Friday, August 28, 2015

Past Becomes The Present In Tourneys at St. Joseph's And Villanova

Guru's note: There is a print story from the Inquirer sports section in the main part of rounding up Monday's games

Past Becomes The Present In Tourneys at St. Joseph's And Villanova


Guru's note: There is a print story from the Inquirer sports section in the main part of rounding up Monday's games

By Mel Greenberg

  It will be like old times with a different twist Tuesday when Boston U. and host St. Joseph's meet for the title of the Hawk Classic at Hagan Arena while later on the Main Line Drexel will battle host Villanova in the championship of the Wildcats Christmas Tournament.

 Boston U. ruined South Carolina coach Dawn Staley's homecoming with a stunning 68-67 victory in the first round Monday that at the same time made the homecoming for Terriers coach Kelly Greenberg special.

 Ironically, Greenberg beat a Staley team the last time the two hooked up when her Penn team beat Temple in the Owls' Liacouras Center in the 2003-04 season. Temple then responded with a Big Five-record 18-game win streak including four straight 4-0 Big Five outright sweeps before Staley left for the Gamecocks after the 2008 season.

  Greenberg is a former La Salle star and she and St. Joseph's coach Cindy Griffin have competed against each other dating back to their formative years and through the Catholic League and then college when Griffin played for the Hawks.

  "Yeah, we've been rivals for a long time," Greenberg said.

   The win was only the second-ever for Boston U. of the America East against a team from the Southeastern Conference.

   "You don't think about these things while the game is going on," Greenberg said. "But then when you have time to reflect, yeah, the win here is right up there."

   Greenberg won two Ivy titles with the Quakers and also won in the America East regular season.

   "The kids played great and the thing that made it really special was all their parents were here and all my family was here to see it happen."

     South Carolina will play Brown at 2 p.m. at the Hagan Arena before the championship game gets under way.

    Meanwhile, former Villanova star Denise Dillon will go against Wildcats veteran coach Harry Perretta at 7:30 p.m. at the Pavillion after Loyola of Maryland meets San Francisco for third place.

     The two teams have scrimmaged in the past in private encounters and Perretta has spent much of his free time during the season watching the Dragons in West Philadelphia.

       "Harry's always wanted to play me since I became coach here, but I wanted to get the program in order before agreeing to it," Dillon said recently.

       Drexel won its first-ever Colonial Athletic Association title last season.

      Speaking of the CAA, the honors keep going to Delaware redshirt-freshman sensation Elena Delle Donne in her rookie season. After tying a Blue Hens scoring record with 39 points against Buffalo last week, she earned both player and rookie of the week awards Monday from the conference.

         -- Mel


Inquirer Sports Columnist
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About this blog
Mel Greenberg covers college and pro women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he has worked for 38 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. He was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Click here for Mel's list of All-Decade players from Philadelphia-area schools.

Other contributors

Jonathan Tannenwald is a producer with In addition to covering the local college scene, he spent two years as the Washington Mystics beat writer for Women's Hoops Guru. He also writes his own blog, Soft Pretzel Logic, which covers men's college basketball, football, and other sports.

Kathleen Radebaugh is a recent graduate of St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia. She covered women's basketball for the school's newspaper, The Hawk, and served as sports editor her sophomore year. She was also a four-year member of the varsity crew team.

Erin Semagin Damio covers the University of Connecticut and the WNBA's Connecticut Sun for the blog, and contributes other features. The Storrs, Conn., native also attends Northeastern University, where she is a coxswain on the varsity crew team.

Acacia O'Connor is based in Washington, D.C., where she reports on the Mystics and the college basketball scene in the nation's capital. A graduate of Vassar college, she played on the varsity women's basketball team and was editor of the student newspaper.

Click on any of the contributors' names above to e-mail them.

Reach Mel at

Mel Greenberg Inquirer Sports Columnist
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