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Women’s City Six notebook: St. Joseph’s showcasing more offensive weapons, Drexel transfer cleared to play by NCAA

St. Joseph's had two players average double figures in scoring last season, but five players scored 10 points or more in the season opener.

Katie Jekot scored 13 points in St. Joseph's season-opening win over Lincoln. (Emily Cohen for The Inquirer)
Katie Jekot scored 13 points in St. Joseph's season-opening win over Lincoln. (Emily Cohen for The Inquirer)Read moreEmily Cohen

The third edition of this season’s Women’s City Six notebook is here and all five schools were in action (well, save Penn).

St. Joseph’s finally began its season after a COVID-19 pause and kicked off the year soaring. Villanova and Drexel both showed promise last week in their clash, and La Salle and Temple are hoping to end losing streaks soon.

St. Joe’s offense showing promise

St. Joseph’s opened its season with two wins in drastically different fashions.

The first victory came against Division II Lincoln (Pa.). The Hawks trailed by 13 points at halftime, then outscored Lincoln by 21 in the second half of the 72-64 victory.

It’s a game that St. Joe’s should win, but the second-half performance was stellar. Five Hawks scored in double figures.

“That’s really going to make us an all-around team,” head coach Cindy Griffin said. “That’s refreshing because we struggled so much to score the ball last year.”

One of those players who scored in double figures was graduate transfer Alayna Gribble. She followed that performance with 19 points in a 80-52 win over Monmouth. Gribble went five-for-five from three-point range.

“You always think that ball is going in the way she is consistent with her release every time,” Griffin said. “She has the confidence to keep shooting.”

Denise Dillon defeats old squad

Villanova knocked off Drexel in a battle of undefeated teams and Denise Dillon’s first game against her former squad. The Wildcats are 6-0.

Drexel held Maddy Siegrist to her worst statistical game of the season. It was defensive-minded point guard Raven James who provided Villanova’s scoring boost. She scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning basket.

Villanova doesn’t have time to pat itself on the back. Games against Creighton and No. 3 UConn are next.

Drexel receives good news regarding transfer

The bad news had been piling up for the Dragons. They played Villanova down to the wire until a last-second three-point shot attempt by Keishana Washington was off the mark in a 48-46 loss. Two days later, the team paused activities due to COVID-19 protocols.

“I gave them a couple of homework assignments to work on individually,” head coach Amy Mallon said. “It’s not a lot else you can do. The main thing is to watch as much basketball as you can.”

It wasn’t all bad news, though. Transfer guard Tori Hyduke was declared eligible by the NCAA on Friday morning. Hyduke will complement Hannah Nihill and Keishana Washington and give Drexel another scorer on a team that emphasizes defense.

“She brings us a playmaker,” Mallon said. “She does a little bit of the other things [Hannah and Keishana] don’t do. It’s going to be a really good team backcourt.”

La Salle prepping for Big Five and A-10 Foe

La Salle will be back in action for the first time in just over a week when it faces St. Joe’s on Saturday. The Explorers swept last season’s two meetings with the Hawks.

The Hawks look improved, so it’s a good opportunity for the Explorers to measure themselves against their Big Five foe. Claire Jacobs is La Salle’s No.1 option, averaging 15.5 points per game. Seven of her teammates are averaging between 4.0 and 9.8 points per game. That unpredictability makes La Salle tough to plan for, but more consistency will lead to the Explorers reaching their ceiling.

Temple suffers third straight loss

Mia Davis doesn’t care who the opponent is. She’s going to get her numbers. But a 103-41 loss vs. No. 5 South Carolina pushed Temple to 0-3.

Davis scored 17 points and added a team-high seven rebounds. She is averaging more than double the amount of the next Owl and 24.3 of the team’s 60.7 points per game.