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 28, 2018

Postgame Scout: Saint Joseph’s “D” Gets the Hawks Past VCU to A-10 Quarterfinals

Guru’s note: Another in a series from Postgame Scout analyzing the strategy that made things happen.

By Postgame Scout

And so it begins!! 

 The march toward basketball madness began Tuesday night when VCU visited St. Joe’s Hagan Arena for the first round of the A-10 Tournament.  

Back to back blocked shots by each team on their first possessions set the tone for this competitive and hard fought game.  

 The ball was coming inside.

VCU transported the ball to the paint via the dribble.  St Joe’s preferred to deliver the ball inside via the pass.

The Rams’ quick hands and hustle were disruptive on defense. 

 But it was St Joe’s ability to defend the ball screens and shut down the driving lanes that made the difference defensively.

VCU’s dribble weave offense had trouble turning the corner and getting to the rim.  The Rams were at their best when scoring in the open court, but to St Joe’s credit that didn’t happen often.

St. Joe’s did an excellent job maintaining their composure against VCU’s pressure.  The Hawks’ constant movement and screening created hard fought passing lanes.  They found those passing lanes registering 15 assists to VCU’s 5.

St. Joe’s consistently pounded the ball inside to Chelsea Woods who wheeled and dealed and delivered.  She  scored a career high 33 points.  

VCU is a very young team who will grow from this experience.  

But St. Joe’s passing and poise coupled with an extraordinary effort by Woods made all the difference tonight.