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College Basketball: Philly U. Guards Playing at High Level

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Philadelphia University basketball fans have been treated to excellent guard play this season on both the men’s and women’s side.

For the men, sophomore Jim Connolly has been a consistent force.  He leads the team in scoring at just under 17 points per game, shoots 37 percent from behind the arc, and an obscene 95 percent at the foul line.  The Harleysville, Pa. native is building off a great freshman season, where he emerged as a go-to guy on a team with four senior starters.

“They made me feel really comfortable.  They were always telling me, ‘If (you’re) open, shoot it.’  They never got on me for shooting the ball.  They did a great job of helping me,” he recalls.

By the end of his freshman season, Connolly was playing like an upper classman — getting named to the NCAA East Tournament ‘All-Tournament’ team as the Rams advanced to the Sweet 16.

Hear the entire Jim Connolly interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

This year, Connolly is a leader of a new-look Rams team that has a lot of younger faces than last year’s version but is still having success, with a 9-6 record.

On the women’s side, you would be hard pressed to find a more dynamic player than junior guard Stephanie Agger.  A product of Lower Cape May Regional High School in South Jersey, Steph is arguably the fastest women’s player off the dribble in the city this season — a concept which becomes even more impressive when you consider that she missed all of last season with a torn Achilles injury she suffered in the first preseason practice.

Agger has overcome the injury and hasn’t lost any of her blazing speed.  That leads to satisfying moments of realization when it becomes quite evident that the defender assigned to her has no prayer of keeping up with her.

“I just have that mentally, ‘No one can stop me’ type thing,” Agger told KYW Newsradio recently. “I’ve worked hard to have a quick step and a good crossover and stuff like that.  I know, even as a player, you should be confident in what you do.  I know that I’m probably going to beat that girl 99 percent of the time, and it’s a good feeling.”

Hear the entire Steph Agger interview in this CBS Philly SportsPod…

Agger is averaging a career-high 13.4 points per game and leads the Lady Rams (8-6) with 62 assists.   She also has done an about-face at the foul line, shooting 79 percent this season after hitting just 66 percent and 59 percent her first two years.

Both the Philadelphia University men’s and women’s teams will be in action tonight,  both playing key CACC games at the University of the Sciences.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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