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Feb. 3, 1998

Villanova and Seton Hall Resume Rivalry

Series Information
Series Record:      VU leads 20-13
Last VU Win:        Jan. 1998, 65-52
Last SH Win:        Jan. 1997, 72-50
Streak:             Seton Hall has won 8 of last 11
Team Comparisons
VU                                  SH
20          Games played            19
1202        Points scored           1200
60.1      avg. points per game      63.2
40.5           fg pct.              40.2
36.8      3-point fg. Pct.          29.2
64.7         free throw Pct.        67.3
1099         points allowed         1393
55.0        Opp. pts. per game      73.3
612          total rebounds         690
30.6        avg. reb. per game      36.3
327            assists              337
268           turnovers             400
13.4       avg. to. per game        21.0

VILLANOVA PROBABLE STARTERS

Pos     No.     Name                            PPG     RPG
F       13      Jenn Beisel (Sr./ 5-9)          13.3    5.3
F       24      Jenea Skeeters (So./ 5-11)      10.8    2.9
C       10      Jenn Sliwa  (Jr./ 6-1)          9.4     4.8
G       4       Shanette Lee   (Jr./ 5-7)       5.0     5.0
G       21      Jenny Higgins  (Sr./ 5-10)     13.4     4.2

VILLANOVA OFF THE BENCH

Pos     No.     Name                            PPG     RPG
G       12      Megan Stewart (So./ 5-8)        2.4     0.7
G       3       Mimi Riley (Fr./ 5-9)           2.0     1.3
G       31      Mary Beth Snell (So/5-9)        1.5     0.6
F/C     20      Shannon Ferretti (Jr./ 6-2)     1.2     1.7
F       25      Rebecca Stephens (Fr./5-11)     1.9     1.1
SETON HALL Probable Starters
Pos     No      Name                            PPG     RPG
F       31      Monique Lee  (Fr./6-1)          7.4     3.9
F       33      Latoya Brookins (Sr./5-9)       5.8     2.2
C       43      Danielle Golay (Jr./6-2)        16.8    8.2
G       11      Christine Koren (Jr./5-6)       4.2     2.5
G       24      Sandy Mitchell  (Sr./5-6)       10.4    4.0
SETON HALL OFF THE BENCH
Pos No  Name                        PPG     RPG
G   3   Kim Busichio (Sr./5-5)      2.9     1.0
F   44  Danielle Davis (Jr./6-2)    4.7     2.6
F   34  Starr Fuller (Fr./6-1)      3.8     3.1
F   35  Sarah Fisher (So./5-11)     8.1     4.6
C   10  Kim Allen (So./ 6-4)        0.6     0.6

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. In his tenure on the Main Line, Perretta's has guided Villanova to a 361-203 record. While 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.

SETON HALL REPORT: The Pirates enter tonight's game with a 5-14 overall record and a 3-8 Big East conference mark. Seton Hall is led in scoring by junior center Danielle Golay who is scoring 16.8 ppg. Golay also leads Seton Hall in rebounding with an 8.2 rpg average. Also averaging double figures for Seton Hall is Sandy Mitchell with a 10.4 ppg. Mitchell also is the team leader in steals with 29.

From three-point range, sophomore SarahFisher leads the team with 16 field goals from behind the arc. Junior point guard Christine Koren has a team-high 115 assists. As a team, the Pirates are scoring 63.2 ppg, while they are giving up 73.3 ppg. From the field, the Eagles are shooting 40.2 percent, while their opponents are shooting 47.0 percent.

SETON HALL HEAD COACH PHYLLIS MANGINA: Seton Hall is led by 13th year head coach Phyllis Mangina. During her tenure in South Orange, N.J., Mangina has tallied a 194-171 record. During the 1994-95 and 1993-94 seasons, Mangina guided the Pirates to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, advancing to the second round both years. Mangina is a four-time New Jersey Coach of the Year and a two-time MWBA Coach of the Year. As a player, she was a standout guard at Seton Hall where she led the Pirates to a 93-28 record during her playing career.

