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.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Bob Heller's Philly WBB Small College Report: The D-3 Edition

by Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)


Some key games took place last week in the area Division III ranks as several schools edge closer to and some actually clinching a playoff spot for their respective conference championship tournaments.  

We’re going to start this week’s D-III report with the battle of the top two teams in the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) South Division- Cabrini University and Neumann University.


Cabrini Defeats Neumann and Gwynedd Mercy…extends winning streak…

Cabrini earned their 17th consecutive win on Saturday, using a dominant second quarter to defeat Neumann 69-60.  The Cavs improve to 19-2 overall and remain perfect in CSAC games with a 12-0 record. Neumann falls to 15-6 overall and 10-2 in league play.


Freshmen Kate Lannon led Cabrini with 18 points while junior Nomi Washington added 17 points.  Sophomore Meghan Matthews scored 15 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds for her third double-double of the season.


Neumann got 20 points and 11 rebounds from Minika Glenn and 12 from Lauren Legler.  Nafisa Saunders added 11 points.


The Cavs used an 8-0 run to open the second quarter and take a 17-8 lead.  Neumann came back to cut the deficit to five before Cabrini pushed the lead back to nine 29-20 at the break.


Washington scored seven points in a 9-3 third quarter run that pushed the Cabrini lead to 15.  Neumann countered with a 9-3 run of their own and the lead remained at nine heading into the fourth quarter, 50-41.


The Cavs pushed the lead to 16 in the fourth but a late run by the Knights could not significantly close the gap as the Cavs held on for the 69-60 win.


Earlier in the week the Cavs used a dominant 19-2 second quarter as they cruised to a 67-39 win over CSAC North leader Gwynedd Mercy University.


Lannon and Washington led the Cavs with 16 and 11 points respectively.  Olivia Roseman led Gwynedd Mercy with 13 points.  Allison Szyszko grabbed ten rebounds.


Leading by two after the first quarter, Cabrini opened the second stanza with a huge 14-0 run and held the Griffins without a field goal in the quarter to take a commanding 34-15 lead at the half.


Cabrini limited the Griffins to just 12 field goals the entire game as they earned their third straight win of 20 or more points.


The Griffins got back on the winning track on Saturday with a 75-54 triumph over Keystone College. Gwynedd Mercy improves to 13-8 overall and 10-2 in league play with the win.


Chyanne Fine led the Griffins with a career-high 17 points and eight rebounds. Julianna Hoisington also added 17 points going a perfect 3-of-3 from beyond the arc as GMU used a huge 28-point second quarter to open up a sizable edge at the break.


Fine scored 12 points in the second quarter as the Griffins outscored Keystone 28-11 in the period while shooting 63.2% from the field over the 10-minute stretch to lead 44-22 at the break. Gwynedd Mercy would increase their lead to 62-33 after three quarters.

 Keystone could only shave six points off the margin in the final period.


Neumann meanwhile had its lone win of the week on Wednesday, defeating Marywood 69-62.  Saunders scored a career-high 37 points and grabbed ten rebounds in the win.  Lauren Legler added 17 points.


The Knights used a dominant third quarter to build a double digit lead heading into the final stanza and led by ten with two minutes left before the Pacers cut the lead to four with six straight points.   Shauntel Williams sealed the win for the Knights with three free throws in the waning seconds.


Saunders' 37 points is the second highest single game total in the history of the Neumann women’s basketball program behind Celeste Rogers’ 45 points against Wilmington in 1989.


Cabrini, Neumann and Gwynedd Mercy have all clinched playoff spots for the upcoming CSAC Championship Tournament which begins on Monday, February 19, 2018.


Immaculata and Rosemont Square Off…


Rosemont College took a hit in their quest for a CSAC playoff spot last Wednesday, losing to Immaculata University 68-55.  The Mighty Macs were bolstered by a triple of players recording double-doubles.


Amber Ballinger had 17 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals while Dia Veneziano had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Emily Halloran had 11 points and ten boards.  Annie Kohutka also chipped in 10 points.


Ke’alohilani and Leilani Naone-Carter led the Ravens with 16 and 10 points respectively.


The Mighty Macs led wire-to-wire starting with an 11-1 floutrish to open the game and led by eight after one quarter.  

