A furious fourth quarter rally fell just short for the Wildcats on Tuesday as the team dropped a competitive matchup with Temple, 74-69, at McGonigle Hall in Philadelphia.
A lead once as large as 18 was trimmed to just one when senior Mary Gedaka cashed-in on a three-point attempt with just 20 seconds remaining in the contest. Forced to foul, the ‘Cats sent the Owls’ Marissa Mackins to the stripe, where the sophomore successful converted two free-throws. On the ensuing possession, Villanova’s Bridget Herlihy came up empty on a game-tying effort from deep. After another pair of free-throws, the victory was sealed for the home team.
Gedaka led the ‘Cats with 20 points on the night, a performance which included five made three-pointers. Freshman standout, Madison Siegrist contributed 17 points, as did junior Cameron Onken. Siegrist and Onken also matched each other in the rebound column, recording 10 apiece to lead the team. For the second straight game, Onken’s offensive output marked a new career best. The guard set her previous scoring high of eight in the ‘Cats last game, versus St. Joe’s. Junior point guard, Raven James, also enjoyed a career night, dishing out six assists.
Temple, which improved to 6-5 with the win, was paced by 19 points from freshman Ansonah Alexander, whose impressive stat line also consisted of 11 rebounds and 7 assists. Junior Mia Davis pitched in 16 points for the Owls.
With 2:14 to play in the first quarter, Villanova’s hot shooting had the team in front, 22-18. Over the next 5:11 of game time, however, Temple embarked on a 10-0 run which gave it the advantage for good.
Alexander knocked down a short jumper with 5:03 to play in the third quarter, bringing the Temple lead to its summit at, 56-38. From that point onward, the Wildcats vastly improved their defensive performance while continuing to hit from three, a combination that allowed them to climb back into the contest.
In the end, this surge, albeit a strong one, would not be enough to give ‘Nova its second straight Big Five win.
Temple’s ability to push the pace proved crucial, with the Owls to scoring 19 fast break points in the game compared to a mere two by Villanova.
The Wildcats now sit a 4-5 for the season and will look to get back to the .500 mark when they visit La Salle on Dec. 21.