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Jan. 8, 1998

Villanova vs. Syracuse Women's Basketball Game Notes

Pos     No.     Name                                 PPG    RPG
F       13      Jenn Beisel (Sr./ 5-9)              13.1    5.5
F       24      Jenea Skeeters (So./ 5-11)          11.1    2.5
C       10      Jenn Sliwa  (Jr./ 6-1)               9.1    4.2
G        4      Shanette Lee   (Jr./ 5-7)            5.1    4.8          
G       21      Jenny Higgins  (Sr./ 5-10)          13.1    3.2
Team Comparisons 
VU                                  SU  
13          Games played            13  
786         Points scored          964
60.5        avg. points per game  74.2
40.8        fg pct.               40.3
39.6        3-point fg. Pct.      29.3
63.3        free throw Pct.       69.4
733         points allowed         898
56.4        Opp. pts. per game    69.1
390         total rebounds         546
30.0        avg. reb. per game    42.0
215         assists                171
172         turnovers              266
13.2        avg. to. per game     20.4    

Head Coach Harry Perretta
The Wildcats are led by the Dean of Big East head coaches Harry Perretta who is in his 20th year at Villanova. Perretta's 356 wins ranks him 49th on the winningest active collegiate coaches list. For just Division I coaches, he ranks 33rd. In his career at Villanova, Perretta has led the Wildcats to three NCAA Tournament appearances, two Big East Tournament Championships and eight Philadelphia Big 5 titles. In 1981-82, Perretta guided the Wildcats to the AIAW Final Four.

Syracuse Report
The Orangwomen enter today's game with a 8-5 overall record and a 3-2 Big East conference mark. Syracuse is led in scoring by Teakyta Barnes who is averaging 17.1 ppg. The only other Orangewomen scoring in double figures is Raquel Nurse who is averaging 10.8 ppg. Nurse also leads the team in assists with 64. Syracuse is led in rebounding by sophomore Paula Moore who is grabbing 5.8 rpg. As a team, Syracuse is averaging 74.2 ppg, while they are giving up 69.1 ppg.

Orangewomen Head Coach Marianna Freeman
The Orangewomen are led by fifth-year head coach Marianna Freeman. In her tenure at Syracuse, Freeman has compiled a 40-83 record. Before arriving at Syracuse, Freeman was the top assistant at the University of Iowa under current Rutgers mentor Vivian Stringer. Freeman's first head coaching position came at Delaware State (1981-83) where she tallied a 21-27 mark. Freeman is a 1979 graduate of Cheyney State University where she played for Vivian Stringer.

Last Time Out
Villanova - On Tuesday, Jan. 6, Villanova earned a home win, with a 65-52 victory over Seton Hall. The Pirates came out strong scoring the first four points of the game. Seton Hall increased their lead to 6-2 before Villanova would score seven straight points to take a 9-8 advantage. From this point on, the Wildcats would never trail again.

Villanova's largest lead of the first half would come when forward Jenn Beisel hit a short jumper at the 1:01 mark, making the score 26-14 at intermission. The Wildcats started the second half in good fashion, as they outscored the Pirates, 11-4, over the first five minutes to gain a 37-20 lead at the 14:53 mark. From here, Seton Hall would never get within double figures the rest of the way.

Villanova was led by sophomore Jenea Skeeters who scored a season-high 22 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the field, in addition to registering a career-high five steals. The Wildcats also got strong play from senior Jenny Higgins who had another strong outing with 14 points, including a four-of-seven effort from three-point range and junior Jenn Sliwa who tallied 11 points and five rebounds.

Seton Hall was paced by junior center Danielle Golay who recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and senior guard Sandy Mitchell who tallied 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

A Look Back
Last year, Villanova and Syracuse met twice with Villanova winning both meetings. At Villanova, on Jan. 9, the 'Cats earned a 74-68 win in overtime. Jenea Skeeters was outstanding for the Wildcats with 28 points and 11 rebounds, while Jenn Sliwa recorded 20 points and eight rebounds.

Syracuse was led by Carmen Glover who had 24 points. At Syracuse, on Feb. 9, Villanova garnered a 72-60 victory. Skeeters once again led the Wildcats with 19 points, while Jenny Higgins had 17 points (five three-point field goals) and Sliwa added 14 points. The Orangewomen were paced by Glover with 17, along with Kristyn Cook who had 12 points and Paula Moore who netted 11 points.

Skeeters Tallies Season-High
In Villanova's 65-52 win over Seton Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 6, sophomore forward Jenea Skeeters recorded a season high 22 points on seven-for-nine shooting, including a two-for-two effort from three-point range. In addition, she established a career-best with five steals. Skeeters 22-point performance is the third 20-point effort of her career. For the year, Skeeters is averaging 11.1 ppg and 2.5 rpg. In just Big East games, she leads the team in scoring with a 12.0 ppg. average.

Playing Smart
Junior point guard Shanette Lee has played exceptionally well in Villanova's last four games against Southwest Texas State, Georgetown, Boston College and Seton Hall.

