The Villanova Wildcats suffered a crushing defeat when a late layup led to a 65-63 loss to Seton Hall at the Finneran Pavilion on Sunday. The Wildcats’ record fell to 12-10, and 6-5 in the Big East.
‘Nova traded baskets with the Pirates early on, holding a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter. Senior forward Mary Gedaka took over in the second quarter with a pair of and-one layups and two three-pointers. Overall, she had 20 of the team’s 37 first-half points. The ‘Cats led, 37-29, at halftime.
The ‘Cats continued to maintain their lead in the third quarter, holding a 55-46 lead going into the final quarter. Seton Hall forward Shadeen Samuels had a strong start to the final quarter and played a big role in eliminating ‘Nova’s lead.
Seton Hall regained the lead with three minutes to go, but sophomore Mackenzie Gardler lead immediately put the ‘Cats back up, 59-57. After trading baskets and free throws for the next two minutes, ‘Nova found itself leading, 63-60, with eleven minutes left.
Seton Hall was fouled with four seconds remaining and went to the line to shoot two free throws. After making the first to tie it. Seton Hall gained the rebound off the second missed shot. Then, Samuels scored on a layup to take a 65-63 lead with two seconds remaining, when a desperation heave from freshman Maddie Siegriest fell just short.
Gedaka led the Wildcats offensively, scoring 26 points on an 8-12 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds. Siegriest had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but struggled from the three, going just 1-13. Forward Bridget Herlihy scored nine points along with three rebounds. Villanova shot 8-31 from three-point range, while the Pirates struggled going just 1-12. ‘Nova’s downfall was their 14 turnovers. They also struggled in the final quarter, scoring just eight points.
After a tough loss, Harry Perretta and the Wildcats must regroup. The team will take the court again Friday night when they travel to Ohio to play Xavier.