In a Friday night matchup in the Finneran Pavilion, The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Providence Friars 53-33. After a shaky start to the season, this is the Wildcats third consecutive victory. The Wildcats grabbed two important road wins against Seton Hall and St. John’s, and have now added one more crucial Big East win to their resume.
The ‘Cats got off to a fast start in this one, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead before the first Providence basket came over five minutes into the game. Villanova held the Friars to 1-9 shooting to start the game and forced five turnovers. The strong defensive effort continued for the Wildcats. At the end of the 1stquarter the score was 14-4 in favor of Villanova. The Friars went 2-12 from the field and went over four minutes without scoring at one point. The Wildcats committed four first quarter turnovers themselves, but efficient and balanced scoring gave them a comfortable lead.
Halfway through the second quarter the Villanova lead had been extended to 19-6. The defense continued to be the story for the Wildcats as they held Providence to 3-20 (15%) from the field. By halftime the Wildcats led 31-8. Kelly Jekot was the leading scorer with 12, outscoring the entire Providence team by herself. Providence shot 4-28 (14.3%) in the first half and committed nine turnovers.
The Friars came out of halftime much quicker than they entered it. The Wildcats lead extended to 26 after an Adrianna Hahn three, but the Friars answered and were able to make a small dent in the deficit, shortening the lead to 40-24 by the end of the 3rdquarter. They were able to cut the lead to 13 at the start of the 4thquarter, but another mini Villanova run capped off by a three from Hahn put the Wildcats up 48-29 with five minutes left. Hahn hit another three just moments later, but this one was special. Hahn’s fourth three of the game gave her the record for most three’s made in a career in Villanova women’s basketball history.
Jekot and Hahn led the Wildcats with 14 points apiece. Jekot shot 6-11 from the field, and Hahn went 4-10 from behind the arc. Mary Gedaka led the team on the boards, finishing with eight, while Jekot and Hahn each grabbed five. The Friars finished the game shooting 11-53 (20.8%) while coughing up 14 turnovers.
With the win the Wildcats improve to 14-7 on the season, and 5-5 in Big East play. It is a quick turnaround for Villanova, they are back in action on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Pavilion against Creighton.