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the Drexel Dragons, 46-43 over Utah.

“This was the perfect finish for a great team,” Drexel head coach Denise Dillon said. “It was obviously a long season but this team wanted as many games as possible. I wanted to coach this team 100 more games. And this team wanted to play 100 more games. I couldn’t be happier with this outcome and giving the senior class a championship.”

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Road-warrior Florida escaped James Madison, 85-80.

[Freshman] Moss scored a game-high 27 points as Florida survived another close contest, topping James Madison 85-80 in the Elite Eight of the WNIT in the JMU Convocation Center on Saturday.

“Sydney has played her best basketball in these past four ballgames,” coach Amanda Butler said. “That’s what great players do. … You see great players raise their level of play.”

They’ll travel again to face Drexel, which took down Auburn, 56-43.

In the other semi, it will be Kansas State, which defeated Illinois, 66-48. Said Head Coach Deb Patterson:

“That was a real exciting win for our team and our program against a very dangerous and high quality Illinois basketball team. They brought a lot of different components to the floor, and we felt like every possession up the floor you were having to be very intelligent. On the offensive end of the floor, they are a very talented team to run offense against. They are very good at what they do. I am extremely pleased with our overall effort, quite frankly on both ends of the floor. We competed very well. It felt good to put a total game together as a basketball team, at a time where anything else would not have got you to this place.”

They’ll face Utah, which escaped St. Mary’s, 58-55.

“We played an incredibly gritty game today, completely different than the last game we played,” Utah head coach Anthony Levrets said. “We shot the basketball incredibly well early in the game and then defended unbelievably well down the stretch to finish it out. I couldn’t be prouder and happier for our kids.”

The semis will be played Wednesday, April 2. The finals are scheduled for Saturday, April 6, 3pm EST.

Congrats to the Detroit Mercy Titans, which won the WBI — and their first women’s basketball post-season title — by virtue of their win over McNeese State.

Calihan Hall was electric for the championship game. The Titans faced the McNeeseState Cowgirls. McNeese State had a down year compared to where they had been the last two seasons (consecutive conference championships and NCAA tournament bids).

The first half of the game was highly competitive. McNeese State stayed close with the Titans and went on a run midway through the first half to take the lead. By the end of the half, the Cowgirls held a two-point lead.

The Titans came out hot in the second half and went on a huge 10-2 run, which changed the entire dynamics of the game. The Titans would not let up and their constant effort led to their first championship, winning 73-62.

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For those lobbying for Texas A&M getting a fair shot at a #1 spot, last night’s 71-67 loss to Kansas State was demoralizing.

Speaking of demoralizing, I bet Oklahoma enjoyed beating in-state rival Oklahoma State by 15. (And congrats to Coach Coale, who was named the Lemons/Hanson Award winner)

Jones-less Baylor stomped all over Missouri to clinch their second Big 12 conference title.

Oh, yah, the CAA tourney ought to be fun: UNC Wilmington lost to James Madison by 2, 79-77 and Old Dominion got beaten by Drexel, 65-51.

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From Mel

Rosseel’s Half Makes Drexel Whole

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lot of running and clubbing and cruising and romping and mauling and ripping and whipping and season high-ing.

DCBC watched the Tiger Taming and C&R tracked the Cardinal.

Some escaped, in spite of a serious case of fumble fingers (28 TOs!). Some escaped in OT.

Some proved they were Monty Python fans (“I’m not dead yet!”)

As for “other” teams:

Coach Stockon’s Green Wave ran their C-USA record to 4-0 with a 30-pt victory over Marshall. (Did anyone catch Tulane on TV last week? FUN team to watch!)

Wonder if they need to watch out for Houston, who’s also 4-0.

She’s baaaaaak! Drey Mingo goes double-double on Northwestern, securing a (101st for Versyp) Purdue win.

A big win for Penn State (83-62) puts them at 4-1 in the Big 10 (and yes, it’s weird that Illinois’ Penn had a double-double) (And yes, Lucas snapped Mazzante’s record of freshman threes.)

Swish! Drexel uses a last-second three to topple William & Mary 59-58.

Are the Lady Bears (Mo) becoming relevant again? They’re 5-1 in the MVC.

Don’t look now, but Army is 3-0 in Patriot League play (and have won five straight).

