Sunday, January 16, 2011

Glenville State, ONU keep it going; Grinnell loses late lead at home

The NCAA Division II women's team at Glenville State had its game against Bluefield State on Thursday night postponed by the weather, and I'm not sure if it was the extra time to prepare or what. But the Pioneers, coached by Bunky Harkleroad, had one of their best efforts of the season in a surprisingly easy 106-75 victory over Fairmont State in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

How surprising? Well, let's look at each of these teams efforts in the past week against conference leader West Liberty: last Saturday, the Hilltoppers handed Glenville State its worst loss of the season, 84-63; then on Thursday, West Liberty traveled to Fairmont State, which won handily 76-60 to stop the Hilltoppers' 10-game winning streak.

So it's easy to believe that Coach Harkleroad's team would have its collective hands full with the Falcons. It didn't quite work out that way, thanks in large part to a dominating effort from Glenville State point guard Danielle Woodmore. She went for 21 points, eight assists and eight steals, leading six of her teammates in double figures. The others were Autumn Davis (12), Tenisha Wilson (12), LaToya Hambrick (11), Kenyell Goodson (10) and Miranda Reed (10).

Here are the numbers for the Pioneers (10-5, 8-2 WVIAC):

- Attempted 91 shots
- Attempted 31 3-pointers
- Rebounded 42 percent of the misses on offense
- Forced 31 turnovers
- Attempted 19 more shots than Fairmont State (9-5, 6-4)

Great effort that leaves Glenville State one game behind West Liberty in the loss column. Of course, given the enormity of the task in the WVIAC - 22 games apiece! -- there still is plenty of time for that to change. Coach Harkleroad and the Pioneers make up their game against Bluefield State on Monday, with the start scheduled for 5:30 p.m. EST, before a trip to Alderson-Broaddus (1-11, 1-9) on Wednesday. That will be the first of four consecutive games on the road for Glenville State.

The NAIA women's team at Olivet Nazarene remained undefeated early in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference, going on the road to beat St. Francis (Ill.) 118-109 Saturday behind a wonderful defensive effort. Yes, the naysayers out there (hello, Johnny Raincloud) would look at the 109 points given up and smirk about a lack of D. Looking a bit deeper in the box, however, shows that the Fighting Saints finished with 40 turnovers and trailed 49-13 in points off turnovers.

ONU (14-4, 2-0 CCAC) totaled 23 steals (led, again, by Danielle Pipal with five), with 13 coming in the second half following a defensive adjustment by coach Doug Porter. Without giving too much away, the Tigers essentially altered how they were forcing the action in the backcourt, which led to more effective double-teams and more opportunities to get into the passing lanes.

The result was more pace, with 27 more combined points scored after the break, even as it appeared to give St. Francis more trips to the free throw line. The Fighting Saints (7-13, 0-3) were 35-for-45 for the game, which not only allowed them an opportunity to score while the clock was stopped, but also negated somewhat ONU's depth advantage, since the St. Francis players were able to rest during the stoppages.

Still, in the end, it didn't matter much. with the Tigers picking up their fifth consecutive victory; they have averaged 117 points in that span. Here are The Formula numbers from the latest W:

- Attempted 91 shots (goal is 90)
- Attempted 43 3-pointers (goal is 45)
- Rebounded 39 percent of the misses on offense (goal is 40 percent)
- Forced those 40 turnovers (goal is 33)
- Attempted 29 more shots than St. Francis (goal is 15)

Rachel Kearney had 20 points for ONU, while Simone Coburn (17), Stephanie Denius (13) and Danielle Tolbert (12) also reached double figures. Coach Porter's team travels to Trinity Christian College on Tuesday, with tip scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST. Best of luck to the Tigers.

The NCAA Division III men's team at Grinnell lost its first game at home this season, with Carroll rallying late for a 105-102 victory Saturday in the Midwest Conference. This set of Pioneers (8-5, 3-5 MWC) faces a tough fight to finish in the top four and qualify for the conference tournament at the end of the season.

Here are the numbers:

- Attempted 87 shots (goal is 94)
- Attempted 52 3-pointers (goal is 47)
- Rebounded 36 percent of the misses on offense (goal is 33 percent)
- Forced 20 turnovers (goal is 32)
- Attempted 26 more shots that Carroll

Grinnell led for the majority of the second half, until Carroll's Kyle Jones made a layup with 3:04 remaining to tie the score at 90. Carroll eventually went ahead 98-92 with 60 seconds remaining, and not even a pair of 3s from Aaron Levin down the stretch were enough.

Matt Skelly had 25 points, Levin added 21 and Griffin Lentsch finished with 19 in the losing effort. Matt Chalupa scored 10 points.

Grinnell travels to Beloit on Friday, with another conference game the next day against Lawrence. I'm rooting for coach David Arseneault's bunch to get it going in the remaining month of the schedule.

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