Two separate days, yet two stirring victories for The System.
On Thursday night, the Olivet Nazarene NAIA women's team got by Cardinal Stritch 102-81 behind a dominant performance from Danielle Tolbert. The sophomore guard from Pontiac, Mich., put up some monster numbers in her 17 minutes of run: 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals. Her point total, assists and steals were team highs, and her boards tied Denita Phelps and Sandy Cabadas for the most. Not bad, right?
Tolbert got help from several teammates. Holly Schacht and Malory Adam each had four steals while providing some scoring, as well; Adam went for 11 points and Schacht had 10. Rachel Kearney also was in double figures with 12 points for the balanced Tigers, now 5-1 on their season-opening seven-game road trip.
Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the NAIA Division I record coach Doug Porter's team set -- ONU finished 15-for-78 on 3-pointers, the most attempts ever from beyond the arc. Its total broke the previous mark of 76, set by (you guessed it!) ONU on March 2, 2010, against Holy Cross College. The record before that? It was 73 from Nov. 3, 2006, when (wow, I'm sensing a theme!) ONU did the trick.
Not bad. Here are the final "Formula" numbers for the Tigers:
- Attempted 112 shots (made 33)
- Attempted 78 3s (made 15)
- Rebounded 33 of their misses (42 percent)
- Forced 46 turnovers (what?!)
- Attempted 31 more shots than the Wolves
All in all, a pretty dominant performance, on the road, against a pretty darn good program. Stritch finished 30-3 last season - including a 94-88 victory over ONU - and reached the Elite Eight of the NAIA Division II tournament after winning the regular season and conference tournament titles in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference's D-II division. So you have to give Coach Porter's team the credit for going on the road and putting up these numbers.
Lisa Lawrence had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Wolves, and Angela Gray added 15 points.
The only possible concern out of this game for the Tigers might be the status of point guard Danielle Pipal. She played only 4 minutes, and despite that, she had four assists and two steals. Pretty efficient. Hopefully, it's nothing too serious and she's back on the court the next time ONU hits it.
That is a while down the road, as the Tigers take a well-deserved break. They travel to 25th-ranked McKendree University on Nov. 30, with game time at 6:30 p.m. EST. You know I'll have an update for you, don't sweat it. Should be a good one.
Congratulations also goes to coach Bunky Harkleroad and the NCAA Division II Glenville State women's team, which opened the Millersville University Tip-Off Tournament with a 98-95 victory over West Chester. Tenisha Wilson had 27 points and Autumn Davis added 23 for the Pioneers, who improved to 3-1 this season while handing the Golden Rams (2-1) their first loss.
The final stats of this one seem a bit off for us System fans. Glenville State took only 74 shots (making an impressive 51.4 percent, however) and had 31 turnovers to 20 for West Chester. That led to a shot differential of 14 in favor of the Golden Rams, but when the shots were dropping, it hardly mattered.
Davis made 5 of 10 from the 3-point line and the Pioneers finished 14-for-33, while 11 different players broke into the scoring column. LaToya Hambrick had 11 rebounds, seven on the offensive end, and Catherine Butcher led the way with three steals. Danielle Woodmore had six assists. It sounds as if this was a true team effort, doesn't it? Spreading the love, which is one facet of The System that we all love.
I would love to give you more details, but I can't find a play-by-play for the second half. I will let you know that Glenville State led 56-47 at the break despite a late layup by Shamyra Hammond right before the horn for the Golden Rams. They had a pretty nice balance, too, with Alex Lennon (21 points), Jillian Keefer (19), Megan Stewart (18) and Allison Hostetter (11) all in double figures.
Not enough, however. Coach Harkleroad and Glenville State take on the host team, Millersville, on Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. The Marauders (great mascot!) beat up on Molloy 72-58 on Friday. Check back for the results of this matchup.