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Jan. 16, 1998

Rutgers vs. Villanova Women's Basketball Preview

Team Comparisons
VU                              RU
15          Games played        15
918        Points scored        1018
61.2   avg. points per game     67.9
40.1           fg pct.          42.1
37.4      3-point fg. Pct.      31.0
64.9       free throw Pct.      62.7
849        points allowed       954
56.6     Opp. pts. per game     63.6
458        total rebounds       557
30.5     avg. reb. per game     37.1
257            assists          218
198           turnovers         313
13.2      avg. to. per game     20.8

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 358 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.

RUTGERS REPORT: The Scarlet Knights enter today's game with an 8-7 overall record and a 4-3 Big East conference mark. Rutgers is led in scoring by freshman Natasha Pointer who is averaging 14.7 ppg. Pointer also leads the team in assists (82) and steals (53). The only other Scarlet Knight scoring in double figures is Tomora Young who is averaging 12.6 ppg. Freshman Linda Miles is the team's leading rebounder with a 6.5 rpg average. As a team, Rutgers is scoring 67.9 ppg, while they are giving up 63.6 ppg. From the field, the Knights are shooting 42.1 percent, while their opponents are shooting just 39.6 percent.

SCARLET KNIGHT HEAD COACH VIVIAN STRINGER: The Scarlet Knights are led by third-year head coach Vivian Stringer. In her tenure at Rutgers, Stringer has compiled a 32-39 record. During her 26-year coaching career, Stringer has earned National coach of the Year honors three times and she is currently the fifth winningest active college women's coach. She is the second youngest, and one of only five active coaches, to earn 500 career victories. Prior to arriving at Rutgers, Stringer was the head coach at the University of Iowa from 1983-95. In 1992-93, she led the Hawkeyes to the Final Four. Stringer began her coaching career at Cheyney State where she coached from 1971-83. Her overall coaching record currently stands at 552-174.

LAST TIME OUT:
Villanova - Villanova is coming off a thrilling, 68-67, overtime win over Miami on Wednesday, Jan.14. The game was played at The Pavilion. With two seconds remaining in overtime, Villanova sophomore Jenea Skeeters was fouled and awarded two foul shots. However, Skeeters injured her left elbow on the play and was unable to remain in the game. Sophomore guard Mary Beth Snell was sent in to shoot the free throws for Skeeters. Snell missed the first and made the second for her only point of the game in three minutes of action. Following Snell's free throw, Hurricane junior Kym Hope missed a turn-around shot at the buzzer. Miami forced overtime late in regulation, when senior Octavia Blue was fouled shooting a three-point shot with 14 seconds remaining. Blue made the first free throw and then missed the second. She then missed the third shot intentionally, which was rebounded by Hope, who converted a five-foot jumper with 12 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 59-59. Villanova's Skeeters had a chance to win the game in regulation, but missed a nine-foot jumper with two seconds left. Villanova was led by senior Jenny Higgins who buried seven-of-13 three-point field goals, en route to a game-high 23 points. Junior Jenn Sliwa played a strong game for the Wildcats with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Other Wildcats in double figures included Skeeters with 12 and senior Jenn Beisel who added 10 points and six steals. Junior point guard Shanette Lee tallied 11 assists. Miami was paced by Blue who had 22 points and Hope who registered 18 points and 11 rebounds. For the game, Villanova connected on 12-of-35 from three-point territory.
Rutgers- On Wednesday, Jan. 14, Rutgers lost at Boston College by a score of 74-65. Boston College led at the half, 34-23. For the game, the Scarlet Knights shot 44.1 percent, while Boston College shot 55.0 percent. Rutgers was led by freshman sensation Natasha Pointer who had 19 points on eight-of-10 shooting and sophomore Shawnetta Stewart who tallied 10 points. Freshman Linda Miles pulled-down a team-high seven rebounds. Leading the way for Boston College was sophomore Cal Bouchard who registered 28 points on nine-of-10 shooting from the field and six-of-seven shooting from three-point range. Whitney Steele scored 13 points for the Eagles.

A LOOK BACK: Last year, Villanova and Rutgers met twice with each team winning on the road. At Rutgers, on Dec. 4, 1996, Villanova earned a 60-54 win. The 'Cats had three players score in double figures including Jenny Higgins and Megan Stewart who had 11 each and Jenea Skeeters who netted 10. Tomora Young led the Scarlet Knights with 25 points. At Villanova, on Feb. 12, 1997, the Scarlet Knights claimed a 62-55 win. Young once again led Rutgers with 31 points, while Susan Blauser had 12 points and Andrea Honeycutt added 10. Villanova was paced by Jenn Beisel with 17 and Jenny Higgins with 14.

SLIWA REGISTERS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: In Villanova's 68-67 win over Miami on Wednesday, Jan. 14, junior Jenn Sliwa became the second Wildcat in as many games to tally a double-double. In the win, Sliwa scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Of her 17 points, 12 came from behind the arc as she was four-of-16 from downtown. This was Sliwa's fourth double-double of her Wildcat career and first of the season. Sliwa, who is Villanova's best post-defender, is currently averaging 9.1 ppg and 4.5 rpg. She also is second on the team in steals with 29 and is third on the squad in assists with 26. Despite being only 6-1, Sliwa is Villanova's starting center. The previous game 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.

UNSELFISH PLAY: Junior point guard Shanette Lee will normally not put up a lot of numbers in the scoring department. However, many of the Wildcat baskets that are a scored are a direct reflection on her play. In Villanova's last game against Miami, Lee tallied a season-high 11 assists. As a team, Villanova made 21 field goals, meaning Lee had an impact on over half of the Wildcat field goals. In her last six games, she has recorded 51 assists for an average of 8.5 apg in that span. At Syracuse last Saturday, Lee played one of the best games of her career in Villanova's 64-49 win. In the victory, the Philadelphia, Pa. native recorded seven points, a season-high nine rebounds, 10 assists and committed just one turnover. For the season, she is averaging 4.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg (second on team) and 7.1 apg. In the latest stats, Lee is second in the Big East in assists and 10th in the nation.

BOMBS AWAY: To say that senior Jenny Higgins has been in a zone all season long would be an understatement. After 15 games, Higgins is 58-for-110 (52.7%) from three-point range. Her overall shotting percentage is 50.3 percent (72-for-143). Her three-point numbers currently rank her first in the Big East and second in the nation. In her last outing against Miami, Higgins made seven-of-13 from behind the arc, en route to a game-high 23 points. This was her third 20+ point game of the season. 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 3.9 three-pointers a game and she has had at least three triples in 12 games and has recorded four or more three-point field goals on nine occasions. She currently leads the Wildcats in scoring with a 13.9 ppg.

ALL-AROUND PERFORMER: All season long, senior co-captain Jenn Beisel has been the team's best all-around performer. In the scoring department, Beisel is second on the team with a 13.3 ppg, while she is the team's best rebounder with a 5.6 rpg average. She also is the team leader in steals with 32 and is fourth on the squad in assists with 25. In addition, Beisel is Villanova's best man-to-man defender and is one of the top defensive players in the entire Big East Conference.

TRIPLE J'S: Villanova is led in scoring by the Triple J's, Jenny Higgins, Jenn Beisel and Jenea Skeeters. Higgins leads Villanova with a 13.9 ppg average followed by Beisel who is scoring 13.3 ppg. Beisel also leads Villanova in rebounding and steals. Skeeters is currently third on the team in scoring with an 11.2 ppg. Higgins also leads the team in shooting percentage (50.3%) and in three-point field goals with 58. Another J, Jenn Sliwa, is fourth on the team in scoring (9.1 ppg).

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 15 games, Villanova is giving up just 56.6 ppg and they are holding opponents to just 40.1 percent shooting from the field. From three-point range, Wildcat opponents have made just 33-of-126 for a 26.2 percent success rate. In 10 of the 11 victories this year, Villanova has held its opponent under 60 points. The one exception was the Miami game when Villanova edged the Hurricanes, 68-67, in overtime. However, Villanova did hold the 'Canes under 60 points at 59 in regulation.

THE MAGIC 60: Defense has always been a trademark of Harry Perretta coached teams. So far this year, Villanova is 10-0 when holding the opposition under 60 points and they are 1-4 when giving up 60 or more points. Offensively, the Wildcats are 9-1 when recording 60 or more points. Last season, Villanova was 11-0 when holding opponents under 60 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 11.0 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 2.0 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.

VILLANOVA BY THE NUMBERS:

Overall Record:          11-4
Record at Home:          5-1
Record on the Road:      3-3
Record at Neutral Sites: 3-0
Big East Record:         5-2
At Home in Big East:     3-1
On the road in Big East: 2-1
Big 5 Record:            3-1
Record in night games:   5-3
Record in day games:     6-1
When leading at halftime:8-0
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: 11-3
When scoring 60 or more points:         9-1
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:    1-0

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 810 career points and grabbed 393 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:        12     Jenn Beisel vs. Syracuse (1/10/98)
Assists:         11     Shanette Lee vs. Miami (1/14/98)
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)
                        Jenn Beisel vs. Miami (1/14/98)
Minutes Played:  45     Jenn Sliwa vs. Miami (1/14/98)

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

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, Miami
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

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