Who's got game? Top NY-NJ women's Division I hoops teams
LOIS ELFMAN Special to the AmNews | 1/6/2012, 3:02 p.m.
As the new year starts, we're taking a look at how the best Division I women's basketball teams in New York and New Jersey have stacked up so far this season. We're only including teams at .500 or above.
Rutgers University (11-2)
A much better start for the Scarlet Knights than in recent seasons. Senior guard/forward April Sykes is stepping up big time, and senior guard Khadijah Rushdan is her usual tenacious self. They seem ready for the Big East.
Long Island University (12-2)
The Blackbirds are smoking, and senior forward Ashley Palmer is averaging 19.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. They now head into Northeast Conference play.
Hofstra University (9-3)
The Pride has reason to feel proud, having done extremely well in early season play. Junior forward Shante Evans is averaging a double-double with 16.5 points and 10 rebounds a game.
Princeton University (10-4)
The Tigers are unquestionably happy to have junior forward Niveen Rahsheed back on the court after losing her early last year to a knee injury. She's averaging 17.6 points per game and should really hit her stride when Ivy League conference play kicks off.
St. John's University (8-6)
This has been a tough year for the Red Storm. Senior forward Da'Shena Stevens began the season with an injury and has only recently seen action. Just as Stevens returned, the team's second leading scorer Nadirah McKenith was sidelined with a knee injury. She returned to action in a win over Boston University on New Year's Eve. Junior guard Eugenia McPherson has stepped up big time, but Big East conference play is going to be rough.
New coach Stephanie Gaitley has the Rams off to a very solid start. Senior guard Becky Peters has been through the team's tough times and can now enjoy some sunshine.
Manhattan College (7-6)
The Jaspers have won their last five games. If they keep it up, they'll have a solid season. It would be ideal if more players stepped up offensively.
Marist College (6-6)
Graduation has hit the Red Foxes, who lost only two games last year. They're into Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play, and it doesn't appear they'll dominate as they once did.