The Villanova Wildcats moved to 7-0 on the season with their 73-68 victory over Big East opponent Creighton. Following a nail-biting victory over Drexel, the ‘Cats had their game against Providence postponed midweek. Senior guard Sarah Mortensen, third on the team in minutes played before the Creighton game, and Sam Carangi missed the game because of injury. In their place, Kenzie Gardler and Lior Garzon received their first career starts.
Maddy Siegrist led the way for the Wildcats, dominating with 34 points, 19 rebounds, and three blocks. Brianna Herlihy added 20 points along with six rebounds and four assists. Temi Carda kept the Bluejays in the game with 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists.
Villanova started the game hot, opening with a 6-0 run. The Wildcats jumped to a 16-2 lead with 4:08 left in the first quarter as Creighton struggled to hit shots. Siegrist and Herlihy scored all 20 points on 57.1% shooting (8-14) for Villanova as they took a 20-8 lead to end the first. However, the Cats defense was more impressive, holding Creighton to 21% shooting on 3-14 from the field, including 0/5 from three.
Creighton bounced back in the second quarter with a quick 11-0 run to cut the lead to 23-21 with 4:55 before halftime. Raven James ended the Wildcats scoring drought with a big three as Villanova built the lead to 32-22. Creighton narrowed the lead to 34-28 going into halftime. Villanova turned the ball over nine times in the first half, leading to nine points on the other end for Creighton.
The Bluejays continued to fight in the second half, tying the game at 40, courtesy of a layup from guard Tatum Rembao with 6:18 left in the third. The game remained tight throughout much of the third quarter until Siegrist went on an 8-0 run of her own to build the lead back to 54-48 going into the fourth quarter.
Villanova fended off Creighton’s attack in the fourth quarter to secure victory. Three-pointers were an issue for the ‘Cats, only shooting 17.6% (3-17) from deep during the second half. Despite the poor form, James and Bella Runyan hit some pivotal threes to ensure their lead. Siegrist added 10 points from the free-throw line in the second half in route to the Wildcats’ second Big East win of the season.
Villanova returns to action this Tuesday, Dec. 22 at 7:00 against the University of Connecticut in a clash of Big East powerhouses.