CoBL Staff (@hooplove215)
It was a busy day in the City of Brotherly Love, with seven City 6 home games taking place, including one men’s Big 5 matchup between Penn and La Salle.
Here’s a roundup of all the action, with links to our coverage:
MBB: Villanova 80, Oklahoma 76
Villanova avoided its worst start in more than 30 years and a prized freshman made a long-awaited debut as Kyle Neptune’s squad picked up a much-needed victory at the Wells Fargo Center.
Though Caleb Daniels’ 22-point outing led the way for the Wildcats (3-5) against a quality Oklahoma side (6-2), it was the first appearance by Cam Whitmore that was especially noteworthy. The 6-foot-7 wing from Baltimore, who missed Villanova’s first seven games with a thumb injury, missed his first few shots but then hit a step-back 3-pointer and a couple driving layups, finishing with seven points and three rebounds in 20 minutes of action, helping ‘Nova play some impressive defense on OU, especially in the second half.
Aside from Daniels, the other six in Villanova’s top seven all scored between six and 12 points, shooting 26-of-44 (56.8%) from the floor, committing just seven turnovers, helping them overcome a 31-19 rebounding deficit.
Read Kevin Cooney’s full story here
MBB: Temple 83, Virginia Commonwealth 73
Khalif Battle (above) scored 27 points as Temple won its third straight on Saturday. (Photo: Josh Verlin/CoBL)
Is Aaron McKie’s squad starting to figure itself out?
The Owls have won three in a row now, and this one was a solid statement over a top-100 KenPom squad at home, no doubt a quality win against a quality program. It had all the ingredients: Khalif Battle scored 27 on 19 shots, Damian Dunn added 17 while Zach Hicks (12 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds) and Jahlil Whit e(10 points, 4 rebounds) gave them quality minutes. Fifteen team turnovers are still a bit high, but that’s also VCU’s style.
Temple (5-4) is now above .500 for the first time this season, with two winnable city games ahead in St. Joe’s (Dec. 6 at home) and Penn (Dec. 10 at Penn), before a tough road game at Mississippi (Dec. 17) which will be a key litmus test to see how far they’ve come from some early-season defeats.
MBB: Fairleigh Dickinson 97, Saint Joseph’s 80
Three days after St. Joe’s seemed to take a big step forward with a Big 5 win over Penn, the Hawks unraveled defensively at home, giving up nearly 100 points to one of the worst teams in Division I hoops.
FDU (4-6) entered the weekend ranked No. 347 out of 363 D-I teams on KenPom, St. Joe’s (3-4) 196th, a 90% favorite to win, according to the longtime hoops statistician. But the Knights held the lead for more than 33 minutes, shooting 57.6% (34-or-59), the Hawks unable to do much to stop them. St. Joe’s didn’t help itself with 17 turnovers, and got out-scored 40-26 in the paint, ruining a season-best 19-point outing from freshman guard Christian Winborne.
The first 25 minutes were back-and-forth, St. Joe’s going up 32-31 with 5:02 left until halftime and 54-52 with 14:47 to play, though FDU tended to stay in front by a bucket or two. It was still a four-point game in the visitors’ favor with 6:43 left when the Hawks went cold and couldn’t hold defensively, FDU going on a 9-0 to lead 81-68 with 4:18 left.
Demetre Roberts and Grant Singleton each scored 24 points for Fairleigh Dickinson, taking a combined 22 shots, while Ansley Almonor added 19 on 7-13 shooting. St. Joe’s was led by 21 points from sophomore Erik Reynolds.
WBB: La Salle 66, Lehigh 54
This La Salle squad has shown it can throw punches from a number of directions, and today it was Kayla Spruill who had the knockout performance as the Explorers improved to 6-3 this season.
Spruill poured in a game-high 26 points on 7-of-15 shooting, with eight rebounds, with nine of her teammates joining in the scoring column. Amy Jacobs came one point away from a double-double, with 10 rebounds, making her only three shots plus 3-of-4 from the line.
The Explorers also welcomed senior point guard Molly Masciantonio back to the court for the first time in two weeks. Masciantonio, who went down with a knee injury in La Salle’s win over Drexel on Nov. 15, missed the last four games; she played 23 minutes and didn’t take a shot, recording four steals and three assists.
La Salle won every quarter but the last, using an 18-8 third period to turn what had been a seven-point halftime edge into a 17-point gap with 10 minutes to play. Lehigh rallied to get within five points with five minutes left, but a Spruill 3-pointer with 1:10 left was the dagger, making it 63-52; she added a pair of FTs with 33 seconds left for the cherry on top.
La Salle now has just two days before a Big 5 matchup at Temple (2-5) on Monday night.
MBB: Princeton 83, Drexel 63
Princeton sprinted out to a double-digit lead and held it for almost the entire way, Drexel making a couple attempts in the second half at a comeback but never getting any closer than five before the visitors pulled away late.
The Tigers (6-2) shot more than 62% from the floor in the second half and 53.8% (35-of-65) for the game, dominating the Dragons (4-5) 39-23 on the glass on top of that, Drexel’s 24-of-57 (42.1%) performance from the floor not nearly enough to keep pace; a 6-of-20 (30%) shooting from 3-point range didn’t help matters.
Five Princeton players finished in double figures, including 19 points from Matt Allocco and a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double from Tosan Evbuomwan, who thoroughly outplayed his British counterpart, Amari Williams, who entered play Drexel’s leading scorer and rebounder but only finished with nine points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.
The Dragons now get a week off before making the long trip up to La Salle (4-4) for a city game next Saturday.
MBB: La Salle 84, Penn 81 (OT)
The Quakers and Explorers were back at the Palestra three days removed from Wednesday’s Big 5 doubleheader. For the second time this week, the Quakers were on the wrong side of an overtime defeat.
Penn junior Jordan Dingle hit a game tying three to beat the buzzer in regulation as part of a 37-point night. However, career nights from La Salle juniors Anwar Gill (26 points) and Jhamir Brickus (25 points), including some big buckets in OT, were too much for Penn to overcome.
The Quakers went up by double digits early in the game and led 35-32 at halftime. They went up by as many as nine early in the second half before the Explorers took their first lead on a Brickus free throw with 7:07 left.
La Salle went up by three points three times in the final four minutes of regulation. Dingle tied the game all three times with a triple, including the buzzer beater. The Explorers put some distance between themselves when Hassan Drame’s bucket gave them an 80-74 lead with two to play in OT. Penn couldn’t find an answer this time as La Salle picked up its first Big 5 win of the season.
Read Jared Leveson’s full story here
WBB: Temple vs. UMBC
Not much separated the squads until and explosive fourth quarter from the Owls.
UMBC led 18-17 after the first quarter, Temple went up 32-31 at halftime, and the squads were tied 46-46 entering the final 10 minutes of play.
Temple rattled off six straight points to grab a 52-46 lead with 7:07 to play. The Owls went up double digits for the first time when Tiarra East’s jumper gave her team a 63-52 advantage with 2:38 left. It started a run of seven straight points for East that made sure the game was never in doubt again.
Tarriyonna Gary had 15 points and five boards for Temple. Aleah Nelson added 14 points and seven assists and East joined them in double figures with 11 points and seven boards, nine of her points coming in the fourth. Ines Piper neared a double-double with nine points and nine boards.
Along with East finding her groove, Temple’s defense was the biggest difference in the fourth. The Owls held UMBC to just 2-of-14 shooting in the period.