Villanova speared a dominant second half comeback to defeat St John’s on the road in overtime, 67-62. For the first time this season, the Wildcats are now two wins over .500. The win brings their overall record to 8-6, with a 3-1 mark in the Big East.
St. John’s commanded the first half, leading 32-25 at the intermission. The Red Storm limited ‘Nova senior Mary Gedaka to two points in the half, her lowest first half total on the season.
At the end of the third quarter, Villanova began to gain momentum. Redshirt freshman Madison Siegrist drained a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to tie up the game at 44. Her basket ended the quarter on a 7-0 team run.
Siegrist continued to dominate in the fourth quarter, making a lay-up to give the team a 46-44 lead, its first advantage since the score was 6-5. Siegrist finished with a team high 22 points and a career high 15 rebounds, securing her fifth double-double of the season. On the other end of the court, strong defense held St. John’s without a field goal for the first five minutes of the final quarter.
Up 56-52 with 0:44 remaining, Villanova seemed to have sealed the game. However, St. John’s Alissa Alston flashed her speed and drove straight to the basket, cutting Villanova’s lead to two.
Following a St. John’s timeout, senior Bridget Herlihy inbounded the ball, only to be stolen by Tiana England, who converted her steal into an easy lay-up, tying the game at 56. England finished the game with a team high 21 points.
On the ensuing possession, Villanova hastily threw the ball inbounds, right into the hands of a St. John’s player. With one final possession, the Red Storm put the ball in England’s hands, who missed a shot as time expired. Teams were sent to overtime tied at 56.
In overtime, Gedaka controlled the game for the Wildcats. With 0:16 seconds remaining, she hit a straight away three to give the team a 65-62 lead. Forced to foul, St. John’s sent junior Raven James to the line. James proceeded to sink two free throws, giving the ‘Cats their largest and final lead of the game, 67-62.
Gedaka finished with 21 points, 19 of which came in the second half. James had seven points and six assists, and Herlihy added 11 points of her own.
Now at 3-1 in conference, ‘Nova sits in a five way tie for first place in the Big East. Up next, the Wildcats face Butler at home on Jan. 10. Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m.