VILLANOVA, PA. 2/26/2016 – A layup by Villanova freshman Adrianna Hahn with 39 seconds to play that just beat the shot clock gave the Wildcats a two point lead. It didn’t stand, but Hahn, again, made two critical free throws to put Nova ahead 56 – 53. Xavier had one last opportunity, but senior forward Kavunaa Edwards made a steal off the inbounds pass at the ten second mark, and Villanova came away with a 58 – 55 win at The Pavilion.
“She had a big game again, she’s not afraid and doesn’t get flustered,” said Perretta about the play of Hahn. “She keeps bouncing back.”
In a close contest that had 12 ties and 13 lead changes, 3 ties and 4 lead changes in the fourth quarter, the Wildcats were able to answer each challenge by the Musketeers. This is critical for a team that lost its leading scorer, Caroline Coyer, due to injury.
“It’s unbelievable they way we’ve won the last two games,” Perretta said. “We just have to hang in there beacuse we have trouble scoring without Caroline in there, and you’re losing a senior. We have to hang in there the best we can and hope to get a couple of breaks here and there,”
Hahn had a team-high 15 points for Villanova. Edwards contributed 10 points on 5 of 9 shooting and a season-high 9 rebounds. Samantha Wilkes scored 10 points and pulled down 8 rebounds, a season-high for the junior forward.
“We won this game because Kavunaa Edwards came up huge,” Perretta said. “Offense, defense, everything. She was tremendous.”
During the contest the Cats had 4 turnovers, just one below their season-low.
Maddison Blackwell was the leading scorer in the game netting 21 for Xavier.
Villanova is 18 – 10 overall and is 11 – 6 in the Big East and remains in a three-way tie with St. John’s and Seton Hall. Nova has two wins over St. John’s and split with The Hall. They remain in contention for the #2 seed in the conference tournament. The regular season closes out on Sunday for the Wildcats as they’ll host Butler on Senior Day, trying to win another game and earn more.
“We’re just trying to win enough games just to get on the board in Indianapolis and make them consider us,” said Perretta.
This game was part of the WCBA Play4Kay initiative to raise awareness for breast cancer. The Play4Kay name is in memory of North Carolina State coaching legend Kay Yow who passed away in 2009 after a long battle with breast cancer.
Written By: Glenn Papazian