April 10, 2012
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Philadelphia Big Five today announced the 2011-12 award winners. Highlighting the list for Villanova was head coach Harry Perretta being named Big Five Coach of the Year. Three Wildcats were also honored, including junior forward Laura Sweeney (first team), redshirt freshman forward Lauren Burford (second team) and junior forward Emily Suhey (All-Academic Team).
Perretta guided Villanova to the Big Five championship with a perfect 4-0 record. This marks the 13th City Series title for Perretta and the Wildcats, including the ninth year with a perfect 4-0 record. In his 34th year as the Wildcat mentor in 2011-12, Perretta led his team to a 19-15 overall record. Also, this past year, Perretta became the 35th coach in the history of women's basketball at any level to reach the 600-win plateau, including the 22nd Division I coach to accomplish the feat. He is also just the seventh Division I coach to win 600 games at one school.
Sweeney earns first team All-Big Five honors after leading the Wildcats in five statistical categories, including scoring (14.4 ppg.), rebounding (7.6 rpg.), field goal percentage (.504), steals (52) and blocks (39). She started 32 games this season and tallied seven 20-point games and eight double-doubles. In a game against DePaul on Feb. 8, Sweeney became the 23rd player in program history to score 1,000 career points. She currently ranks 15th in school history in scoring with 1,116 points.
Burford started all 33 games she played in this year and averaged 8.2 points per game which ranked third on the team. She led the Wildcats in three-point field goals made with 62 in 154 attempts for a team-high .402 percent. She also ranked fourth on the team in assists with 53.
For the second straight year, Suhey earns a spot on the Big Five All-Academic Team. Suhey is a Dean's List student who is a pursuing a degree in civil engineering. She played in 32 games this year and averaged 2.5 points per game and connected on 21-of-56 from three-point range for .375.
All the award winners will be honored at annual Big Five women's basketball banquet to be held on Wednesday, April 25, at the Drexelbrook banquet facility in Drexel Hill, Pa.