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, February 20, 2018

Bob Heller’s Philly WBB Small Colleges: The Playoff Edition

Note: the regular weekly wrap is in a post below this:

By Bob Heller (@Bob_Heller1)



Neumann Defeats Rosemont in an Overtime Thriller

Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Player of the Year, Nafisa Saunders made a layup with three seconds left to lift Neumann University to a 99-98 overtime win over Rosemont College in the opening round of the CSAC Championship Tournament Monday night.

The third-seeded Knights (19-7) will advance to the CSAC semi-finals and will play at second seed Gwynedd Mercy University on Wednesday night.

Minika Glenn led the Knights with a career-high 37 points and added ten rebounds.  Kristin Denacour netted 21 points and grabbed a team high 16 boards.  Sanders chipped in 20 points.

Rosemont placed six players in double figures with Jasmyn Parker and Ke’alohilani Naone-Carter scoring 19 points apiece to lead the Ravens.  Naone-Carter also grabbed 13 rebounds.  Shawn Dowd added 16 points while Ayanna Thompson chipped in 14.  Jayme Byers and Kira Lewis rounded out the double figure Rosemont scorers with 12 and ten points respectively.

Neumann trailed by nine points, 87-79 with just 1:39 left in regulation before scoring ten of the final 12 points in the period to force the overtime.  Three free throws from Glenn started the comeback rally and a layup from Shauntell Williams cut the deficit to four in just 30 seconds, 87-83. 

 After a Thompson free throw, Glenn’s layup with 56 seconds left made the score 88-85.  Thompson again connected on just one-of-two from the line, giving the Knights another opportunity

 Alex Fernandez closed the gap to 89-87.  Glenn swiped the ball from Thompson on the Ravens next possession and was fouled.  She made both shots to tie the game and Saunders notched a steal to prevent the ravens from any scoring attempt and send the game to overtime.

Parker opened the overtime with a three-pointer to give Rosemont a 92-89 lead.

  The Ravens led by three on two more occasions, the last with just 1:05 left (98-95).  The Knights had three chances on their next possession with Denocour finally sinking the jumper with 51 seconds left to make the score 98-97. 

 Both teams missed on their next possession before the Ravens turned the ball over with 15 seconds left, leading to the Saunders layup on a pass from Glenn for the game winner.  The Ravens last chance would not fall. 

The Knights had their biggest lead in the third quarter, a 14 point advantage, 68-54 late in the period, which the Ravens erased with 15 straight points to end the third and start the fourth quarter. Rosemont’s biggest lead was ten with 2:25 left in the fourth quarter.

New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Begins Playoffs: Rowan Defeats William Paterson and Advances…

The New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opened their conference Championship Tournament on Saturday with the #4 seed Rowan hosting #5 William Paterson and #3 seed Stockton hosting #5 Rutgers-0Camden. 

  Top seed Montclair State and #2 seed The College of New Jersey received first round byes.

The Rowan University women's basketball team pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat William Paterson University, 67-48 in the first round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Championship Tournament on Saturday.

The fourth-seeded Profs (16-9) advance to the semifinals at the top seed Montclair State University (21-3) on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. The Pioneers were the fifth seed and end the year with a 14-12 record.

Summer Crilley recorded a double-double to lead the Profs, tallying She tallied 21 points (16 in 4th quarter) and tied her career-high with 11 rebounds.  Alex Raring added 15 points while April Szymczyk totaled 14 points and seven boards. Dominique Peters contributed with 10 points, six assists and six steals.

Leading by just three after three periods, the Profs came out on fire in the fourth quarter, starting the period with a 16-2 uprising over the first 3:30 with Crilley (10 points) and Raring (6 points) doing all the damage and giving Rowan a 55-38 lead. 

 The Pioneers scored the next six to close within 11, 55-44 but baskets by Raring and Peters, followed by another 3-ball from Crilley pushed the lead back to 18 at 62-44 with 3:19 left.  Crilley sank her fifth and final trey at the 2:15 mark, giving Rowan its biggest lead at 65-46 with both teams exchanging baskets over the final two minutes to produce the final 67-48 score.

Rowan scored the first points of the game and except of r a 2-2tie led the entire way, scoring 14 straight points following the tie to lead 16-2 and ended the quarter leading 20-6. 

 Szymczyk had two baskets in the second quarter to push the lead to 30—12 before the Pioneers ended the quarter on an 11-0 spurt to trail 30-23 at the break.  Early in the third Rowan went back up by ten 35-25 and again the Pioneers came back, finishing the quarter with an 11-4 flourish to trail by three 39-36 heading into the final stanza, which belonged to the Profs.

While Rutgers-Camden Fall at Stockton

In the NJAC’s other first round game, #3 seed Stockton University erased a seven point third quarter deficit and pulled away with a 55-43 win over #6 Rutgers-Camden to end the Scarlet Raptors’ season.

The Osprey’s will now face #2 seed The College of New Jersey Tuesday night in Ewing, New Jersey.  Rutgers-Camden finished their season at 14-11 and will await word next Monday to see if it is selected to the ECAC Division III playoffs. If so, the Scarlet Raptors would play a first-round game on Feb. 28.

Lajerah Wright led the Scarlet Raptors with ten points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Cara Racobaldo and Jordan Harbough had nine points each while Michelle Obasi added eight points.

Sasha Williams led the Ospreys with 25 points and 17 rebounds while Najha Williams added 22 points and 18 rebounds, accounting for 47 of Stockton’s 55 points, and 35 of their 58 total rebounds.

The Scarlet Raptors led 23-21 entering the third quarter and opened a 28-21 lead early in the period.  Stockton rallied with a 10-3 flourish to tie the game at 31-31.  The Ospreys extended the run to 20-3 by scoring the final ten points of the period to lead 41-31.

Six straight Osprey points to open the fourth quarter pushed the lead to 47-31 before Harbough broke the string with a layup at the 7:01 mark, ending 20 straight points by the Ospreys over a seven minute span starting at the 4:16 mark of the third quarter.  

Racobaldo’s layup with 2:22 left pulled the Scarlet raptors within ten but that was as close as they would come. 

The NJAC Semi-finals begin Tuesday.

The Centennial Conference along with the Northeast Athletic Conference (NEAC) also begin their respective conference tournament championships on Tuesday.