LAST TIME OUT:

Villanova - On Saturday, Jan. 31, Villanova earned a road conference win with a 48-35 victory over the Boston Colllege at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, Mass. Leading 31-29 with 9:02 to play in the game, Villanova went on a 9-1 run over the next six minutes to gain a 40-30 advantage with 3:35 remaining in regulation. In the run, senior co-captain Jenny Higgins nailed a three-point field goal and scored on a lay-up to fuel the Villanova charge.

The run proved to be the turning point of the game. Following the spurt, Villanova handled the Eagle full-court pressure and made critical free throws to escape with a road victory and earn the 'Cats a sweep of the two game home and home series with the Eagles. Boston College started the game in fine fashion, as the Eagles raced to an early 7-1 lead. Villanova, however, quickly battled back and evened the game at 9-9 with 9:25 to play in the first stanza. The Wildcats would take their first lead of the afternoon, 11-10, with 8:09 on the clock. The remainder of the half went back and forth, as Boston College went intermission with a slim 21-19 lead.

Besides the Villanova scoring run, the story of the game in the second half was Villanova's outstanding defense, which held Boston College to just 14 second half points, including a six-for-30 effort from the field. The Eagles, who entered the game averaging 72.7 points per game, shot just 24.6 percent for the game from the floor. Higgins led all scorers with 16 points, including a four-of-seven effort from three-point range.

Senior Jenn Beisel was the only other Wildcat to score in double figures with 12 points, to go along with her game-high eight rebounds. Junior Jenn Sliwa pulled-down seven rebounds for Villanova, while junior point guard Shanette Lee tallied five steals. Defensively, sophomore Jenea Skeeters did a fantastic job of holding Eagles star Cal Bouchard to just five points on two-of-nine shooting. Bouchard entered the contest averaging 16.8 points per game. Boston College was led by sophomore Alissa Murphy who had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Seton Hall- The Pirates are coming off a 91-35 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday, Jan. 31. Notre Dame led 49-22 at halftime, before outscoring the Pirates, 42-13, in the second stanza. Leading the way for the Irish was junior Sheila McMillen who had a game-high 24 points on eight-of-14 shooting. Also scoring double figures for Notre Dame were freshman Ruth Riley with 14 points and sophomore Julie Henderson who netted 11. Christine Koren and Sarah Fisher led the way for Seton Hall with eight points each. Danielle Golay grabbed a team-high six rebounds for the Pirates.

A LOOK BACK: Today's game between the Pirates and the Wildcats is the second meeting this year between the two teams. On Tuesday, Jan. 6 at Villanova, the Wildcats earned a 65-52 win. 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 senior 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 fine 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 guard Jenny Higgins who tallied 14 points, including a four-of-seven effort from three-point range and junior Jenn Sliwa who recorded 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.

WHAT A WEEK!: Senior forward Jenn Beisel is coming off a great week of basketball, where she helped lead Villanova to two victories over Notre Dame and Boston College. Against Notre Dame on Jan. 28, she played the best game of her career in Villanova's 70-54 win, as she tallied a career-high 30 points on 14-of-25 shooting versus the Fighting Irish, in addition to registering four assists and three steals. This was the 27th time in Villanova women's basketball history that a player has scored 30 or more points in a game and Beisel is the 11th different Wildcat to accomplish this feat.

On Saturday, Jan. 31, Beisel recorded 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds, as the 'Cats downed Boston College, 48-35. For the week, Beisel scored 42 points and shot 19-for-39 (48.7%) from the field. In addition, she registered four assists, three steals and grabbed 11 rebounds. For the year, Beisel is second on the team in scoring with a 13.3 ppg average and she leads the team in rebounding (5.3 rpg). The Philadelphia, Pa., native is also second on the squad in both assists with 40 and steals with 37.

