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.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small College Report: The D3 Edition

A new enhanced substitution

By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)

The Division III season is winding down for our area women’s basketball teams as the playoff pictures become clear across the five area conferences, the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC), the Centennial Conference, the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) and the MAC Freedom and MAC Commonwealth conferences.  

There was plenty of D3 action this past Wednesday night and last week as some area teams continue to jockey for playoff positions while others were just playing out the rest of the regular season which ends this Saturday…This week’s report brings you both….
 
A First Round Bye on the Line in the CSAC…
 
The big game amongst the Philly D3 squads was on the campus of Neumann University as the Knights hosted Gwynedd Mercy University in a divisional crossover game that would determine the #2 seed in the upcoming CSAC Tournament. 

   The Griffins, behind Olivia Roseman’s 21 points defeated the Knights 83-63 to secure the CSAC North Division title and the #2 seed and a bye in their upcoming conference tournament.  
 
Gwynedd Mercy improves to 13-2 in conference games and 16-5 overall.  The Knights who secured the #3 seed despite the loss are 12-3 in the CSAC and 17-7 overall
 
A 7-2 run by the Griffins in the first quarter propelled Gwynedd Mercy to a 23-15 lead after one period.  .The Knights clawed their way back in the second using a 12-3 run to take a 27-26 lead midway through the period.  The Griffins would respond emphatically, closing the quarter with a 13-2 run to lead by ten the break, 39-29.
 
Up ten entering the third, Gwynedd Mercy outscored the Knights, 25-21 in the quarter, ending the frame with a 64-50 lead. 

 Neumann shrunk the advantage to ten with 5:09 to play (72-62). After four-straight points from Roseman, Susan Bossler hit from downtown with her first three ball of the game to put Gwynedd in the driver's seat 79-62. The team ended the contest on an 11-1 run to account for the 83-63 win.
 
Cabrini  Remains Perfect in CSAC Play; Wins 20th Straight
 
Cabrini University continues to roll extending their winning streak to 20 straight games Wednesday night with a 70-41 win over Immaculata.  The Cavs remain perfect in the CSAC at 15-0 and sport a 22-2 overall mark.
 
Sabrina Hackendorn picked up her fifth double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds.  Nomi Washington also contributed 16 points while Kate Lannon came off the bench to score 10.   Theresa Kearney led Immaculata with 13 points.
 
Cabrini led this one wire-to-wire, jumping out to an early 14-3 lead and held the Mighty Macs without a field goal until the early part of the second quarter.  Kearney drained a three-pointer early in the second to end the IU field goal drought while the Cavs offense extended the lead to 13 by halftime, 35-21.  
 
The Cavs pushed the lead to 20 heading into the fourth quarter and a 12-2 run to open the final period dashed any hope of a Mighty Macs rally and expanding their lead to 32 points before settling in for the 29-point win.
 
Rosemont Wins Regular Season Finale…Onto playoffs
 
Rosemont concluded their regular season with a 79-64 win over Cairn to finish the regular season with a 9-7 conference mark and a 15-10 overall record.  The Ravens hold down the #6 seed for the upcoming CSAC Tournament.
 
Leilani Naone-Carter led Rosemont with 16 points.  Kira Lewis and Ke’alohilani Naone-Carter added 13 apiece.  Shawn Dowd chipped in 12 points.  Payton Emrick and Victoria Stum led the Highlanders with 17 and 11 points respectively
 
The Highlanders jumped out to a 22-13 lead in the first quarter and pushed the lead into double figures before the ravens rallied to cut the deficit to seven, 35-28 at the half..  An 8-0 run by the ravens in the third quarter closed the gap to one at 40-39 before the Highlanders closed out the quarter on an 11-5 tilt to again lead by seven after three, 51-44.
 
The Ravens opened the fourth quarter with a 14-4 flourish to regain the lead 58-55 and continued to roll with an 11-4 spurt to push their lead to ten 69-59 with 2:49 remaining and finished game outscoring the Highlanders in the period 35-13 to complete the comeback win.
 
Cairn (10-14, 5-10 CSAC) finishes their season with a home game against Neumann on Saturday.
 
