Gilman already sets DWC rebound mark

NASHUA – Sometimes it’s nice to celebrate Christmas in January.

Just ask Daniel Webster College women’s basketball coach Andrea Woodbury.

The holidays came later for the Eagles in the form of 6-foot-3 transfer Jillian Gilman of Weare. A former Trinity High School standout who came in from New Hampshire Technical Institute, Gilman was named the New England Collegiate Conference’s Player of the Week for her record performance in recent games.

"She fits into our style really well," Eagles coach Andrea Woodbury said. "She’s athletic, strong, very quick. You know us, we like the permiter shot and moving it up quick when we can. But now we have somebody to rebound."

Gilman had a historic performance in the Eagles’ 81-67 win over Fisher College last Saturday, scoring 27 points and grabbing an incredible 30 rebounds. And let’s not forget the four blocks.

According to the school, the 30 rebounds shattered a nine-year old record at DWC for most in a single game. Combined with her 27 points, it marked the single biggest double-double combination (54) in program history.

The previous record was set by Erin Moseley, who posted 35 points and 18 rebounds (54) in January of 2005. Moseley was the previous rebounds record holder with 25 set in January 2009.

Prior to that, B.J. Welch had 22 points and 23 boards against Notre Dame of Manchester in a game in December of 1995.

Last week alone, Gilman averaged 25 points and 18 rebounds to go with five blocks and shot 65 percent from the field in a 1-1 week for the Eagles. The junior opened the week with 23 points, six rebounds, six blocks and a steal and was 11 of 18 from the floor in a five-point overtime loss to Wheelock on Jan. 20.

Gillman is averaging 19.2 points per game, 12.5 rebounds and 5.5 blocks in just six contests.

Woodbury thought that Gilman might be available for the first semester, but she wasn’t quite ready financially. "We were struggling in that first semester to get one person in double figures (in rebounding)," she said. "But what I hope is now we have a consistent double-double."

It’s a nice inside-outside combination for the Eagles, who still are adjusting at 3-5 in the NECC and 5-10 overall. Remember,the Eagles still have one of the better offensive players in the conference in shooting guard Ashley England, who is averaging 17.7 points a game at last look and shooting 44 percent from the floor.

"She’s just so unselfish," Woodbury said of England. "She’s shooting 44 percent; I’d be stupid not to give her the green light."

Woodbury likes the complimentary game. An injury to Kayla Free had hurt that aspect. "High low, low high, we were doing that when Kayla was in there and banging it out," Woodbury said.

Gilman’s presence takes some of the inside pressure off others, too, such as 5-foot-8 junior Brianna Diggs, who was averaging seven boards a game. Now what DWC needs is that third scoring option, be it a player like 5-foot-2 sophomores Amanda Dargie and Escarlin Reynoso or 5-foot-8 freshman Desiree McGee.

"I think this semester we’ve got a really good attitude," Woodbury said.

And a real good addition as well.

Riv recognizes Perry

It was obvious at the season’s start that Rivier University women’s basketball junior Caitlyn Perry of Nashua had raised her game to another level. And that’s why Rivier University named her its Female Student-Athlete of the Month for December.

The former Nashua High School South standout was 50 percent from 3-point range, knocking down 8 of 16 from behind the arc. She also shot 83 percent from the foul line, going 20 of 24 over three games last month. In all, Perry scored 70 points for the Raiders and added 12 rebounds.

On the men’s side, the Male Student-Athlete of the month for December was guard Andre Simmons. The Stamford, Conn. native paced the Raiders offensively in five games, knocking down 10 shots from behind the 3-point line to finish at 58 percent from beyond the arc. Simmons contributed 56 points in five games, averaging 11.2 points a game, while adding 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

Dome a possibility

Remember last March when the Daniel Webster College women’s softball team had to play a few indoor games at the Hampshire Dome in Milford at the start of the season?

Perhaps it could happen again.

The Eagles are scheduled to open the season on March 13 with a home twinbill against Maine-Presque Isle at 11 a.m.. Care to predict field conditions?

DWC has a 30-game schedule, with seven home doubleheader dates (14 games). After the opener, they head on the road for their next four dates with visits to Lesley, Wheelock, Mass. Maritime and then city rival Rivier on March 25 before closing the month hosting Pine Manor in March 30.

DWC opens April hosting Bay Path before traveling to Mitchell and Fisher and hosting Elms, Southern Vermont and Becker. The Eagles then visit Regis and Pine Manor, and close the month hosting Newbury on April 23.

The NECC six-team tournament begins April 26 and runs through May 1. DWC posted an 7-21 overall record last season (3-15 NECC).

Hlloran takes over

The Raiders, meanwhile, have named former Nashua North head coach and Daniel Webster assistant Mike Holloran as interim women’s softball coach after Dave Morissette retired from the school.

Holloran, who was at North from 2008-2010, returned to the Raiders staff as an assistant in 2011. He had previously been at Riv from 1997-2005.

The Raiders will open up in Florida on March 6 vs. Concordia (Ill.). Their first game back in New England is slated to be their home opener vs. Fisher on March 23.