leading scorer Julianna Hoisington reached double figures against Clark Summit (13 points) and Notre Dame (11 points) and is averaging 8.2 point per game on the season. She also leads the team in rebounds (72, 4.8 per game).

Susan Bossler also had 13 points against Clark Summit and added 13 against Notre Dame. Chyanne Fine had a season-high 13 points against Cedar Crest and added nine vs. Clark Summit and ten vs. Notre Dame.

Meanwhile Rosemont College and Immaculata University squared off last Thursday with the Ravens coming away with an 85-65 win.

The Ravens (9-6, 3-3 CSAC) placed five players in double figures led by Jasmyn Parker’s 16 points.  Leilani Naone-Carter (Sterling HS) added 15 while her sister Ke'alohilani Naone-Carter chipped in 14.  Shawn Dowd (Upper Darby HS) and Ayanna Thompson had 13 and 12 points respectively.  

Freshman Theresa Kearney (Archbishop Carroll HS) led Immaculata (3-11, 2-4 CSAC) with 20 points while junior Dia Veneziano (Gwynedd Mercy Academy) added 16.

The Mighty Macs earned their only win of the week on Tuesday, defeating Cairn University 70-58.  Annie Kohutka led IC with 13 points.  Amber Ballinger (Archbishop Prendergast HS) and Natalie Ayoub (Marple Newtown HS) scored 12 points respectively.

Cairn was led by Victoria Stum’s (Calvary Christian Academy) 14 points.  Aigner Bookard (Cheltenham HS) chipped in 12.

Cairn later earned their only win of the week defeating Mid-Atlantic Christian University 67-47 to improve to 5-8 on the season.  Charlotte Camp had 14 points to pace the Highlanders.

Over in New Jersey in the NJAC…
Rowan University won both of their games last week, defeating Ramapo College 81-67 and Rutgers-Newark, 80-63 to move into second place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) with a 7-2 league mark and 9-5 overall record. The Profs have now won three straight.

April Szymczyk led the Profs with 21 points against Rutgers-Newark.  Szymczyk also scored 14 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in the win over Ramapo. A senior center, Szymczyk has reached double figures in four straight games and is Rowan’s second leading scorer at 14.3 points per game.

Summer Crilley (Holy Spirit HS) was Rowan’s high scorer against Ramapo, pouring in 27 points on the night.  She followed that with a double-double against Rutgers Newark (11 pts., 11 rebs.). 

 Crilley is averaging 11.8 points per game on the season, third on the Rowan squad.

Dominique Peters (Lawrenceville HS) turned in two solid performances as well, scoring 20 against Ramapo and following that with 14 against Rutgers-Newark. She is averaging 12.4 points per game on the season. 

 Olivia Rulon (Wildwood Catholic) also had 11 points against Rutgers-Newark while Alex Raring (Mainland Regional) chipped in ten.  Raring is the Profs leading scorer on the season, averaging 15.9 points per game.

The College of New Jersey had their win streak snapped with a loss to nationally ranked Montclair State on Saturday, 54-51.  The loss drops their record to 6-2 in league play and 11-4 overall.  The Lions defeated Rutgers-Newark 71-52 earlier in the week.

Jen Byrne (Shawnee HS) led the Lions with 20 points against Montclair.  She leads the team this season, averaging 17.4 points per game.   Shannon Devitt added 11 points.

Kate O’Leary led four players in double figures in the win over Rutgers-Newark, scoring 17 points.  Nikki Schott added 15. Samantha Famulare and Charlotte Schum scored 13 and ten points respectively.
Widener and Delaware Valley Win Two Straight in the MAC
In the Mid-Atlantic Conference, both Widener University and Delaware Valley University went 2-0 last week.

  Widener defeated Alvernia University (75-45) and Hood University (85-32) while Delaware Valley earned wins against Wilkes University (83-71) and Misericordia (65-59).

Widener improves to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in MAC Commonwealth games.   Delaware Valley ups their record to 5-10 overall and 2-2 in MAC Freedom games.

Five players reached double figures in Widener’s big win over Hood with Devan Rimmer (Pennridge HS) leading the way with 13 points.  

Emily Hardy had the big night on the boards, pulling down 18 rebounds to go along with her 12 points. 

 Allison Gallagher (Souderton HS) added 13 points while Emma Gardy (Central Bucks South HS) and Kyra Schenk had ten apiece.  

Rimmer also scored 22 points in the win over Alvernia while Gallagher notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.  Madison Ireland (Garnet Valley HS) added 19 points.

The Aggies earned their first two conference wins of the season with their triumphs over Wilkes and Misericordia.  Danielle Skedzielewski (Archbishop Ryan HS) led the Aggies with a season-high 22 points in their win over Wilkes and added 17 against Misericordia.  

Ashley Smink (Archbishop Ryan) had 16 points against Wilkes and 22 against Misericordia.  Smink leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game.  Skedzielewski is second on the team scoring wise, averaging 11.4 points per game.
Elsewhere in the MAC
Eastern University meanwhile lost the first game of the week to Misericordia, 67-52 before defeating Wilkes 93-79.  The win was the Eagles first MAC Freedom win of the season as Eastern improves to 4-10 overall and 1-3 in league play.

Amada Riiff and Taylor Price scored 27 and 22 points respectively in the win over Wilkes.  Price is the leading scorer on the team averaging 13.8 points per game while Riiff is averaging 11.4 points  per game.

After winning their first two MAC games of the season, Arcadia dropped both conference games this week, losing to Lebanon Valley 74-60 and Lycoming 72-56.  Courtney Hoffman (St. Hubert’s) led the Knights with 13 points against Lycoming while Sydney Cyr was the team’s scoring leader in the loss to Lebanon Valley with 15 points.