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Green Goes For 400, St. Peter’s Women Bounce Back

February 18, 2008 Columns No Comments


Number 400 Will Wait For FDU Mentor

by Ray Floriani

TEANECK, N.J. – Mount St. Mary’s spoiled Tom Green’s first bid for number 400. Last Thursday the Mountaineers entered Rothman Center and scored a convincing 78-61 win over Fairleigh Dickinson.

A celebration of Valentine’s Day was in order but the festivities over Green’s 400th win at the Northeast Conference school were on hold. To the FDU mentor, number 400 would and will be nice but there are other concerns.

“We have to get a few more wins,” Green said following the Mount contest. Eight schools qualify for the NEC’s post season tournament. FDU is battling St. Francis (PA) for that final spot. “Our backs are to the wall,” Green said. “It’s all going to come down to the last five games.”

Mount St. Mary’s is 8-6 in NEC play while FDU is now 3-10.

The Mount came out strong and avenged an early January loss to FDU at home. Green credits a much better defense effort by Mount St. Mary’s as reason for the change in fortunes. The visitors also showed a good deal of offensive punch.

On the inside the Atupem family was largely responsible for the damage. Shawn, a freshman forward, enjoyed a 17-point, 4-rebound outing. His brother Sam, a junior, added six points but pulled down eight boards. For Mount coach Milan Brown, establishing the inside opened the perimeter for the likes of Chris Vann. The senior guard led the Mountaineers with 20 points, going 6 of 8 beyond the arc.

“Once Vann got going,” Green said of Mt. St. Mary’s, “they were able to get too many easy shots down low.” For the evening the Mount was 50 percent from the floor while FDU struggled at 34 percent. The Mount was also 7 of 15 (47 percent) from three-point range.

FDU was led by conference scoring leader Manny Ubilla, who had 20 points. Sean Baptiste, Ubilla’s running mate at the guard spot, returned from the injured list to add 13 points.

“Having Baptiste helps our flow,” Green said. Still, the injury bug continues to take its toll on FDU. “Mount St. Mary’s had 38 first half points,” Green noted. “They had 14 from their starters and 24 from the bench. I was going to ask Milan (Brown) at the half if he could lend us a few players,” Green said. Tough times and injuries aside, the venerable FDU mentor hasn’t lost the sense of humor.

St. Peter’s Women Rebound

On Friday evening the St. Peter’s women got back on track with a 66-50 victory over Canisius. The game at St. Peter’s Yanitelli center followed a loss at Loyola several days earlier. In the process the Peahens avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Griffs in Buffalo. Defense again was a key for St. Peter’s.

“Our post defense was excellent tonight,” St. Peter’s coach Stehanie DeWolfe said. In the process guarding the post effectively negated any perimeter threat by the Griffs’ Amanda Cavo, the team’s leading scorer at 13.5 per game. “Cavo always plays well against us,” DeWolfe said. “But we were able to close out and defend her and even with her quick release we were there.”

Cavo, a junior guard, scored seven points on 2 of 8 shooting. “(Natasha) Morris just did a tremendous job on Cavo,” Canisius coach Terry Zeh said.

The Lady Griffs scored only seven field goals the second half as St. Peter’s built on a three-point halftime lead and pulled away.

While St. Peter’s excelled defensively, they received a strong offensive contribution from Lauma Reke. The 6-2 senior scored a game-high 18 points. “She played well defensively inside,” DeWolfe said of Reke, “and offensively we looked for her. She’s a tough matchup because she can post up or hit a mid range jump shot.”

The loss dropped Canisius to 5-9 while St. Peter’s is a solid 9-5 in MAAC play. The home stretch will not be easy for DeWolfe and company. “We are in a good position,” the St. Peter’s mentor said, “but we have four games left.”

Two are against (MAAC-leading) Marist and at Fairfield and Iona. Those games will not only determine St. Peter’s final standing but how much momentum they carry into the MAAC tournament in Albany.

Canisius has a very good freshman in point guard Micayla Drysdale. The team’s leading three-point shooter (42%), Drysdale runs the team with poise and expertise. She had a solid 16-point, 5-assist effort against St. Peter’s, a team known for its guard pressure.

“She (Drysdale) has been outstanding for us,” Zeh commented. “And she doesn’t even realize how good she can be.”

     

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