The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 12, 2010

WVU women host Villanova

MORGANTOWN — All things considered, West Virginia University’s women’s basketball coach Mike Carey likes Harry Perretta.

“He’s a friend,” Carey said Monday of the man who will lead the Villanova women’s team he has coached for the last 32 years into the Coliseum for a game of Big East basketball. “But when it comes to playing him, I can’t stand him.”

See, Carey is an action kind of guy. He likes to have his team run up and down the court, pressure on defense.

Harry Perretta turns the sport of basketball into something far different that Carey sees it as.

“It’s a chess match with them,” Carey said, and he’s not one to know a pawn from a bishop.

It is always frustrating, and difficult, for Carey to face Villanova. His record against the Wildcats is 3-10, the latest loss coming last year in Philadelphia in a game that so typifies Villanova’s style that it was frightening.

The final score was a Villanova-like 54-52. It ended leaving Carey so frustrated that you can still hear it in Carey’s voice.

“We fouled them with five seconds left … near half court,” Carey said, obviously disgusted with the thought.

Villanova held the Mountaineers to only 18 points in the second half of that game, playing its own version of chess’ Sicilian Defense.

This time, in his house, Carey would like to find a way to dictate tempo, to keep Perretta’s team from walking the ball up court, taking advantage of the lack of a 10-second call to sometimes fiddle with the ball in the backcourt for 20 seconds. Or to take it into a corner, bounce it and bounce it and bounce, then move it out front and break loose with a backdoor cut against a defender who has been hypnotized by the bouncing ball.

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Bob Herzel
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