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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Postgame Scout: The Inside Force of Penn Was Enough to Edge the Famed Villanova Outside Marksmanship

Guru’s Note: With the holidays over the Guru’s special former D-1 coach is back in town to be at games to add some Xs and Os to game coverage and was on the scene at Villanova and will return Friday for the DePaul game.

By Postgame Scout

VILLANOVA - The best of Big Five basketball was on display as the Penn Quakers edged the Villanova Wildcats 79-77 Wednesday night in Jake Nevin Field House.

  Neither team backed down.  They fought for 40 minutes and the team that had the ball on the last possession won.

The Quakers  established their inside domination on the very first possession of the game as Penn’s Eleah Parker blocked Villanova’s Megan Quinn.   From that point on Penn controlled the lane scoring 40 points in the paint to Villanova’s 18.

The Wildcats effectively executed their zone offense against Penn’s  2-3 zone.  They ran cutters through the high post and had a runner behind the zone looking for the post to post pass.  

 Villanova’s quick passing, player movement and post to post passing was fun to watch.  

If nothing showed, the Wildcats skipped the ball to the shooter on the weak side for a 3. 

 Villanova uncharacteristically missed their 3’s early in the game.  Credit Penn for running/leaping at the Wildcat shooters and forcing them to put the ball on the floor.

Penn’s 2-2-1 zone press was effective in the first half.   

Villanova continually reversed the ball as they advanced out of the back court.  Their methodical passing allowed Penn to match up with the Wildcat shooters in the front court.  

In the second half the Wildcats advanced the ball quickly often straight down the middle of the court.  

The Quakers had trouble finding the shooters as they transitioned from their zone press to their half court 2-3 zone.

 Villanova got open looks and made their shots.  As the Quakers scrambled on defense, the Wildcats were able to get to the rim.

Both teams pressed down the stretch effectively disrupting the flow of the game.  Penn made less mistakes and hit their free throws.

The game came down to Villanova’s passing and movement vs. Penn’s inside game.  

The Wildcats had too many errant passes to neutralize Penn’s inside dominance.