In other CSAC games last week
 
Cabrini recorded wins last week over Notre Dame University of Maryland (72-34) and Rosemont (80-63).  The two wins secure the top seed in the upcoming CSAC Championship Tournament which begins on Monday.
 
Against the Ravens last Saturday, the Cavs forced a season high 27 turnovers and capitalized on most of them scoring 27 points.  
 
Meghan Matthews and Nomi Washington led the Cavs with 19 points apiece while the freshman duo of Kate Lannon and Lexi Edwards had nine points apiece.   The Ravens were led by Jasmyn Parker’s 14 points.  Shawn Dowd and Ayanna Thompson had 13 and ten respectively.
 
Earlier in the week Cabrini had little trouble with Notre Dame, using a 20-4 run after ND scored the first six points of the game to take control and never look back.  Kate Skalski led the Cavs with 17 points (5-6 3 pt. FG) while Matthews chipped in 13.
 
Neumann University, the second place team in the CSAC South also won both of their games to keep pace with Cabrini and The Knights also defeated Rosemont last week, 89-65 and followed that with an 81-54 win over Cedar Crest.  
 
Nafisa Saunders and Minika Glenn led the attack against Cedar Crest with 23 and 21 points respectively.  The two teams produced four ties in the first quarter before the Knights took a 19-15 lead after one and pushed the margin to double-digits in the second quarter.  Cedar crest closed the gap to eight by halftime but Glenn’s basket to open the third quarter again pushed the lead to double digits where it remained for the rest of the game.
 
Saunders exploded for 36 points against Rosemont, including a 22-for-25 effort from the free throw line while Glenn tallied 17.  Lauren Legler added 12.
 
Rosemont built a double digit lead early in the second quarter before the Knights battled back to tie the game at 30.  Rosemont held a 38-36 lead at the half.
 
Neumann dominated the third quarter and started to pull away, outscoring Rosemont 38-9, closing the quarter on a 13-2 run to lead 74-47 after three quarters and led by 20 or more points the rest of the way.
 
Parker and Dowd again led the Ravens with 16 points apiece.
 
Gwynedd Mercy improved to 12-2 in league play with a 61-28 win over Clark Summit University Monday night to remain in the hunt for the #2 seed and a first round bye in the CSAC tournament.  Larissa Leyes and Chyanne Fine led the Griffins with nine points apiece as 13 player tallied points in the box score.
 
On Saturday, the Griffins defeated Marywood 79-71 behind Julianna Hoisington’s season-high 19 points.  Allison Szyszko added 13 points while Fine chipped in 12.
 
Immaculata (7-17, 6-9 CSAC) and Cairn (10-13, 5-9 CSAC) faced each other last Wednesday with the Macs coming out on top 54-45 extending their win streak to four games.  Theresa Kearney led IU with 21 points and 12 rebounds, her fourth double-double of the season.  
 
The Macs built a nine point lead over the first three quarters.  Cairn would close within six in the fourth and final quarter but would come no closer.  Charlotte Camp and Aigner Bookard led the Highlanders with 11 points apiece.
 
On Saturday, Immaculata, needing a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, battled Keystone University.

The Mighty Macs led for three quarters before the Giants took control of the game in the fourth quarter and built an eight point lead with 1:55 left.

    A late rally brought the Macs within one 77-76 but a potential game winning shot by Annie Kohutka hit the back of the rim and the Giants hung onto win while the Mighty Macs were eliminated from playoff contention.   Kearney scored a career-high 25 points to lead IU while Amber Ballinger added 23 points.
 
Regular Season Finales in the NJAC..Three area Teams in Playoffs

Over in the NJAC, all three area teams have qualified for the NJAC Tournament with the regular season ending Wednesday night.
 
The College of New Jersey will enter the NJAC tournament as the #2 seed riding a six game winning streak after a 57-41 win over Rutgers-Newark Wednesday night.   

The Lions finish with a 15-3 conference mark and a 20-5 overall record under first year head coach Chessie Jackson.
 
Jen Byrne led the Lions with 23 points with Charlotte Schum adding 11.
 