The lead grew to 13 points before the ravens closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run to trail 29-25 at the break.  Immaculata again pushed the lead to 16 before Rosemont battled back to cut it to seven by the start of the fourth quarter. 

The Macs scored the first six points of the fourth quarter to goback up by 13 and the lead never dipped below ten the rest of the way.


The Mighty Macs won their third straight game on Saturday, defeating Centenary, 60-56 to improve to 5-8 in league play and 6-16 overall.


Ballinger led the Mighty Macs offense with 17 points while Kohutka and Veneziano had 12 points apiece.

Immaculata led by as many as six points in the second quarter before the Cyclones closed within one at the break and took the lead for the first five minutes of the third quarter before a three-ball from Gina Cocci and a layup from Theresa Kearney put the Macs back up by two 43-41

 Immaculata maintained the lead throughout the fourth taking their biggest lead at six points late in the game which ended up being the final margin.


Meanwhile Rosemont is on the brink of clinching a playoff spot with a 78-31 thrashing of Clark Summit University on Saturday.  The Ravens improve to 14-8 overall and 8-5 in league play and need either a win or a loss by Immaculata to clinch a playoff spot.


The Ravens were led by Jasmyn Parker, who had all 17 of her points in the second half. Jayme Byers scored 16 points while Leilani Naone-Carter had 15 points and nine rebounds. Shawn Dowd (11) and Kira Lewis (10) also scored in double figures. Dowd had 10 rebounds while Lewis grabbed 11 boards. 


Cairn Wins Three Straight…

Cairn University won all three of their games last week, defeating Bryn Mawr College 69-41, Notre Dame University of Maryland, 59-47 and Cedar Crest College 59-54. The Highlanders improve to 9-12 overall and 4-8 in league play.


Kendra Stum had 18 and 16 points against Cedar crest and Notre Dame respectively while Aigner Bookard scored 21 against Notre Dame and 15 against Bryn Mawr. Peyton Emerick had 13 points against Cedar crest and ten against Bryn Mawr.


In NJAC Action…


Over in New Jersey, The College of New Jersey improved to 17-5 overall and 12-3 in NJAC games with two wins last week, including a big 87-77 victory over area rival Rowan University on Wednesday.


The Lions led the Profs wire-to-wire, opening up a 23-10 point lead in the first quarter and withstanding a determined run by Rowan in the third which saw the Profs close within four.


Jen Byrne led TCNJ with 30 points and 12 rebounds.  Nikki Schott added 20 points and 11 boards.  Shannon Devitt was the third Lion to record a double-double with 12 points and 18 rebounds.  Samantha Famulare chipped in ten points.


Alex Raring and Dominique Peters scored 19 points apiece for the Profs while Summer Crilley chipped in ten points.


On Saturday, TCNJ defeated Ramapo, 74-55 for their 17th win of the season.  Byrne was once again the leading scorer for TCNJ, tallying 17 points. Famulare and Kate O’Leary added 13 points apiece whileLauren Barlow chipped in 11.


The Lions held a 29-21 lead at the half and still led by eight 43-35 entering the final period where TCNJ outscored the Roadrunners 31-20 to cruise to the win and maintain their hold on second place in the NJAC standings.


Rowan meanwhile bounced back from the TCNJ loss to defeat New Jersey City University 93-31on Saturday, improving to 12-9 overall and 9-6 in NJAC games. 

The Profs need one win in their remaining three regular season contests to lock themselves into one of the six playoff slots in the league.


April Szymczyk led the Profs with 18 points while Crilley chipped in 15 points and six assists.  Olivia Rulon had a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards.


Rutgers-Camden won both of their games last week; defeating Stockton 61-53 on Wednesday and an overtime win over Kean 74-68 on Saturday.  The Scarlet Raptors are tied for third in the NJAC with a 10-5 conference record and a 13-6 overall mark. 


Senior Cara Racobaldo was the driving force in both wins and her efforts earned her NJAC Player of the Week honors.  

In the victory at Stockton, Racobaldo notched her first double-double this season and the sixth of her career when she scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds. She also dished off seven assists and made three steals. 

On Saturday, in an overtime win against Kean University, Racobaldo had 19 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and nine steals. The nine steals tied her career high.


