Another week of craziness in local women’s basketball. Drexel is passing the baton to Villanova for most heart-racing games, and Penn’s latest results have produced a sigh of relief on 33rd Street.
Here’s a look at the week’s biggest performances, recaps, and numbers for the City Six schools.
Penn made a change defensively about five games ago. The Quakers (13-5, 3-2 Ivy League) decided to play more one-on-one defense, and they are seeing results. Penn has held opponents to less than 30% shooting in two of its last three games.
“I think it was to keep our players more aggressive on both ends of the floor,” coach Mike McLaughlin said. “I don’t know if this will be the pattern for this group going forward, but right now, it’s certainly giving us a chance to turn defense into offense a little bit better.”
Kayla Padilla has been a star as a freshman. She has topped 20 points in 10 of 18 games. But there will be nights when she’s not torching defenses.
Phoebe Sterba and Eleah Parker stepped up last week. Sterba led the Quakers with 22 points in their 63-41 win against Cornell, and Parker had 28 points and 13 rebounds in an 86-84 overtime win against Columbia.
“[Parker] was battling some injuries earlier in the year, which kept her from the big numbers she’s had in the past,” McLaughlin said. “She had the best weekend she’s had all year, and she’s probably the healthiest she’s been all year.”
Drexel (17-6, 10-1 Colonial Athletic Association) has won 10 games in a row, and coach Denise Dillon said thoughts of a possible letdown crossed her mind last week.
There was no letdown. Drexel defeated Hofstra, 45-32, and Northeastern, 67-51.
“I felt the team understood the importance of defense, and we did everything necessary to give ourselves a chance to win,” Dillon said.
The senior class is the biggest reason the team has stayed focus. Drexel has five seniors, led by Bailey Greenberg. The Archbishop Wood grad is averaging 18.2 points and 6.1 rebounds, and is just as important off the court.
“It’s a game-changer when you have that connection, and when your players are an extension of the coaching staff, they certainly become your best teams,” Dillon said. “As a player, [Greenberg’s] numbers speak for themselves, but people don’t see her connection to the team off the court and her commitment to helping them in any way.”
Someone should check the heartbeats of the Wildcats’ fan base. Villanova (13-11, 7-6 Big East) had four consecutive games decided by two points or fewer.
Madison Siegrist scored 21 points in both a 55-54 win against Xavier and a 63-61 loss to Butler. Siegrist was named Big East Rookie of the Week for the 10th time, tying UConn’s Maya Moore and Georgetown’s Natalie Butler for the record. And she has three weeks left.
Two losses dropped Temple to sixth in the AAC. The Owls (13-10, 5-5 AAC) lost by 85-75 at home vs. Wichita State and 99-51 at South Florida, the latter being their most lopsided loss this season.
Their next three opponents are beneath them in the standings. The Owls will play Houston (12-12, 5-5) at home Saturday in a game that will have big implications on AAC Tournament seeding.
4: Number of consecutive games Claire Jacobs has scored in double figures. She leads La Salle (9-14, 3-7 Atlantic 10) with 13.2 points per game.
8: Number of blocks Shalina Miller had in the 67-61 loss to Richmond. Miller is already the program’s all-time blocks leader. She has recorded five or more blocks in three of the last four games. Eight blocks are a career-high for the senior. She’s also six blocks shy of breaking her own single-season program record.
2.6: Junior guard Kate Hill’s assist-to-turnover ratio. Hill is second in the A-10 with 4.5 assists per game. She has eight games with seven or more assists, twice as many as any other player in the conference.
St. Joseph’s (8-15, 2-9 A-10) dropped road games against Saint Louis and Duquesne. Katie Mayock led the team with 12 points in the first loss, and Katie Jekot scored 16 vs. Duquesne.