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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