In those four contests, Lee has registered 30 assists and committed just eight turnovers (SW Texas -- 8 assists, 0 turnovers, Georgetown -- 8 assists, 2 turnovers, BC -- 9 assists, 1 turnover, Seton Hall -- five assists, three turnovers). For those four games, Lee has an assist to turnover ratio of 3.75:1. For the season, her ratio is 2.3:1. Starting all 13 games as the point, Lee is averaging 5.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg (second on team), 6.5 apg (leads team) and 1.7 spg.

In A Zone: Senior Jenny Higgins has been sensational from three-point range this year. Entering the Syracuse game, Higgins is 46-for-86 (53.5%) from three-point range. Her overall shotting percentage is 51.3 percent (60-for-117). Her three-point numbers currently rank her first in the Big East and seventh in the nation.

Earlier this season versus Pennsylvania, she connected on a school-record setting nine three-point field goals in a school-record 18 attempts. For the season, she is averaging 3.5 three-pointers a game and she has had at least three triples in 10 games and has recorded four or more three-point field goals on seven occasions. She is currently tied for the team lead in scoring with a 13.1 ppg average.

Triple J'S
Villanova is led in scoring by the Triple J's, Jenn Beisel, Jenny Higgins and Jenea Skeeters. Beisel and Higgins leads the way with a 13.1 ppg average, followed by Skeeters who is averaging 11.1 ppg. Higgins also leads the team in shooting percentage (51.3%) and in three-point field goals with 46. Another J, Jenn Sliwa, is fourth on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg) and leads the team in steals with 27.

Breakout Season
Senior forward Jenn Beisel is having an outstanding senior season thus far in 1997-98. The Philadelphia, Pa. native is currently tied for the team lead in scoring (13.1 ppg) and leads in rebounding (5.5 rpg) and is second in steals (25 total) and third in assists (22).

Besides being one of Villanova's top offensive threats, Beisel is also Villanova's best defensive player. Her defensive ability allows her to guard a player on the perimeter, as well as defend an opponent in the low post despite being only 5-9. Due to her outstanding defensive ability, Beisel is usually assigned to guard the opponents best player.

Last year as a junior, Beisel averaged 10.1 ppg which ranked her third on the team. Also, last season, she finished second on the team in steals (59) and assists (74).

Training Room Report
Junior center Priscilla Rosenthal will be sidelined for the remainder of the year due to a knee injury. Rosenthal suffered the injury during practice on Dec. 4. Prior to the injury, Rosenthal had played in four games where she grabbed five rebounds. Rosenthal is Villanova's tallest player at 6-4.

Playing "D"
In most Villanova wins, the Wildcat defense is what is responsible for the win. After 13 games, Villanova is giving up just 56.4 ppg and they are holding opponents to just 41.4 percent shooting from the field. From three-point range, Wildcat opponents have made just 31-of-108 for a 28.7 percent success rate. In all nine victories this year, Villanova has held its opponent under 60 points.

The Magic 60
Defense has always been a trademark of Harry Perretta coached teams. In Villanova's 14 victories last season, the Wildcats held 12 opponents under 60 points, in addition to holding one opponent right at 60. Of the 12 opponents held under 60, six scored 50 or less.

Villanova finished 1996-97 with an 11-0 mark when holding opponents under 60 points. The number 60 is also important to the Villanova offense, as the 'Cats were 10-3 last year when scoring 60 or more points. So far this year, Villanova is 9-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points and they are 0-3 when giving up 60 or more points. Offensively, the Wildcats are 7-1 when recording 60 or more points.

Land Down Under
Australia has become a recruiting hot spot for head coach Harry Perretta. Last season, Megan Stewart became the first foreign student-athlete to ever play for Perretta and the Wildcats. Stewart hails form Maroochydore, QLD, Australia. This year, freshman Rebecca Stephens, who is a native of Brisbane, QLD, Australia joined the Wildcats giving Perretta an Australian duo. Stewart is averaging 11.8 minutes per game, while Stephens is averaging 9.6 minutes per contest. In the scoring column, Stewart is averaging 3.0 ppg, while Stephens is averaging 2.0 ppg.

Strong Contributor: Freshman Mimi Riley has been an important reserve in head coach Harry Perretta's rotation this year. Entering the Syracuse game, Riley is averaging 14.5 minutes a game and has tallied 25 assists, which is second on the team. In addition, she has recorded 10 steals on the year. While she is averaging only 1.6 ppg and 1.2 rpg, Perretta has so much confidence in Riley that he is playing her at three positions, including both guard spots and the small forward slot. On Saturday, Jan. 3 versus Boston College, Riley played 17 minutes, where she tallied two points, a career-best six rebounds, two assists and one block shot.

New Faces: There are five new members of the Villanova women's basketball team. True freshman on this year's squad include Stephanie Baker (Wilmington, Del./ St. Mark's H.S.) Mimi Riley (Bala Cynwyd, Pa./Archbishop Carroll H.S.), Therese Pennefather (Manassas, Va./ Seton H.S.), and Rebecca Stephens (Brisbane, QLD, Australia).