TAKING THE SHOT: In Jenn Beisel's 30-point effort versus Notre Dame on Jan. 28, 1998, she registered 25 (making a Villanova season-high of 14) of the team's 56 shots. The last Wildcat to record 25 shots in a game was Nikki Benedix, who was 15-of-25 from the floor in Villanova's 82-80 win over Providence on Jan. 24, 1992. Before Beisel's 25 shot performance, the most shots by a Wildcat was tallied by current Villanova assistant coach Denise Dillon, who went 10-of-23 in a 62-57 loss in the Big East Tournament on March 4, 1994.

VERY VALUABLE:Even though Villanova point guard Shanette Lee is not one of Villanova's leading scorers, she is the team's most important player. In head coach Harry Perretta's system, the play of the point guard is critical to the team's success. In five of Villanova's last seven games, Lee has tallied at least eight assists and on two occasions she had double figure assist games. For the season, Lee is averaging 6.5 assists per game, which is second in the Big East and 11th in the nation. Lee's assist to turnover ratio of 2.3:1 is the best in the Big East Conference. Lee, who has started every game at the point this year, is averaging 5.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg. Her rebounding numbers place her second on the team. She also leads the team in steals with 38.

VERSATILITY: While junior Jenn Sliwa's scoring numbers are down from last year, her play has been one of the main reasons for Villanova's success this season. At 6-1, Sliwa is Villanova's tallest member of the starting five. Despite giving up size to almost every opponent, Sliwa has played great post defense all season long. Sliwa is also one of Villanova's top rebounders averaging 4.8 per game which is third best on the team. Offensively, Sliwa's speed and mobility allows her to be a main offensive threat for the Wildcats. Sliwa is currently second on the team in three-point shooting as she has connected on 32-of-102 from behind the arc. For the season, she is averaging 9.4 points per game.

SHOOTING THE THREE: Senior guard Jenny Higgins has made a name for herself all season long with her three-point shooting ability. After 20 games, Higgins is 75-for-153 (49.0%) from three-point range, which places her first in the Big East Conference and first in the nation for made three-pointers. For the season, she is averaging 3.7 three-pointers a game and she has tallied four or more three-pointers on 12 occasions. Earlier in this season versus Pennsylvania, she set a school record with nine three-point field goals. Higgins currently leads Villanova in scoring with a 13.4 ppg average.

NEARING HISTORY: Entering the Seton Hall game on Wednesday, Feb. 4, senior guard Jenny Higgins is eight three-point field goals away from setting the Villanova school record for three-pointers in a season. Higgins, who currently has 75 triples, is chasing Sue Glenning's school mark of 82 set during the 1995-96 season. That season, Glenning earned second team All-Big East honors and she was named Philadelphia Big 5 Player of the Year. Also, that season, Glenning went on to win the National Three-Point Shootout held at the men's Final Four.

SCORING PUNCH: Sophomore forward Jenea Skeeters is looked upon to provide scoring to the Villanova offense. After 20 games, the Mishawaka, Ind., native is averaging 10.8 ppg. As a true freshman last season, Skeeters averaged 12.8 ppg. Skeeters has picked up her scoring lately, tallying double figures in three of Villanova's last five games. Her best outing of the season came in Villanova's first meeting with Seton Hall, when she scored a game-high 22 points on seven-of-nine shooting from the field to go with a career-high five steals. Skeeters has also been a solid defender for the Wildcats this season. In Villanova's 48-35 win over Boston College on Saturday, Jan. 31, Skeeters held Eagles leading scorer Cal Bouchard to just five points on two-of-nine shooting. Bouchard had entered the game averaging 16.8 ppg.

