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, November 12, 2011

Guru's Local Report: Villanova Upset Gives Perretta Win No. 599

(Guru note: This is the rough draft complete report for Saturday print editions that was sliced for space. The Guru is now training as in railroad subway railroad to Iona for Nova game.)

By Mel Greenberg


Career win No. 600 for veteran Villanova women's basketball coach Harry Perretta is likely to come quicker than anyone thought.

Gaining a major upset Friday afternoon on the opening day of season, Perretta’s 34th on the Main Line, the Wildcats shocked Michigan State 75-64 in the first round of the Iona Tip-Off tournament in New Rochelle, N.Y., to bring his record to 599-378.

Villanova will try to give Perretta the impressive milestone Saturday afternoon when the Wildcats meet the host Gaels at 2:30 p.m. at Hynes Athletics Center for the tournament title.

Iona advanced with an 85-69 triumph over North Carolina A&T.

“I’m just thrilled for the kids because they’ve never experienced anything like that before,” Perretta said of beating the Spartans, who are ranked No. 25 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches' preseason poll. They are also the second highest also-ran in the Associated Press rankings below the Top 25 by a panel of reporters and broadcasters.

Junior guard Rachel Roberts and red-shirt freshman forward Lauren Burford each scored 15 points for Villanova, which trailed the Spartans 37-36 at the half.

The Wildcats’ Laura Sweeney, a junior forward from Cherokee High in Marlton, N.J., had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore guard Devon Kane out of Notre Dame Academy, scored 10 points

Becca Mills had a team-high 12 points for Michigan State.

Villanova is coming off a season of struggle at 12-19 in part due to having been young and in part from competing in the powerful Big East Conference where they went 3-13.

But Perretta entered the season optimistic that his bunch could be more competitive, though he was unsure how many more wins the Wildcats might achieve.

If he gets No. 600 Saturday afternoon the celebration will have to be delayed back home because Villanova has two more road stops at Marist and Princeton before returning to The Pavilion to face Delaware on Nov. 22.

La Salle 63, Lehigh 43 – The Explorers broke a four-game losing streak to the Mountain Hawks in winning their season and home opener at the Tom Gola Arena as a pair of freshmen guards made impressive debuts.

Jayda Payne out of Hickory, N.C., scored 15 points while Jordan Mosley out of Orlando scored 12. Senior Nadia Duncan came off the bench to score 10 points while sophomore forward Jess Koci (CQ), a graduate of Archbishop Ryan, and red-shirt junior guard Alexis Scott each grabbed eight rebounds.

Lehigh senior Alexa Williams scored15 points.

“We started three freshmen, so it was just seeing how’d they react and they played pretty well,” said La Salle coach Jeff Williams, who is in his second season with the Explorers.

Newcomer Omaah Tayong (CQ both) is a 6-3 center from Baltimore.

La Salle travels to Albany University Sunday and returns home next Saturday night to play No. 16 Rutgers.

Delaware 89, Rhode Island 53 – Blue Hens junior all-America candidate Elena Delle Donne scored 33 points in an opening home win over the Rams in the Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

Delaware next hosts No. 12 Penn State Thursday night.

Temple 70, Miami of Ohio 36 – The Owls began the season at home in McGonigle Hall with an easy win as senior Shey Peddy scored 15 points, senior Kristen McCarthy scored 13 points and junior Brittany Lewis scored 12.

Temple travels to Northeastern in Boston Tuesday night.

Princeton 79, St. Joseph’s 62 – Archbishop Wood graduate Ashley Robinson shook a two-season absence due to knee injuries and began her collegiate career with the Hawks scoring 18 points and grabbing 10 rebounds for the Hawks in the Tigers’ Jadwin Gym.

But St. Joseph’s committed 28 turnovers and the two-time defending Ivy champions got 18 points from Kate Miller and 17 from Niveen Rasheed, who suffered a season-ending knee injury last December.

The Hawks host Lehigh Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Hagan Arena.

Long Island 60, Drexel 52 – The Dragons were brought down by the Blackbirds in a WNIT opener at the Daskalaskis Athletic Center in the first meeting between the two schools as Ebony Davis scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds.

Hollie Mershon, a junior guard-forward out of Archbishop Carroll, scored 26 points for Drexel and Kamile Nacickaite scored 11.

Penn State 72, Washington State 60 – A 13-0 run over the final seven minutes enabled coach Coquese Washington’s squad to captured the opener of its Lady Lions Classic in the Bryce Jordan Center as sophomore Maggie Lucas, a Germantown Academy graduate, scored 22 points and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.

Senior Alex Bentley also scored 22 points.

Penn State will meet Middle Tennessee Sunday at noon for the title.

--Mel --

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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