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Jan. 14, 1998

Miami vs. Villanova Women's Basketball Preview

Team Comparisons
VU                              UM
14         Games played         14
850       Points scored       1054
60.7    avg. points per game  76.0
40.4         fg pct.          43.4
37.8      3-point fg. Pct.    34.3
63.4      free throw Pct.     68.8
782       points allowed      1009
55.9    Opp. pts. per game    72.1
431       total rebounds       534
30.8    avg. reb. per game    38.1
237           assists          229
184          turnovers         258
13.1     avg. to. per game    18.4

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 357 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.

MIAMI REPORT: The Hurricanes enter tonight's game with a 9-5 overall record and a 4-2 Big East conference mark. Miami is led in scoring by senior forward Octavia Blue who is averaging 19.6 ppg, which places her second in the Big East in scoring. From the field, Blue is shooting 48.8 percent. Center Kym Hope is having an outstanding season for Miami. She enters the Villanova game averaging a double-double with 17.9 ppg (third in Big East) and 10.3 rpg. The only other Hurricane scoring in double figures is Cassaundra Wimes with a 10.3 ppg average. In the assists department, Gina Graziani has 113 (8.0 apg) which leads the Big East. As a team, Miami is averaging 76.0 ppg, while they are giving up 72.1 ppg.

HURRICANE HEAD COACH FERNE LABATI: The Hurricanes are led by 10th-year head coach Ferne Labati. In her tenure at Miami, Labati has compiled a 179-98 record. Labati's best season in Coral Gables came during the 1991-92 season, when she led the 'Canes to a 30-2 overall record including an undefeated Big East Conference mark. That same season, Miami advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Prior to coming to Miami, she was the head coach at Fairleigh Dickinson from 1984-87 and the head coach at Trenton State from 1979-84. Her coaching career began in 1977 when she served as an assistant coach at Immaculata College. Her overall coaching record currently stands at 315-220.


Villanova - On Saturday, Jan. 10, Villanova earned a road win, with a 64-49 victory over Syracuse. The game was decided during a 16-4 Villanova run from the 15:00 minute mark until the 10:00 minute mark of the second half. The run was highlighted by senior co-captains Jenny Higgins and Jenn Beisel, as Higgins buried three field goals from behind the arc and Beisel tallied seven points in the spurt. Beisel had a strong game for Villanova by recording the team's first double-double of the season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Higgins connected on five three-point field goals for 15 points, while Jenea Skeeters added 12 points. Point guard Shanette Lee had a sensational game with seven points, nine rebounds, 10 assists and one turnover. Syracuse was paced by Teakyta Barnes and Annetta Davis who had 12 points each.

Miami- The Hurricanes are coming off an 85-79 home win over Boston College on Saturday, Jan. 10. With the victory, Miami snapped a two-game losing streak. Leading the way for the Hurricanes was senior forward Octavia Blue who had 30 points on 11-of-19 shooting, including a six-for-eight performance from three-point range. In addition, Blue tallied nine rebounds. Junior center kym Hope had a strong outing with 17 points and eight rebounds, as did sophomore point guard Gina Graziani who registered 12 points and 11 assists. Junior forward Jennifer Jordan also had double figures with 12 points. Boston College was paced by sophomore point guard Cal Bouchard who had 23 points, including five three-pointers.

A LOOK BACK: Last year, Villanova and Miami met just once in Coral Gables, Fla. with the Hurricanes earning 70-56 win. In the first half, the Hurricanes played great defense holding Villanova to just 12 first half points. At intermission, Miami owned a 25-12 advantage. Desma Thomas led the way for the 'Canes with 25 points (eight-for-17 from the field/ six-for-11 from three-point range). Kym Hope and Beth Barnhart each had double figures with 14 and 11 points respectively. Miami point guard Gina Graziani played well with 12 assists and just two turnovers. Jenny Higgins led the Wildcats with 16 points (four three-pointers), while Jenn Beisel had 11 points and Jenn Sliwa added 10 points.

