The NCAA Division II women's team at Glenville State hosted a tournament this weekend too begin its schedule, with the opener Friday night against Virginia Union and a Saturday matchup with No. 6 Edinboro. Tough tests.
In the first one, the Pioneers rallied from miserable shooting first half to win going away, 90-83. Ginny Mills made five 3-pointers on her way to 23 points and Kenyell Goodson connected on five 3s to finish with 20 points for Glenville State.
The comeback came mostly from making shots, which didn't really happen often for the Pioneers in the opening 20 minutes. At the break, they were 11-for-50 overall and 5-for-29 from beyond the arc, and the Panthers pulled out to a 41-35 advantage.
As I was following with live stats, the numbers really seemed to be working in Glenville State's favor with the pace. I figured once the fall started going through the hoop, the game eventually would turn in favor of coach Bunky Harkleroad's squad.
And that's just what happened.
Kenyona Simmons added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Pioneers.
Game 2 figured to be a little more difficult. Edinboro finished 30-2 last season and reached the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season, and the first D-II poll had the Fighting Scots ranked sixth.
It really appeared difficult when Glenville State missed its first 14 shots from the field. Yep, that's correct, all 14 failed to drop through the hoop. Overcoming that would be difficult in the best of circumstances, and even more so with playing such a good opponent.
No worries, however. A 16-3 run pushed the Pioneers to a 20-9 lead midway through the first half, and the margin grew from there. After those 14 shots failed to go in, Glenville State made 17 of its final 32 shots of the opening 20 minutes, and finished 10-for-20 on 3-pointers. The result was a 56-31 lead for the home team.
Pretty incredible recovery. The Scots never got within double digits, and the Pioneers cruised to a wonderful, signature victory by the score of 101-82.
Mills again led the way, pouring in 24 points and making six more 3s, giving her 11 in two games. She added 12 boards. Simmons also had 24 points and Goodson added 14 (and made four 3-pointers).
Glenville State has a week off before traveling to California (Pa). next Saturday, with the game starting at 2 p.m. I wish Coach Harkleroad and his team all the best.
OLIVET NAZARENE, NAIA DIVISION II WOMEN'S TEAM
Talk about your tough assignments. For the second game of the season, and the second game under first-year coach Lauren Stamatis, Olivet Nazarene had to travel to its top rival in the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference: the Saint Xavier Cougars.
The Cougars were ranked sixth in the preseason NAIA poll (Olivet Nazarene was 13th) and primed to exact a little payback after the Tigers swept the season series a year ago.
No such luck. A 20-6 run to start the second half gave ONU a 73-57 lead, and the margin ballooned as high as 23 as the Tigers held on to win 100-88. Miranda Geever led the way (again) with 20 points while continuing the pile up the stats: nine rebounds, three assists and three steals, all in 21 minutes of run.
Taylor Haymes had 16 points and Ashley Wilson finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds. A great result for Coach Stamatis and the entire team.
ONU has its home opener Wednesday when CCAC opponent Holy Cross visits McHie Arena, with the start scheduled for 6:30 p.m. EST. Best of luck to the Tigers.
JACKSON (MICH.) COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NJCAA DIVISION II WOMEN'S TEAM
The Jets lost a tough one Saturday to Henry Ford Community 95-85 in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association. No other details were available.
Coach Andy Hoaglin and Jackson CC gets back at it Monday on the road at the Davenport University JV team. I am rooting for them.