This past weekend, Villanova’s women’s basketball team played its final two home games of the season in the Finneran Pavilion. On Friday, the Wildcats suffered a tough, 66-62, loss to the St. John’s Red Storm. A couple of days later, the team finished its home schedule with a, 73-68, victory over the Seton Hall Pirates.
The game against St. John’s was tightly contested throughout. Even with a quick 9-0 run by the Red Storm in the first period, ‘Nova escaped relatively unscathed and ended the period tied at 17. The second period was similar to the first in terms of neither team being able to get an edge, but it was the ‘Cats who made a 7-0 run of their own to keep the game close. St. John’s went into halftime with the lead, 33-31.
In a game of runs, Villanova looked to gain some distance against its rivals from New York City with a 14-2 run in the third period, including a pair of free throws from junior Mary Gedaka and two triples apiece from senior captain Adrianna Hahn and junior Kelly Jekot. St. John’s refused to go down lightly, as it made an 8-2 run of its own in the last two minutes of the period to tie the game, once again going into the final stanza, 48-48.
Hahn hit a three to tie the game at 62 with 37 seconds left, but a go-ahead layup by St. John’s guard Alisha Kebbe put the Johnnies ahead, 64-62. After a ‘Nova turnover, two Kebbe free throws iced the game for the Red Storm, 66-62.
Game two of the weekend had a much better result. Following Senior Day ceremonies for senior managers as well as captains Hahn, Jannah Tucker, and Grace Stant, Villanova came out strong against the Pirates. Seton Hall started out the game leading 9-5 in the first period, but ‘Nova used a signature run where they outscored Seton Hall 14-2 in the last five minutes of the period for a 19-11 lead going into the second period
The ‘Cats came out swinging in the second period as a 16-2 run including a long balls from Jekot and Hahn, two more three balls from Tucker and a couple of deuces from Brianna Herlihy and Emily Esposito. This spurt extended the lead to 22 at one point for ‘Nova, but Seton Hall trimmed their deficit to 14 going into halftime
The third period opened up with an 8-2 run from Seton Hall to cut the ‘Nova lead to 41-33, but the ‘Cats responded with a 13-4 burst of their own to regain a 17-point lead going into the final period at 57-40.
In the final period in the Pavilion for the Wildcats, it was actually Seton Hall who outscored its opponents 26-16, but it was a case of too little, too late as Villanova escaped with one last home win for their captains Hahn, Tucker, and Stant.
After splitting its last two home games of the season, ‘Nova is now 17-10 overall and 8-8 in Big East play, good enough for fourth in the conference. The Wildcats will finish their regular season schedule with another two-game weekend as they will play Xavier next Friday at 7 p.m. and Butler on Sunday at 2 p.m