BEISEL REGISTERS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: In Villanova's 64-49 win at Syracuse on Saturday, Jan. 10, senior forward Jenn Beisel recorded the first double-double by a Villanova player this season with 19 points and 12 rebounds. This was Beisel's third double-double of her Villanova career. Beisel is currently leading the Wildcats in both scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (5.9 rpg). In Villanova's 14 games this year, Beisel has tallied double figures in 10 of them. Besides being Villanova's leading scorer, Beisel is also the team's best defensive player and is one of the top defenders in the entire Big East Conference. PROVIDING THE INTANGIBLES: Last year as a sophomore, Jenn Sliwa led Villanova in scoring with a 12.9 ppg average. After 14 games of this, her junior campaign, Sliwa is averaging 8.6 ppg. Eventhough her scoring numbers are down, Sliwa is having a better season this year than she did last year. For instance, Sliwa's outstanding defensive ability does not show up in the stat sheet. Despite being 6-1, Sliwa has the quickness and mobility to guard her opponents on both the low block and the perimeter. Sliwa's versatility can be seen by looking at her overall stats, as she leads the team in steals with 28, is fourth on the squad in assists with 24 and is third in rebounding with a 4.1 rpg average.

DOING IT ALL: Junior point guard Shanette Lee played one of the best games of her career in Villanova's 64-49 win over Syracuse on Saturday, Jan. 10. In the victory, the Philadelphia, Pa. native recorded seven points, a season-high nine rebounds, a season-best 10 assists and committed just one turnover. In her last five games, Lee has tallied 40 assists and just nine turnovers for an assist to turnover ratio of 4.4:1. For the season, Lee has registered a team-best 95 assists (6.7 apg) to go with her 5.2 ppg average and her 5.1 rpg average which is second on the team. In the latest NCAA stats, Lee is 10th in the nation in assists.

BOMBS AWAY: To say that senior Jenny Higgins has been in a zone all season long would be an understatement. After 14 games, Higgins is 51-for-97 (52.6%) from three-point range. Her overall shotting percentage is 50.8 percent (65-for-128). Her three-point numbers currently rank her first in the Big East and second 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 3.6 three-pointers a game and she has had at least three triples in 11 games and has recorded four or more three-point field goals on eight occasions. She is currently second on the team scoring with a 13.2 ppg average.

TRIPLE J'S: Villanova is led in scoring by the Triple J's, Jenn Beisel, Jenny Higgins and Jenea Skeeters. Beisel leads Villanova with a 13.5 ppg average followed by Higgins who is scoring 13.2 ppg. Skeeters is currently third on the team in scoring with an 11.1 ppg. Higgins also leads the team in shooting percentage (50.8%) and in three-point field goals with 51. Another J, Jenn Sliwa, is fourth on the team in scoring (8.6 ppg) and leads the team in steals with 28.

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 14 games, Villanova is giving up just 55.9 ppg and they are holding opponents to just 40.4 percent shooting from the field. From three-point range, Wildcat opponents have made just 31-of-116 for a 26.7 percent success rate. In all 10 victories this year, Villanova has held its opponent under 60 points. In the last three games, the Wildcats have given up just 150 points for an average of 50.0 ppg. In those three contests, Villanova has held two of the three opponents under 50 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 10-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points and they are 0-3 when giving up 60 or more points. Offensively, the Wildcats are 8-1 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 11.1 minutes per game, while Stephens is averaging 9.3 minutes per contest. In the scoring column, Stewart is averaging 2.8 ppg, while Stephens is averaging 2.2 ppg. 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.

Overall Record:            10-4
Record at Home:             4-1
Record on the Road:         3-3
Record at Neutral Sites:    3-0
Big East Record:            4-2
At Home in Big East:        2-1
On the road in Big East:    2-1
Big 5 Record:               3-1
Record in night games:      4-3
Record in day games:        6-1
When leading at halftime:   7-0
When trailing at halftime:  2-4
When tied at halftime:      1-0
When holding opponents under 50 points:     4-0 
When holding opponents under 60 points:     10-0 
When holding opponents under 70 points:     10-3
When scoring 60 or more points:             8-1
When scoring 70 or more points:             1-0
When holding opponents under 40% shooting:  5-0 
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 800 career points and grabbed 392 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
Points:             27  Jenny Higgins vs. Penn (12/20/97)
Rebounds:           12  Jenn Beisel vs. Syracuse (1/10/98)
Assists:            10  Shanette Lee vs. Syracuse (1/10/98)
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)
Jenn Beisel vs. Syracuse (1/10/98) 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:            41        vs. Syracuse
Offensive Rebounds:       13        vs. Syracuse
Most turnovers            28        vs. Connecticut
Most assists              28        vs. Penn
Most steals:              14        vs. LaSalle
Most Blocked Shots         3        vs. Four Teams
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