VILLANOVA, PA. 1/15/2017 – It was a quick turnaround for both squads as the Villanova Wildcats and the Red Storm of St. John’s played two days ago. The Wildcats had an advantage playing both games at home, and showing growth winning a tightly contested 55 – 50 game over the Red Storm. Villanova got a big effort from freshman forward Mary Gedaka who set career marks in both points scored with 16 and pulling down 8 rebounds. It was the type of contribution Nova needs and have been getting recently from the less experienced players.
“We needed points from players other than Adrianna (Hahn) and Alex (Louin) and we got it today from Mary,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta.
“She came off the bench and played well.”
In the Seton Hall game freshman Kelly Jekot contributed 17 points. In this game it was Gedaka who made 5 of 7 field goal attempts and was a perfect for 6 from the line in 27 minutes of play.
“That’s a big key for us,” Gedaka said. “A majority of our players are less experienced. If we have players that usually don’t score as many points score, that makes us a bigger threat. If we keep this trend going, our team could be very dangerous going later into the season.”
Forward Alex Louin had a team-high 19 points and added 4 assists. Team leading scorer Adrianna Hahn had 13 points. For the game Villanova went 17 of 48 from the field (35.4%), and was limited to 4 of 15 form beyond the arc. St. John’s is one of the best teams in the nation defending the three-point line. But the Wildcats got more two-pointers and made 17 of 19 free throws. And points are coming from different players.
“I’m not usually a scorer, but it went in my favor today,” Gedaka said.
The game was tied at 42 in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats took the lead with under six and a half minutes to play on a basket by Louin, then two more free throws by the junior gave Nova a 46 – 45 lead with 4:36 left. St. John’s got to within a point on a three-point play by guard Akina Wellere, who had a team-high 16 points. The Villanova defense took over as the Red Storm missed their next five field goal attempts. A 5 – 0 run over four plus minutes keyed by Louin and Gedaka gave the Wildcats a six-point lead with just under 30 ticks on the clock remaining.
“I thought that was our best defensive effort of the year,” Perretta said.
St. John’s pulled to within 53 – 50 as Wellere hit a three-pointer at the 5 second mark, but Gedaka converted two free throws for the final margin of victory.
Jade Walker added 13 point for the Red Storm who were 18 of 46 from the floor (39.1%).
Villanova (8 – 9) and St. John’s (12 – 6) are tied for forth in the Big East with identical 4 – 3 conference records tied for fourth place.
The Wildcats take the floor again on Wednesday playing their final Big Five game of the season against Penn at the Palestra. The Cats will be going Big East to Big Five.
“It’s exciting,” said Gedaka about Big Five games. “My Mom (Lisa (Angelotti) Gedaka) played for Villanova and she harped about how big and exciting those Big Five games were. We will focus on Penn now and see how far it takes us.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian