The best rebounding team in the Big East showcased its talent on Saturday night as Marquette defeated Villanova, 72-59, ending ‘Nova’s tournament run.
After defeating Xavier in OT on Friday, 64-56, the no. 7 ranked ‘Cats faced the no. 2 ranked Golden Eagles. On Feb. 21, Villanova defeated Marquette, 61-47, at the penultimate game at the Finneran Pavilion. In the tournament, the team was not able to find that same energy.
The Golden Eagles outrebounded the Wildcats, 44-28, including 13 offensive rebounds. They also limited the ‘Cats to shooting just 35.6% from the floor and 27.8% from the three-point line.
Down 43-31 at the 4:35 mark in the third quarter, Villanova spearheaded a 11-2 run to end the quarter, cutting the lead to 45-42. Seniors Mary Gedaka and Bridget Herlihy and redshirt freshman Maddy Siegrist combined to score all 11 points in that stretch, and the three combined to score all 23 points in the third quarter.
Herlihy scored a career-high 22 points, shooting 8-18 from the floor. Siegrist added 21 points, and Gedaka finished the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds, securing her second consecutive double-double.
Despite a three-pointer from Siegrist that cut the lead back to two, 52-50, with six minutes remaining in the game, Marquette’s Isabelle Spingola hit a three-pointer of her own to extend the lead to five. From there, the Golden Eagles finished the game on a 17-9 run.
Selena Lott finished with a team-high 17 points, including 11 free throws. Jordan King added 14 points, and Lauren Van Kleunen scored 12.
In Head Coach Harry Perreta’s final season, the ‘Cats ended the year with a 18-13 record, finishing 11-7 in conference play. Despite their conference tournament hopes ending prematurely, the team hopes for a bid to the WNIT.