VILLANOVA, PA. 12/14/2018 – Both teams are winding down the non-conference schedule, and exams are just a day or few away, and the holidays are coming. Not an easy time of year. Add to that each team and is not familiar with each other. But, once the ball goes up, no one thinks of that, it’s just basketball.
“We were talking before the game as a few of us were in the conference room doing work until 5 o’clock,” said Wildcat forward Kelly Jekot. “We have to do our thing, but we come to the court focused.”
The Villanova Wildcats used their three-point shooting to earn a 62 – 56 win over the Georgia Bulldogs at the Finneran Pavilion. Jekot scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Wildcats to the victory. She made 7 of 10 from the floor and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, and pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds.
As a team Nova made 9 of 21 from distance while the Bulldogs converted only 1 of 8. Otherwise the shooting stats were even as each team made 23 field goals. Georgia had an edge in free throws making 9, but Villanova was a perfect 7 for 7 from the charity stripe. The Dawgs won the boards 34 – 29.
It was the difference in the game,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “I knew we would get out rebounded, out scored inside, and they would go to the foul line more. We had to make three-point shots to win and that’s what we did.”
The Wildcats have been looking for contributions in the scoring column from players other than leading scorers Jekot, Adrianna Hahn, and Mary Gedaka. They got it in this game.
Freshman forward Emily Esposito tied her career-high of 8 points as she hit 4 of 5 field goal attempts. Grace Standt tallied 6 points.
“She scored four for five,” Perretta said about Esposito. “She is shooting it better, Grace Standt is shooting it better. It’s working out really well for us now.”
“Early in the game when , we were down Emily Esposito and Grace Standt hit crucial shots,” said Jekot.
Jannah Tucker had 8 points including a three-pointer that stemmed Georgia momentum as her shot at the end of the third quarter increased the Villanova lead to 50 – 41. Adrianna Hahn added 11 points to Nova total.
Georgia (6 – 4) got 19 points from forward Stephanie Paul and guard Gabby Connally added 12 points. The Bulldogs went 0 for 2 in Philadelphia this season as the men’s team lost at Temple earlier this year.
Villanova (8 – 2) will enter Big East play next hosting 7 – 1 Butler on December 29. That’s for later. Right now they got a win over an SEC school which will help bolster their resume for the post-season.
“Beating Georgia, a very athletic team that will win 20-games this season, so this is really important down the road,” Jekot said. “Getting a win before starting the conference is a good feeling.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian