First, the games:
OLIVET NAZARENE NAIA WOMEN'S TEAM
We have to start with Olivet Nazarene, which played defending NAIA Division II runner-up Davenport University on Friday night. Denita Phelps made two free throws with less than 1 second remaining to give the Tigers a thrilling 92-91 victory despite a school-record 43 points by Davenport's Karlee Despres.
The Panthers, who finished 37-1 last season, trailed by 10 points at halftime, and the margin reached 13 early in the second half. But they rallied to take their first lead about midway through the final 20 minutes, and the game was back-and-forth down the stretch.
With the scored tied at 88 in the final minute, ONU's Danielle Tolbert got inside for a layup and a two-point advantage. Davenport's Kia Frazier was fouled with 35 seconds remaining and made the second of two free throws to cut the margin to one, and when Tolbert missed a 3 on the other end, the Panthers had another chance.
This time it was Abby Neff scoring from in close to put Davenport up 91-90, and ONU coach Doug Porter called a timeout with 13 seconds left on the clock. Tolbert and backcourt mate Danielle Pipal broke the Panthers' press, and Pipal drove down the lane before dropping a pass to Phelps, who was hammered on her shot attempt with 0.9 seconds remaining.
Despite a brief delay as the officials made sure the clock was correct, Phelps made both shots to put the Tigers ahead. She then intercepted Davenport's long inbounds pass near halfcourt, ending the game and sending the crowd at McHie Arena home happy.
Tolbert led ONU (3-0) with 21 points. Here are The Formula numbers for her team:
- Attempted 98 shots
- Attempted 72 3-pointers
- Rebounded 40 percent of its misses
- Forced 37 turnovers
- Attempted 14 more shots than Davenport (2-1)
Great job by Coach Porter and his team, it was an amazing game to watch. The Tigers travel to St. Catherine College in Kentucky next Tuesday for their next game, and I hope they have much success.
GLENVILLE STATE NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN'S TEAM
Speaking of Kentucky, the Pioneers coached by Bunky Harkleroad opened their season Friday night in the opening round of the United Electric Tip-Off Tournament in Louisville, hosted by Bellarmine University.
Danielle Woodmore, a Louisville native, made the most of her homecoming, finishing with 24 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals to help Glenville State beat American International College 95-76. Tenisha Wilson added 18 points and Mishae Miles had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Pioneers.
Ginny Petties scored 10 points.
A 22-7 midway through the second half helped Glenville State pull away, with seven different players scoring during the spurt. Miles got it started with a free throw, Wilson had a basket and Petties connected on a 3-pointer before Beth Deren got in close for a layup to make it 68-60.
Later, Catherine Butcher converted a pair of foul shots, and Woodmore did the same on the ensuing possession. A 3 from Jelena Elez boosted the margin to 15 before Miles closed it out with another layup. The lead never moved under 10 points down the stretch.
Here are the Pioneers' Formula stats:
- Attempted 85 shots
- Attempted 34 3-pointers
- Rebounded 43 percent of their own misses
- Forced 38 turnovers
- Attempted 35 more shots than AIC
Glenville State will face the host school in the final Saturday night after Bellarmine held off McKendree University 69-67. Game time is 7 p.m. EST, and I will be following the action online.
OKLAHOMA PANHANDLE STATE NCAA DIVISION II WOMEN'S TEAM
As I said, the Aggies open their season Saturday night against Adams State, and I got in touch with coach Brad Vanden Boogaard earlier this week to see how the transition to The System has gone so far.
The Formula goals for OPSU this season are this:
- Attempt 90 shots
- Attempted 45 3-pointers
- Rebound 40 percent of its own misses
- Force 33 turnovers
- Attempt 15 more shots than the opponent
Here is the rest of our exchange:
(How has practice been? Still happy with the change?)
Brad Vanden Boogaard: We are very happy with the change we made. Practices have been inconsistent at times. We spend a lot of time breaking old habits and are slow to change, which I was expecting.
Scrimmages have went well we play with a lot of energy for three-fourths of them. We got out to a large lead early in the second one and put it in cruise control for awhile. We allowed that team to come back to within two points and then we turned it back on to win by 21. It was a good lesson to learn.
(Tell us a little about your returning players.)
Bran Vanden Boogaard: We have nine returners, six of them being seniors. I consider five of them to be very good shooters, two of them being 5-foot-10 or taller. A few of them have not shown their shooting ability in games yet (Teenie Kent, Megan Taylor, Tomi McDonald, Brianna Gonzalez, Quinae Thomas). Carmela Garcia is a small point guard that is a jet and tough that leads by great example and was honorable mention all-conference last year.
Nicole Buhl and Tra Dishmon are undersized post players that can run well and play at the top of the press really well. Michelle Kent is a hard worker that is crafty getting to the basket and is an average shooter.
(How about your recruiting class?)
Brad Vanden Boogaard: Our recruiting class consist of four freshman, one redshirt freshman, and a sophomore. In the freshman class we brought in two athletes, one that is recovering from an ACL that happened during her senior season, one shooter recovering from a knee scope not practicing at this time and a 6-foot post that runs well, plays the top of the press and is a very good rebounder. The redshirt freshman is a 5-10 shooter. The sophomore is a shooter.
(What are you doing well right now? What are the areas of concern?)
Brad Vanden Boogaard: We are doing a nice job right now of offensive rebounding. We are keeping a good pace of play in getting set in our presses and pushing the ball from the point guard position and for the most part our post are doing a nice job.
My concerns right now are the amount of turnovers and the number of shots we are attempting in our scrimmages. We played two teams that play up-tempo and do some trapping so I think our turnovers will come down against more conventional opponents. The shot attempts concern me because we have been around 100 per game with our goal being 90 or more but with us playing two up-tempo teams I was hoping to be around 110. When we play conventional teams we will need to work harder to get enough shots up.
(What type of teams goals have you set, and would they be similar if playing conventionally?)
Brad Vanden Boogaard: Some of our overall team goals are similar to when we were playing traditionally but our game goals have completely changed. Our goals are 3.3 GPA (nice!), .500 or better record/qualifying for the conference tournament, commit to The System, always play hard, and give OPSU Basketball a name.
Well said, Coach Vanden Boogaard. It appears the home games might be available online, so I plan to catch at least part of the opener Saturday night. Good luck to the Aggies.