Penn Welcomes Villanova for Big 5 Showdown

Game 6

Penn (3-2)v.Villanova(3-2)
Philadelphia, Pa. - The Palestra
Dec. 5, 2004
1p.m.

Series:Villanova 29, Penn 2

Game Notes: Game 6 - Penn v. Villanova

Another National Test - The Penn women’s basketball team is continuing to prove it will not back down from playing a tough schedule. The Quakers have already battled No. 23 Maryland and will face No. 10 Ohio State later this month. The Red and Blue face its second nationally-ranked team in 10 days, taking on Villanova, ranked as high as No. 24 last week. The Wildcats are 3-2 but Villanova is coming off a 62-52 loss at George Washington. The only other blemish on Villanova’s record was a loss to No. 4 North Carolina, 63-56.

Quieting the Hawks’ Cry - Penn entered Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse without a win against Saint Joseph’s in 29 previous meetings. History had a way of not repeating itself as the Quakers defeated the Hawks, 64-57. Jennifer Fleischer scored a career-high 21 points, leading three teammates in double figures. Joey Rhoads and Karen Habrukowich scored 16 and 10 points, respectively.

Making a Little More History - With the win over Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1, the Red and Blue made program history by earning two victories in a Philadelphia Big 5 season for the first time. Even the 2000-01 Ivy League championship team, which finished a program-best 22-6, could not complete this feat. Penn looks for three wins today against Villanova.

Coaching the Quakers - Patrick Knapp enters his first season at the helm of the Penn women's basketball program after spending 18 seasons at Georgetown. Knapp led the Hoyas to two Big East championships and was named the Big East Conference Coach of the Year for the 1992-93 season.

Familiar Foes - Knapp enters his first game against Villanova as a Penn coach but is no stranger to Harry Perretta and the Wildcats. During his 18 seasons at Georgetown, Knapp’s Hoyas faced the Wildcats 31 times with Villanova holding a slight 17-14 edge. Knapp’s last victory over Perretta came on Jan. 31, 2004, 53-48, at Georgetown. Perretta’s last win over a Knapp-coached team was Feb. 19, 2003 when the Wildcats defeated the Hoyas, 51-37 at The Pavillion.

Black Jack - Jennifer Fleischer dropped in a career-high 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting from the field and scoring 14 of her 21 points in the second half. Fleischer also recorded 16 rebounds, a season high and two off her career best of 18.

Three of a Kind - Jennifer Fleischer was one of three Quakers to finish in double figures agains the Hawks on Dec. 1. Joey Rhoads scored 16 on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor, one point off her career high set at Columbia on Feb. 28, 2004. Karen Habrukowich recorded her second double-digit scoring effort of the season with 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. It was the first time since Penn matched up with Connecticut in the 2004 NCAA Tournament on March 21, 2004 that a trio hit double digits in the scoring column.

Lauren Taketh and Opponents Give Away - Lauren Pears continued a successful sophomore campaign as she recorded a career-high four steals against Saint Joseph’s on Dec. 1. Two of her swipes led to fast break points as she went coast-to-coast for the score and then later threaded a bounce pass to Jennifer Fleischer for one of her two assists on the night. Pears currently leads the team in take aways with eight (1.6 spg).

Dec. 4, 2003 - The Quakers suffered a 57-40 defeat at the hands of Villanova one year ago. Maria DiDonato led the Red and Blue with nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field. The Wildcats were paced by Jackie Adamshick, Jenna Viani and Jana Rediger with 17, 13 and 12 points, respectively

Coaching the Wildcats - Coaching legend Harry Perretta enters his 27th season as head coach of the Villanova women’s basketball team and is just nine victories from reaching 500 for his career. It is a career that began in 1978 at the tender age of 28. Perretta’s Wildcats have reigned supreme in the Big 5 over the past two seasons, amassing an 8-0 record en route two-straight City Series titles.

Tournament Tested - Penn posted a 15-9 record last season against teams on the docket for 2004-05. The Red and Blue prove they will not shy away from national powers as six 2004 NCAA Tournament invitees appear on the Quakers schedule. Having already competed against Colorado and Maryland, Penn will also meet Villanova, Temple, Marist and Ohio State on the hardwood. A seventh team, LSU, was a possible opponent for the Quakers at the Coors Classic held on Nov. 26-27 in Boulder, Colo.

Listen to Penn Hoops - Listen to Penn women’s basketball on the radio and online. The Quakers have three games broadcast on XPN - 88.5 FM this season. The Red and Blue also have several contests that will air LIVE on www.pennathletics.com.

Written by Mat Kanan, associate director of athletic communications

Download: wbb game notes-Villanova.pdf