TCNJ jumped out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter only to see the Scarlet Raiders comeback and close the gap to two by halftime 28-26 and shaved another point off the Lions lead after a back and forth third quarter, 39-38.

  The Lions limited the Scarlet Raiders to just three fourth quarter points and used a 16-0 run to take control of the game en route to the 57-41 win.
 
 Last Saturday, TCNJ recorded a 62-59 upset of first place #22 Montclair State to clinch a first round bye for the NJAC playoffs.
 
In the first half, the Red Hawks jumped out to a 22-11 lead, however the Lions took the lead with a 30-9 run that spanned the second and third quarter. 

Two three pointers in the third from Samantha Famulare pushed the Lions lead to nine 40-31 before the Red Hawks closed the gap to two by the end of the period 46-44.
 
In the fourth quarter, the Red Hawks closed within one before Jen Byrne knocked down a three pointer to put the Lions back up by four, 60-56 with 1:31 left.

 Again the Red Hawks closed within one, 60-59 with 18 seconds left before Famulare connected on a pair of free throws to provide the final margin.
 
Famulare led the Lions with 20 points while Byrne added 17.
 
Rowan meanwhile closed their regular season with their fourth straight win, 71-47 over Ramapo to secure the #4 seed in the NJAC Tournament. 

And will host William Paterson, the #5 seed on Saturday. Rowan finished the regular season with a 12-6 conference mark and a 15-9 overall record.
 
Dominique Peters led Rowan with 16 points while April Szymczyk added 12 points. Alex Raring and Paige Caldwell produced nine and eight points respectively.
 
The Profs outscored the Roadrunners, 19-0 in the first quarter to begin the game. Five different players contributed to the run, led by Raring and Szymczyk with six points apiece. Rowan did not trail for the remainder of the contest. 

Its largest lead was 27 (31-4) with 3:55 to go in the second. The closest Ramapo came was 15 points at two different points in the third stanza.
 
Rowan won both of their games last week, defeating Kean University 76-67 on Wednesday and Rutgers-Newark 88-58 on Saturday.  
 
Alex Raring led the Profs with 17 points against Kean while Summer Crilley and Olivia Rulon added 13 points apiece.  April Szymczyk recorded a double-double with ten points and 12 rebounds, her fifth of the season.
 
On Saturday against Rutgers-Newark, the Profs final home game of the regular season, Rowan’s three seniors combined for 52 points with Raring leading the way with 21.  Szymczyk added 18 points and Crilley chipped in 13.  Dominque Peters had 17 to round out Rowan’s double figure scorers.
 
Rutgers-Camden closed out the regular season with a 79-60 loss to first place Montclair State to finish with a 14-10 overall record and an 11-7 NJAC mark.  The Scarlet Raptors will travel to play Stockton in the first round on Saturday.
 
Jordan Harbough led the Scarlet Raptors with a career high 20 points   Michelle Obasi added 13 points while Cara Racobaldo chipped in 11 points and had a team high eight rebounds.
 
The first quarter saw four ties and three lead changes before MSU came out on top with a slim15-13 advantage. 

 The Red Hawks opened the second quarter with a 13-3 run to take a double-digit lead 28-18 and finished the quarter outscoring the Scarlet Raptors 24-11 for a 398-23 lead at halftime.
 
Racobaldo’s trey late in the third quarter cut the Red Hawks lead to eight but this would be as close as Rutgers-Camden would get as the Red Hawks increased their lead to as many as 21 points in the fourth quarter.  
 
In games last week, Rutgers-Camden beat Ramapo College 58-51 on Thursday before falling to William Patterson 66-57 on Saturday.  
 
Against Ramapo, Jordan Harbough led R-C with 13 points.  Michelle Obasi and Gabby Greene added 12 and 11 points respectively.  

  Obasi was the Scarlet Raptors leading scorer in the loss to Patterson with 14 points while Shane Holmes added 13 points.
 
Haverford Secures #3 Seed in Centennial…Ursinus Still Battling for Post-Season Berth
 
Haverford College secured the #3 seed for the upcoming Centennial Conference Tournament, edging Swarthmore 59-58 for their 20th win of the season. The Fords enter the Centennial Conference tournament with a 20-5 overall record and a 16-4 mark in the Centennial Conference.  
 
