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Daily Times assistant sports editor Terry Toohey covers the college sports beat like no other reporter. Catch his latest updates here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

'Nova's Fisher named Big 5 Player of Week

A career-high effort could not lead Villanova past Connecticut, but it was enough to help guard Corey Fisher earn Big 5 Men's Player of the Week honors.
Temple's Shea Peddy and Alyssa Baron of Penn shared Women's Player of the Week honors.
Fisher averaged 22 points and 6.5 assists in a pair of road games last week. He had a career-high 28 points and six assists in a 61-59 loss at Connecticut and followed that with a 16-point, seven-assist effort in Villanova's 83-72 victory over then No. 3 Syracuse.
Peddy averaged 19.5 points and four steals in wins over Saint Joseph's and Penn. Baron,, a freshman, averaged 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals as the Quakers knocked off La Salle and fell to Temple. She also was named Ivy League Rookie and co-Player of the Week.

Men's Honor Roll
  • Aaric Murray, La Salle: The All-Delco center from Glen Mills scored 20 points, including the winner, as La Salle defeated Rhode Island, 76-75, for its first A-10 win.
  • Khalif Wyatt, Temple: Averaged 23 points and 3.5 assists as Temple beat Penn and fell at Xavier.
  • Tyler Beranardini, Penn: Scored a career-high 27 points, which included five 3-pointers, as the Quakers snapped a 16-game Big 5 losing streak with a 73-61 victory over Saints Joseph's.

Women's Honor Roll

  • Kelly Cavallo, Saint Joseph's: Averaged 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 1-1 week for the Hawks.
  • Ashley Gale, La Salle: Averaged 15 points, 3.5 assists and 39 minutes in a pair of games last week.

Villanova falls one spot in AP poll

An 11-point win at Syracuse could not keep Villanova from falling on spot in the Assocated Press top 25. The Wildcats remain No. 7 in the Coaches Poll.
Villanova fell to No. 8 in the AP Poll despite an 83-72 victory over the Orange in front of more than 33,000 at the Carrier Dome last Saturday. A last-second 61-59 loss at Connecticut last Monday cost the Wildcats that one spot.
The win over Villanova, followed by a victory over Tennessee, vaulted UConn to fifth in both polls.
Ohio State remains No. 1 in both polls, followed by Pittsburgh, Duke, San Diego State, Connecticut and Kansas. Texas and Villanova trade spots in both polls. Texas is seventh in the AP poll and eighth in the Coaches poll. Brigham Young and Syracuse round out the top 10 in both polls.
The Wildcats complete a three-game road trip Wednesday night at Providence. Villanova is 2-1 on the road in the Big East.

Widener's Dellinger, Bregman earn top MAC honors

Widener's Kate Dellinger and Jesse Bregman were honored by the Middle Atlantic Conference. Dellinger, a sophomore, was named MAC Commonwealth Conference Player of the Week in women's basketball. Bregman, a senior, earned Athlete of the Week honors in men's swimming.
Dellinger averaged 26 points and 9.5 rebounds to lead the Pride to a pair of victories. She scored 30 points, 19 in the first half, to pace Widener to a 69-68 triumph over Alvernia. She closed out the week with 22 points and 10 boards in a 79-73 victory over Elizabethtown. Dellinger leads the Pride (14-4, 5-2) in both scoring (17.4) and rebounding (8.5).
Bregman, the reigning MAC champion in the 100-yard freestyle, won three events in a 76-58 win over Elizabethtown. He won the 50 (22.37) and 100 freestyle (48.33) and helped the 400 freestyle relay team to victory in 3:41.65. Widener is the five-time defending MAC champion.

Cabrini's Farrello named CSAC Player of Week

For the second time in three weeks, Cabrini's Dom Farrello has been named Colonial States Athletic Conference Player of the Week.
The senior forward from William Tennent, who received the honor two weeks ago, averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds in a pair of wins last week.
Farrello posted the fifth double-double of his career with 20 points and 11 rebounds in an 83-79 victory over Immaculata. He followed that with a 24-point, nine-rebound performance in an 83-63 romp over Centenary.
Farrell, who is third in the CSAC in both scoring and rebounds, needs 36 points to become the 15th member of Cabrini's 1,000-point club.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Wayns tops Jardine, Again

