Wilmington, Molloy to face Cal U |

Wilmington, Molloy to face Cal U

The California University women’s basketball team will be facing a busy weekend at Hamer Hall.

The Vulcans make their home debut in a Thanksgiving tourney, playing Wilmington (Del.) today at 5 p.m. and Molloy (N.Y.) Sunday at 3 p.m.

No. 25 at the start of the season, the Vulcans slipped out of the rankings with a 59-56 defeat to host Minnesota State Mankato in the Maverick Classic after opening with a 73-68 win over Bemidji State.

“Mankato was a little deeper off the bench and it made a difference on the second day,” said California coach Mark Swasey. “We need to learn how to put teams away. We had a nine point lead at one time against Mankato and let it slip away. We missed 18 layups and four times went to the foul line in the final minute and made only one free throw.”

Kayla Smith is averaging 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Vulcans, with Amy Johns averaging 14 points and Danielle Luckett 11.

Despite being 0-3, Wilmington features a talented player in 5-7 junior guard Danielle Thomas, who’s averaging 20 points.

The Lady Wildcats’ losses were to West Chester (93-48), Cheyney (68-67) and Kutztown (93-55).

Swasey expects Molloy to be a good test.

The New York school is 0-4, but the losses were to No. 10 Franklin Pierce (73-61), Stonehill (78-60), Millersville (72-58) and West Chester (70-59), which are a combined 16-2.

“They played no slouches and are much better than their record,” said Swasey.

The Lions are led by 5-11 graduate student Delmara Reece, a transfer from Mercy College, and 5-7 sophomore Christine Marra.

Reece is averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds, with Marra scoring at a 12-point clip, including eight of 24 3-pointers.

Molloy also has a 6-4 freshman in Jessica DeNicola.

The other team in the tourney is No. 18 Gannon, which is coming off an 80-71 loss to Ferris State at the Bulldog Classic in Big Rapids, Mich., after downing Northwood, 80-68.

Gannon has four players averaging in double figures, with 6-0 freshman Jennifer Papich leading the way with 15 points a game.

Gannon will play Molloy at 7 p.m. today and Wilmington at 5 p.m. Sunday.

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