Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Tara 500

By Mel Greenberg

On a day in which a record crowd at the University of California's Haas Pavilion was news in of itself in terms of a turnaround under first-year coach Joanne Boyle, Saturday's show belonged to Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer, who gained her 500th win with the Cardinal and 652nd overall.

The Women's Basketball Hall of Famer joined a select group of coaches who have won 500 or more games at the same Division I school.

Tennessee's Pat Summitt, who passed that total 400 plus wins ago, leads the list.

Once Upon a Time

LSU associate athletic director Judy Southard will be the next chair of the NCAA women's basketball tournament committee when American U. athletic director Joni Comstock's term ends a few months after the end of the season.

Way back in time when Southard was a women's basketball coach at Marshall, we did have her as a member of our voting board when the Associated Press weekly poll panel consisted of coaches prior to 1994-95.

Villanova makes it two straight.

For you locals who may have had Sunday morning's Inquirer buried under snow in the event several inches fell in your area, here is an account of Villanova's win over Cincinnati at the Pavilion on Saturday.

Compiled by the Inquirer Staff

Villanova excelled at both ends of the court yesterday on the way to a 65-40 victory over Cincinnati in a Big East women’s basketball game at the Pavilion.Senior guard Jenna Viani provided the offensive firepower with 24 points, especially in the first half when she had 19 points and shot 5-for-9 on three-point attempts for the Wildcats (14-8, 5-6 Big East).

It was Villanova’s second straight win after a triumph Tuesday night at Notre Dame, which was ranked earlier this season.

The Wildcats next head to No. 8 Rutgers on Tuesday.
The Scarlet Knights are the only Big East team unbeaten in conference competition.

Viani’s first trey gave Villanova the lead for good at 7-5 early in the first half and the Wildcats roared to a 37-17 advantage at the break. She shot 9-for-17 from the field overall and finished with a career-high six three-pointers.

Overall, the Wildcats shot a season-high 13 treys. They also hounded the Bearcats (14-8, 4-7) into 16 turnovers, including 10 in the first half. Villanova committed only eight miscues.

“It was an old fashioned Villanova win,” coach Harry Perretta said afterwards. “We played good defense. And we executed the offense.
"I looked at the scoreboard with a few minutes to go and we had 58 points, which wasn’t a lot. But then I saw what they had and I said, ‘This is the way we used to win games years ago with our defense.’”

Villanova smothered Cincinnati early in the second half, holding the Bearcats (14-8, 4-7) scoreless for more than seven minutes early in the period.Cincinnati is one of five new Big East teams that used to play in Conference USA. The Wildcats were 2-3 against that group.

Betsy McManus added 10 points for Villanova, and Jackie Adamshick grabbed a game-high eight rebounds.Michelle Jones was the only Cincinnati player in double figures, with 10 points.

Email to this address will reach Mr. or Ms. staff. :)

ESPN Practice Time

As part of readying to telecast the NCAA tournament, ESPN will offer eight regional games Sunday in the format used to broadcast early round games.

The schedule on ESPN2 is:

( 3 p.m.) Connecticut at Texas; Minnesota atPurdue; Wisconsin at Michigan State; Georgia at LSU.
(5 p.m.) N. Carolina at Virginia; TCU at New Mexico; Vanderbilt at ennessee; Notre Dame at DePaul.

Meanwhile, we'll be either at Xavier visits La Salle or Dayton visits St. Joseph's, today, both games impacting the fourth and final bye spot for the Atlantic Ten tournament next month.

-- Mel


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