It was an old-fashion, Philly guard showdown in Syracuse Saturday afternoon.
And for the second time in four years, Maalik Wayns got the better of Antonio “Scoop” Jardine
Wayns had 13 points as Roman rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to beat Neumann in the 2007 Catholic League championship game, 59-56. Jardine had 11 assists in that game.
Wayns one-upped Jardine again as Villanova rolled over Syracuse Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome, 83-72.
The 6-2 sophomore scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half to help the third-ranked Wildcats open up a 40-29 lead. The third-ranked Orange never go closer than four points the rest of the way.
Wayns was brilliant. He was 6-for-11 from the field and 3-for-7 from 3-point range. He also had two assists and no turnovers in 35 minutes.
Jardine struggled and never got into a rhythm. He wound up with just two points on 1-for-8 shooting and three assists in 22 minutes. The junior burned Villanova for 16 points and seven rebounds in a 95-77 whipping of the Wildcats last year before the largest on-campus crown in NCAA history.
As good as Wayns was, the key was Villanova's patience against the 2-3 Syracuse zone and a stellar performance off the bench by redshirt sophomore Maurice Sutton.
Villanova took it's time against Syracuse. The Wildcats did not get lured into a running game with the Orange, which was a tough task for the fast-break minded Wayns and his backcourtmate, Corey Fisher. Villanova's discipline was the difference, especially in the first half as the Wildcats shot 56 percent from the field (14-for-25) and a sizzling 61.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc (8-for-13).
Sutton's defense on Kris Joseph down the stretch ended any hope of a comeback by the Orange. Although Joseph did score 16 of his game-high 23 points in the second half, he only had six points after drilling a 3-pointer with 13:05 to play. That's when Villanova coach Jay Wright turned to the 6-11 Sutton, who used his length an athleticism to hold the 6-7 Joseph to two field goals down the stretch. Sutton also chipped in with eight points, two rebounds, two blocked shots and hit 4 of 5 free throws. All eight points came in the second half.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Szczur signs with Cubs

The baseball or football speculation is over for Villanova's Matt Szczur. The 2010 Daily Times Sports Figure of the Year has decided to stick with baseball,
Szczur reportedly signed a $1.5 million deal to return to the Chicago Cubs Tuesday.
The two-sport standout was projected as a third- or fourth-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, but the deal he received from the Cubs is equal to late first-round money in the NFL.
That was an offer he could not refuse.
Szczur originally signed a $600,000 deal after the Cubs selected him in the fifth round of the first-year player draft last June. He received $100,000 up front and the Cubs agreed to let the South Jersey native return to Villanova for his senior football season, with one proviso. He had to let the Cubs by Feb. 10 that he would be reporting to spring training or he would forfeit the remainder of the signing bonus.
Szczur was scheduled to play in the Senior Bowl Jan. 29 in Mobile, Ala., but he is expected to pull out of the game.
The 21-year-old outfielder played in 25 minor league games last summer with the Cubs in the Arizona Rookie League and with the Class A Boise Hawks in the Northwest League and Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest League. He batted .347 with a .414 on base percentage and a .465 slugging percentage, and had 10 doubles, one triple, two RBIs and two stolen bases. He started his professional career with a 21-game hitting streak.
Szczur's senior season at Villanova was marred by a high ankle sprain that forced him to miss six games. However, he returned in time to help lead the Wildcats to the semifinal round of the FCS playoffs.
He was at his best in Villanova's 42-24 rout of No. 1 seed Appalachian State in the quarterfinals. Szczur scored a career-high four touchdowns and threw for another score.
As a junior, Szczur was named the Most Outstanding Player of the FCS championship game after leading Villanova to a 23-21 victory over Montana. Szczur ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns and amassed 270 all-purpose yards in the championship game.
Szczur accumulated 4.345 all-purpose yards in his football career. He ran for 1,435 yards and 13 touchdowns, had 1,245 yards and eight TDs as a receiver, 1,457 yards in kickoff returns with two touchdowns and completed 5 of 6 passes for 35 yards and three scores.
He was a consensus All-American in football and earned All-Big East honors in baseball.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Villanova faces tough road

Well, so much for the easy part of Villanova's schedule. Over the next three weeks, the seventh-ranked Wildcats (13-1 overall, 2-0 Big East) will play seven games with a combined record of 86-16. Two of those teams (Cincinnati and Syracuse) are undefeated. Four (Cincinnati, Connecticut, Syracuse and Georgetown) are nationally ranked.
The most interesting matchup is Sunday's showdown with No. 24 and unbeaten Cincinnati (15-0).
The Bearcats, who were picked to finish 12th in the Big East's preseason poll, are off to their second best start in program history.
Cincinnati has been doing it with defense. The Bearcats lead the Big East and rank third nationally in scoring defense (53.9) and are second in the conference and tied for 11th in the NCAA in field goal percentage defense (37.6). Cincinnati also is tied for 12th in turnover margin (5.1).
On the offensive side of the ball, balance has been the key. Six players average between 6.1 and 12.9 points, led by Dion Dixon (12.9) and Yancey Gates (12.2). So much for missing Lance Stephenson, who left school after one season and has yet to play a game for the Indiana Pacers.
Cincinnati has not played the most rigorous of schedules. Of the 15 wins, only five have come against teams with winning records. The best victory was a 68-34 decision over Dayton (13-3) and a 66-46 romp over crosstown rival Xavier (8-5). The Bearcats have also beaten Oklahoma (8-6).
As for the Wildcats, guard Maalik Wayns is on a pace to have the third best season for assists in program history. The 6-2 sophomore had nine assists in Villanova's win over South Florida Thursday and is averaging 5.6 per game, fourth in the Big East. That's a 180 pace for the regular season, more depending on how far the Wildcats advance in the post season. That would be third behind Chris Ford (238 in 1971) and Stewart Granger (183 in 1982).