Centennial Conference Action…


In the Centennial Conference, Haverford maintains their hold on third place in the league standings with a 13-3 conference record and a 17-4 mark overall.  The Fords defeated Washington College 76-48 to open the week before dropping a heartbreaking 55-54 decision to Gettysburg College.


Sierra Berkel led the Fords in both games scoring 17 against Washington College and 24 in the loss to Gettysburg.  Maddie Gallic added 14 points in the win over Washington College while Julianna Clark and Samantha Wetzel scored 12 and 10 respectively.  Clark had 12 points in the Gettysburg loss.


Ursinus College meanwhile is battling for the fifth and final playoff spot for the conference.  The Bears won both of their games last week, defeating Franklin and Marshall 74-58 on Wednesday and squeezing out a 46-41 win over Washington College on Saturday.


Lydia Konstanzer and Aliyah Stephens continue to be the offensive leaders on the floor for the Bears.  Konstanzer recorded double-doubles in both wins, notching 24 points and 11 rebounds against Franklin and Marshall and 11 points and 12 boards against Washington.

   Stephens had a double-double against F & M scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.  She contributed 14points in the win over Washington College.   Rachel Guy had 10 points against Franklin and Marshall.


Area Teams Struggling in MAC….


In the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC), the playoff picture is a bit murky for the area teams in the league.

  All four schools, Widener University and Arcadia University in the MAC Commonwealth and Delaware Valley University and Eastern University in the MAC Freedom are currently on the outside looking in as they battle for one of the five (Commonwealth) and four (Freedom) playoff spots available.


Three of the five spots have already been clinched in the MAC Commonwealth.

  Widener is currently sitting in sixth place with a 4-8 conference mark and a 10-11overall record.  They are 1.5 games behind fifth place Stevenson with four conference games remaining.  

Arcadia meanwhile is in seventh play, a game behind Widener with a 3-9 conference mark.  The Knights also have four games remaining.


Widener earned a split of the season series with Stevenson with a 77-73 double overtime win on Saturday.  The Pride currently holds a tiebreaker over the Mustangs by virtue of a win over first place Albright.



Devan Rimmer and Madison Ireland had 22 and 21 points respectively for the ride while Allison Gallagher added 13.


The Mustangs led by two at the half before Widener came back and tied the score at 50-50.  Stevenson went up by as many as seven on two occasions in the fourth quarter before a 6-0 run and a three-ball from Rimmer in the waning seconds sent the game into overtime.


Widener was leading as the clock was winding down in the first overtime before Stevenson’s Denia Campbell sent the game into a second OT with a three-pointer at the buzzer.  Rimmer opened the second overtime with a three-pointer and the Pride led the rest of the way.  Ireland’s two free throws with 46 seconds left sealed the four point win.


Arcadia’s playoff chances took a hit on Saturday as they dropped a 66-49 decision to Lycoming.  Taylor Dunn led the Knights with 19 points while Jamie Manzo added ten.


Lycoming led wire-to-wire with the Knights only coming as close as a 34-34 tie in the opening minute of the third quarter.  The Warriors outscored the Knights 16-5 in the quarter and never looked back.


Over in the MAC Freedom where only the top four teams qualify for playoffs, the Delaware Valley University Aggies are currently sitting in sixth place after suffering losses to Kings (66-57) and Misericordia (78-64) lost week. 

 DVU is currently two games behind Manhattanville and DeSales for the fourth and final playoff spot witha 4-6 conference mark.  The Aggies have four conference games left.


Ashley Smink led the Aggies in both contests, scoring 21 againstKings and 14 vs. Misericordia. Danielle Skedzielewski added 13 points against Kings while Monika Smallwood grabbed 16 rebounds.  Smallwood also had 14 points against Misericordia.


Eastern University also lost to Kings (58-44) and Misericordia (66-49) last week and was eliminated from the MAC Freedom playoff picture with the two losses. The Eagles are 1-9 in league play and 4-17 overall.


Taylor Price and Da’Naziah Brown led the Eagles against Misericordia with 12 points apiece. Viki Kneis and Taylor Azur had ten points apiece in the loss at Kings.


League Playoff pictures will be much clearer after this week and we will update those details in next week’s report…until then…





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