VILLANOVA, PA. 1/13/2019 – The Villanova Wildcats women’s basketball team was looking for a bounce back performance after the loss to Marquette two days before. It would be a tough assignment as the DePaul Blue Demons were next up on the schedule. Nova was facing the two teams over the weekend that were Big East preseason favorites.
Let us focus on the here and now. Villanova did show resilience, but could not get the reward losing 66 – 59 to the DePaul Blue Demons in overtime at the Finneran Pavilion. Wildcats forward Mary Gedaka led the way with a game-high 22 points, which tied her season-high, and a team leading 8 rebounds.
“The bottom line is that you have to play good defense and make crucial shots,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “We did not do that today.”
Villanova had the lead for most of the game. The Cats kept the offense wide and the middle open working the ball to inside to take it to the basket or find an open player on the wing. Gedaka, who is second in the Big East in shooting percentage, finished the game making 11 of 15 from the floor. For the game Nova made 26 of 61 (42.6%) and had 17 assists on their made field goals. Guard Adrianna Hahn recorded a game-high tying 5 assists.
DePaul (12 – 5, 3 – 2) kept making charges at Villanova throughout the game, but the home team was able to make shots to blunt the momentum, until the end.
“We did all the way to the end,” said Perretta. “We had a lead with a minute to go. Their kid hit a three to tie the game, and we missed the next shot to take the lead back.”
With 1:05 on the clock in the fourth quarter forward Kelly Jekot, who scored 17 points, made a layup giving Nova a 55 – 52 lead. The Blue Demons tied it 17 seconds later on a three-pointer by Mart’e Grays. An attempted three by Jannah Tucker was off the mark and the game headed to overtime.
In the extra five minutes DePaul outscored Villanova 11 – 4 and took home the win.
“Once to game goes into overtime, at that point we were in trouble because they are the more experienced team,” Perretta said.
The Wildcats held the Blue Demons to 31% shooting (22 – 71), but were outrebounded 53 – 35, 23 – 7 off the offensive glass. The visitors had four players score in double-figures led by Chante Stonewall who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Grays also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Ashton Millender had 12 points and Rebekah Dahlman added 11 points.
Villanova (10 – 6, 2 – 4) goes out of conference on Wednesday when they travel to the Palestra to play Penn. Should the Wildcats win, they will take the Big Five championship.
“It’s a Big Five game and all the Big Five games we’ve played have been very close,” Perretta said. “I don’t expect anything different.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian