Jan. 16, 1998
Rutgers vs. Villanova Women's Basketball PreviewTeam 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:
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:
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.
VILLANOVA, SEASON-HIGH SUPERLATIVES
TEAM SEASON HIGHS
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