The contest featured five ties and five lead changes before the Fords were able to stave off one last challenge from the Garnet.

  Sierra Berkel tied a career best with 24 points while Samantha Wetzel notched her 10th double-double of the season with 15 points and a season-best 18 rebounds to lead the Fords.
 
Abigail Pirron and Isabelle Ewart had 13 points apiece to lead the Garnet.
 
The Garnet led 16-11 after one quarter before the Fords used a 25-13 second quarter to take a 36-29 lead at halftime. 

 Swarthmore opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run to reclaim the lead at 39-38.  Berkel and Wetzel then keyed a 7-0 run to put the Fords back on top 45-39 before the Garnet countered with a 6-0 run to close the quarter with the game tied at 45-45.
 
In the fourth quarter neither team could pull away from each other before the Fords got two buckets from Wetzel to go up by six 57-51 with 2:57 left.

  Swarthmore followed with two straight baskets to close within two 57-55 with 28 seconds left.  Macy Goldbach sank two free throws for the Fords with 21 seconds to make the score 59-55. 

 Swarthmore’s Kendall Trubus sank a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to close within one 59-58.  The Garnet then forced a turnover and had a chance to win it but turned the ball over themselves as the clock was winding down.
 
Ursinus meanwhile is currently tied for the fifth and final playoff spot with McDaniel as both teams sport identical 10-9 conference marks.

   Both teams will face tough opponents in their regular season finales on Saturday as the Bears host first place Gettysburg and McDaniel travels to play second place Muhlenberg.   McDaniel and Ursinus split their two games earlier this season.  A Bears win will give Ursinus the fifth and final playoff spot.
 
 Area MAC Teams Finishing Regular Season

In the Mid Atlantic Conference all four area teams are finishing up the season having been eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Arcadia recorded a 60-44 win over Widener on Tuesday night for their second straight win.  The Scarlet and Grey improved to 10-14 on the year and 5-10 in conference play. The Pride drop to 11-13 overall and 5-10 in the MAC Commonwealth.

A trio of Arcadia players reached double figures to pace the Knights with Taylor Dunn leading the way with 19 points.  Jamie Manzo added 16 while Taylor Fritz chipped in 12.  Kyra Schenk led Widener with nine points.

Both teams got off to a slow start with Arcadia taking a 9-6 lead after one quarter and a 26-22 lead at halftime.

  Arcadia continued to extend the lead in the third quarter, outscoring the Pride 19-6.  Arcadia built a 21 point lead early in the fourth quarter before settling in for the 16 point win.

Arcadia hosts Hood College while Widener hosts Alvernia in their final games on Saturday.

Eastern University used a monster rally in the third quarter to earn a 59-52 win over Delaware Valley University on Tuesday night.  Eastern improves to 5-19 overall and 2-11in MAC Freedom games.  Delaware Valley falls to 7-17 overall and 4-9 in league play.

Amanda Riiff led the eagles with 12 points while Taylor Price chipped in 11.  Taylor Azer added ten points.   Danielle Skedzielewski led the Aggies with 15 points.  Amber Grohowski and Ashley Smink added 12 and 11 points respectively.

The Aggies jumped all over the host Eagles in the first two quarters, opening up a 28-8 lead before the Eagles shut them down for the final four minutes of the second quarter while scoring four points to trail 28-12 at halftime.

The Eagles trailed 35-17 with six minutes left in the third quarter when Riiff sank a floater in the lane to trigger a 16-2 run to close out the quarter and cut the deficit to four 37-33.

  The run continued into the fourth quarter as Eastern outscored Delaware Valley 11-3 in the first three minutes to take a 44-40  lead with a basket by Regie Robinson putting the Eagles ahead.  

Skedzielewski’s two free throws with 2:17 left tied the game at 50-50 but the Eagles finished with a 9-2 run to earn the win.

Delaware Valley hosts DeSales while Eastern travels to Wilkes on Saturday for their final games of the season.
 


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