Earlier today, the Wildcats opened up their Big East schedule against the Providence Friars with a 51-49 victory. With the back-to-back wins, ‘Nova is now 6-2 since starting the 2019-20 season with an 0-3 record. The victory also marks the first win in Big East conference play for the Wildcats.
In the first period, the Friars opened up the scoring with two quick buckets for a 4-0 lead. It took Villanova two minutes of game time in order for the Wildcats to get on the board, but once they did, they would not look back. For the rest of the quarter ‘Nova would go on a 16-4 run in order to take a commanding 18-8 lead to wrap up the opening frame.
In the second quarter, Villanova would maintain its double-digit lead behind a spark from junior guard Raven James. Following a goose egg in the first, James scored all seven of her points in the second to provide the scoring punch that Villanova needed. With James’ 3-3 shooting in the quarter, the point guard helped the Wildcats to take a 33-22 halftime lead.
Coming out of the locker rooms, both teams started out ice cold. The Wildcats and Friars only scored three field goals each in the third quarter, and shot a combined 6-29 from the floor in the period. Whether it was outstanding defense of non-existent offense, Villanova went into the fourth quarter with a 41-29 lead.
In the final frame, Providence finally made its push that it was looking for throughout the contest. After a Villanova three ball from redshirt freshman Madison Siegrist, the Friars put together a 10-2 run to close the gap to only a 46-39 deficit. Providence tried to keep the hot streak going, but Siegrist and senior forward Mary Gedaka made just enough plays to put Villanova over the top for a 51-49 victory. The duo combined for all 10 of Nova’s points in the fourth, just enough to prevent Providence’s 20-point onslaught to turn into a comeback victory.
Villanova’s star duo scored 18 apiece to lead the Wildcats to victory. Gedaka also pulled down 10 rebounds for her second double-double on the season. Although Providence had a better field goal percentage in the game, Villanova’s ball movement was the key to victory. The Wildcats had assists on 15 of their 20 made field goals on the day, and made just enough defensive stops to go to 1-0 in Big East play.
The Wildcats will be back in action on New Year’s Eve for their second Big East matchup of the season against Creighton. For Villanova’s last game of the decade, tipoff is set for 1 p.m.