The other new member of the team is sophomore Brandi Barnes who transferred to the Main Line from the University of Maryland. Barnes will sit out the 1997-98 season and have three years of eligibility remaining beginning in 1998-99. Baker and Pennefather are expected to join sophomore point guard Lauren Pellicane as a redshirt this season.

Villanova By The Numbers: Overall Record: 9-4 Record at Home: 4-1 Record on the Road: 2-3 Record at Neutral Sites: 3-0 Big East Record: 3-2 At Home in Big East: 2-1 On the road in Big East: 1-1 Big 5 Record: 3-1 Record in night games: 4-3 Record in day games: 5-1 When leading at halftime: 6-0 When trailing at halftime: 2-4 When tied at halftime: 1-0 When holding opponents under 50 points: 3-0 When holding opponents under 60 points: 9-0 When holding opponents under 70 points: 9-3 When scoring 60 or more points: 7-1 When scoring 70 or more points: 1-0 When holding opponents under 40% shooting: 4-0 When shooting 50% or better: 3-0 In overtime games: 0-0

All In The Family
Villanova starting forward Jenn Beisel is the second member of her family to play for Coach Harry Perretta. Beisel's older sister, Kathie, played for Villanova from 1979-83 and ended her Wildcat career as the school's all-time assist leader (507), fourth all-time leading rebounder (729) and fifth all-time leading scorer (1,328). Beisel, one of Villanova's best defenders, has scored 781 career points and grabbed 380 career rebounds. Beisel is not the only Wildcat whose sister played for Perretta. Freshman Mary Beth Snell had an older sister, Jen, who played at Villanova from 1991-96. During her career, Jen Snell scored 776 points and pulled down 422 rebounds. Mary Beth Snell scored a career-best 11 points on Saturday, Dec. 20 against Pennsylvania. In addition, freshman Therese Pennefather who is redshirting this season, is the younger sister of former Wildcat great Shelly Pennefather. Shelly won the 1987 Wade Trophy as the nation's top women's collegiate basketball player.

Fax-On-Demand Services
Once again this season, the Big East Conference is utilizing the FaxBack automated Fax-on-Demand-System. With this system, you can receive the latest notes, stats or box score from any of the Big East schools, or from the conference 24 hours a day. To receive this information, dial fro the handset of your fax machine 201-947-3918 and then follow the prompts until it asks for the documents (listed below) you would like to order.

                            BIG EAST        VILLANOVA
Breaking News               1030            2230
Short Notes                 1031            2231
Full Notes                  1032            2232
Stats only                  1033            2233
Box Scores                  1034            2234        

Villanova,  Season-High  Superlatives 
Points:                 27      Jenny Higgins vs. Penn (12/20/97)
Rebounds:                9      Jenn Beisel vs. SW Texas  (12/29/97)
Assists:                 9      Shanette Lee vs. UAB (11/28/97)    
                                Jenn Beisel vs. St. Joe's (12/10/97)
                                Shanette Lee vs. Temple (12/13/97)
                                Shanette Lee vs. BC (01/03/98)      
Field Goals Made:       10      Jenn Beisel vs. St. Joe's (12/10/97)              
Three-Pointers:          9      Jenny Higgins vs. Penn (12/20/97)                  
Free Throws Made:        8      Jenn Beisel vs. Pittsburgh (12/7/97)   
Steals:                  6      Jenn Beisel vs. Va. Tech (11/29/97)
Minutes Played:         38      Jenn Beisel vs. St. Joe's (12/10/97)                

Team Season Highs
Points scored             99      vs. Penn
First half points         43      vs. Penn 
Second half points        56      vs. Penn
Margin of victory:        44      vs. Penn
Margin of loss            40      vs. Connecticut
FG Pct                    54.9%   vs. St. Joseph's
Field Goals made          35      vs. Penn
Field Goals attempted:    69      vs. Penn 
Free Throws made:         18      vs. Seton Hall                  
Free Throws attempted:    23      vs. Seton Hall
Three-Pointers made:      18      vs. Penn            
Three-Pointers attempted: 37      vs. Penn
Most rebounds             37      vs. SW Texas    
Offensive Rebounds:       11      vs. Five Teams
Most turnovers            28      vs. Connecticut
Most assists              28      vs. Penn
Most steals:              14      vs. LaSalle
Most Blocked Shots         3      vs. Four Teams

Team Season Lows
Points scored:                  27       vs. Connecticut
First Half points               16       vs. Vanderbilt
Second Half points               8       vs. Connecticut
Margin of victory                1       vs. Boston College 
Margin of loss:                  5       vs. LaSalle
FG Pct.                      21.5%       vs. Vanderbilt
Field Goals made:               11       vs. Connecticut 
Field Goals attempted:          43       vs. Seton Hall
Free Throws made:                1       vs. LaSalle
Free Throws attempted:           6       vs. Temple
Three-Pointers Made:             0       vs. Connecticut
Three-Pointers attempted:        5       vs. Temple          
Rebounds:                       22       vs. LaSalle
Offensive Rebounds:              4       vs. Georgetown
Turnovers:                       7       vs. Two Teams
Assists:                         4       vs. Connecticut
Steals:                          4       vs. Pittsburgh
Blocked shots:                   0       vs. Four Teams