BENCH SUPPORT: Freshman Mimi Riley has proven to be Villanova's top reserve off the bench. Entering the Seton Hall game, she is averaging 14.6 minutes per contest. Riley, who has played in all 20 games this year, is extremely important to the Villanova attack, because she is able to play both guard spots, as well as the small forward slot. Most of her minutes come from the point guard position and the small forward. Riley's assist to turnover ratio of 2:1 is pretty impressive for a freshman playing her first season of collegiate basketball. In the last three games, Riley has seen increased playing time averaging 18.7 minutes a game. In those three contests, she has tallied 12 points, including tying her career-high of six on two occasions, nine rebounds and four assists.

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 victory. After 20 games, Villanova is giving up just 55.0 ppg which leads the Big East. From three-point range, Wildcat opponents have made just 43-of-167 for a 25.7 percent success rate. In the latest Big East statistics, Villanova leads the league in three-point field goal defense. In 13 of the 14 victories this year, Villanova has held its opponent under 60 points and they have held six teams under 50 points..

Theone 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 Wildcats have been playing exceptional defense of late, as they have been yielding just 51.8 ppg in their last nine contests. Villanova is currently first in the Big East in scoring defense and they are ninth nationally.

THE MAGIC 60: Defense has always been a trademark of Harry Perretta coached teams. So far this year, Villanova is 13-1 when holding the opposition under 60 points and they are 1-5 when giving up 60 or more points. The lone loss when an opponent scored under 60 points was on Sunday, Jan. 25, with a 59-55 setback at West Virginia. Offensively, the Wildcats are 11-1 when recording 60 or more points. Last season, Villanova was 11-0 when holding opponents under 60 points.

SHOOTING THE THREE: The Wildcats have made a living this season from behind the three-point arc. After 20 games, Villanova has already attempted 386 three-point field goals. In those attempts, the Wildcats have connected on 142 for a 36.8 percent success rate. Villanova has made more three-pointers than any team in the Big East. On four different occasions this year, the Wildcats have tallied 10 or more three-pointers in a game. Villanova is averaging 7.1 three-point field goals per game. They are attempting 19.3 triples a game.

NCAA RECORD: In Villanova's 99-55 win over Pennsylvania on Dec. 20, the Wildcats connected on 18 three-point field goals in 37 attempts. The 18 made three-pointers establishes a new NCAA record for triples in a game. The previous mark of 17 was set by South Carolina in a game versus Western Carolina on Jan. 13, 1994.

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 9.3 minutes per game, while Stephens is averaging 8.7 minutes per contest. In the scoring column, Stewart is averaging 2.4 ppg, while Stephens is averaging 1.9 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:                           14-6
Record at Home:                            7-1
Record on the Road:                        4-5
Record at Neutral Sites:                   3-0
Big East Record:                           8-4
At Home in Big East:                       5-1
On the road in Big East:                   3-3
Big 5 Record:                              3-1
Record in night games:                     7-3
Record in day games:                       7-3
When leading at halftime:                 10-0
When trailing at halftime:                 3-6
When tied at halftime:                     1-0
When holding opponents under 50 points:    6-0
When holding opponents under 60 points:   13-1
When holding opponents under 70 points:   14-5
When scoring 60 or more points:           11-1
When scoring 70 or more points:            3-0
When holding opponents under 40% shooting: 8-1
When shooting 50% or better:               4-0
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 877 career points and grabbed 414 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.

VILLANOVA SEASON-HIGH SUPERLATIVES
Points:                 30      Jenn Beisel vs. ND (1/28/98)
Rebounds:               12      Jenn Beisel vs. Syracuse  (1/10/98)
Assists:                11      Shanette Lee vs. Miami (1/14/98)
Field Goals Made:       14      Jenn Beisel vs. ND (11/28/98)
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. Two Teams
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               5      vs. Notre Dame
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:                  4       vs. West Virginia
FG Pct.                          21.5%   vs. Vanderbilt
Field Goals made:                11      vs. Connecticut
Field Goals attempted:           38      vs. Rutgers
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. Three Teams
Assists:                         4       vs. Connecticut
Steals:                          4       vs. Two Teams
Blocked shots:                   0       vs. Six Teams
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