Villanova's Perretta, Drexel's Dillon near milestones

Denise Dillon, likely to soon be winningest Division I Dragon.
Denise Dillon, likely to soon be winningest Division I Dragon. (JOHN COSTELLO / File Photograph)
Posted: February 07, 2012

Villanova coach Harry Perretta and Drexel coach Denise Dillon, who played for Perretta and the Wildcats, are approaching statistical milestones this week.

When Villanova takes the court in Chicago against DePaul on Wednesday night in a key Big East game, Perretta (613-386) will be coaching in his 1,000th game.

Perretta, who has coached 34 seasons on the Main Line, reached his 600th victory in November.

Dillon, whose Dragons are characterized as Villanova-like because of their ball movement and three-point shooting skills, will be after her 144th win Thursday night when James Madison visits the Daskalakis Athletic Center in a key contest in the Colonial Athletic Association.

If Drexel wins to earn a season sweep of the Dukes, Dillon will match former coach Lil Haas for most victories at the university since it went Division I.

Villanova, whose RPI has been in the teens and whose schedule strength has been in the top 10, needs to finish in the top eight of the powerful Big East to have a shot at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament.

Drexel is in the hunt to finish in the top four of the CAA and earn a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Villanova and Drexel are also similar in terms of taking care of the basketball.

The Wildcats lead the nation with fewest turnovers at 11.8 per game, while Drexel is seventh at 13.0.

Honors. The Wildcats' Lauren Burford, who was named Big East rookie of the week on Monday, is tied with Penn State's Maggie Lucas, a graduate of Germantown Academy, and three others for ninth in the nation with 41.7 percent three-point shooting accuracy.

Temple's Shey Peddy, who was named for the second straight time Big Five and Atlantic Ten player of the week, is among the nation's leaders in scoring with an average of 17 points per game.

Delaware's Elena Delle Donne continues to pace the country at 28.8 points per game, almost four better than her nearest challenger.

Making progress.

La Salle, picked 11th in the A-10 coaches preseason poll, is sixth, just ahead of St. Joseph's, and the two will meet at the Explorers' Tom Gola Arena at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

La Salle's magic number to clinch a return to the A-10 tournament is two, while the Hawks are likely to make the event they will be hosting next month.

Both are still in contention with Temple to finish second in the Big Five behind Villanova, which clinched the title with a 4-0 sweep last month.

A-10 Logjam?

If Temple were to win the rest of its A-10 games, and if this weekend Dayton upsets front-runner St. Bonaventure, which was picked sixth in the preseason poll, it's possible there would be a three-way A-10 tie at the finish.

In that scenario, Temple would emerge with the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament through the tie-breaking process.

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