Marist rules the MAAC. So what’s new?

Middle Tennessee still rules the Sun Belt — but it was close against Arkansas State.

Old Dominion over Delaware. That’s #599 for Wendy Larry. (Oh, and the ODU SID peeps do a great job keeping up with their alums. Check out Former Lady Monarch’s Pen is as Mighty as Her Jump Shot and Nancy Lieberman’s Historic Debut.)

Coach Boyle is at a loss, and so are her Cal Bears.

Didja catch Coop’s UNC-Wilmington team squeeze out a win over Hofstra? (They’re now 4-1 in the CAA.)

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Drexel Bench Presses Way To CAA Win Over Georgia State

Somewhere between the end of 2010 and the start of 2011 the Drexel women’s basketball team’s well-oiled machine began to severely sputter heading into Thursday night’s Colonial Athletic Association encounter against Georgia State at the Dragons’ Daskalakis Athletic Center.

The chain of gruesome circumstances began Thursday on the West Coast trip at San Diego State when starting point guard Marisa Crane suffered an ACL injury during the game with powerful Texas A&M.
***
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Denise Dillon said in an exasperation tone during the pregame warm up. “I have no idea what is going to happen next.”

Well, how about things getting further imperiled once the game began.

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in Mel’s latest: Maryland’s Board Work Stifles St. Joseph’s

Drexel Down and Delaware Up

It was a mixed day for the two area teams diving into the start of play in the Colonial Athletic Association.

After having the best nonconference record in the Denise Dillon era, Drexel was victimized by the debut of new North Carolina-Wilmington coach Cynthia Dyke-Cooper, the former WNBA and Olympic star who guided the Sea Hawks to a 69-61 victory. UNCW (9-3, 1-0) shot 64.4 percent from the field.

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From Mel: Drexel Tops Tulsa For Best-Ever Seasonal Start

Foreign affairs continue to be a hallmark of the Drexel women’s basketball team, which set another program milestone Thursday night courtesy of a 64-47 nonconference win over Tulsa at the Daskalakis Athletic Center.
For the previous four years Romanian Gabriela Marginean had been the toast of the school in becoming the all-time local career women’s collegiate scorer out of all three NCAA divisions of competition.

She helped lead the Dragons to their first Colonial Athletic Association title and NCAA tournament appearance in 2007-08.

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Drexel Suddenly Best In Philly Going 4-0 Against Big 5

With a just-completed almost unheard of sweep of four Big Five schools to start the season, the Drexel women’s basketball team has emerged, for now, as the best in town.

The Dragons got underway a week ago with lopsided wins at La Salle and over Penn before rallying at home for a narrow 50-47 win over St. Joseph’s Tuesday night in the Daskalakis Athletic Center.

They remained there Friday night and mounted a late rally to beat Villanova 56-50 for the first time in two meetings against coach Denise Dillon’s alma mater and her mentor Harry Perretta.

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Tara talks Utah, UConn and other topics…

Michelle Smith and company have Cal above UCLA in their Best of the West – Power rankings for the week of Nov. 15. Wonder if that’ll change.

Speaking of Cal, are you keeping up the youngsters through the Cal Triple Threat blog?

UConn Senior Maya Moore goes back to Georgia this Sunday: This homecoming story has Moore

Maya Moore left the state of Georgia as a winner. In her final high school game on March 9, 2007, she had 29 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and four steals to lead Collins Hills High to a 61-37 rout of South Gwinnett and the Class 5A state tournament championship.

As she came out for the final time with about 2:00 left, she received a standing ovation from a crowd of 10,000.

The University of Connecticut women’s basketball team’s senior All-American may not get as warm of reception Sunday when the top-ranked Huskies face Georgia Tech at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta.

As a former right fullback and goalie, I like the fact that the DC BasketCases are “avidly” following the Terps run to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship game. Did you catch the NY Times article on Maryland’s Katie O’Donnell? Maryland Attacker Flashes Skill That Defies Her Size

Go Dragons! From Mel: Drexel Rallies Over Penn In Battle of West Philly

Lady Swish has Saturday’s previews and picks,

and, though the WNBA season is years away, Cheryl Coward is writing about the new sheriff in Chicago: From Russia to the Midwest, Pokey Chatman expects nothing less than success

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