VILLANOVA, PA. 11/6/2019 – The Villanova Wildcats started their new season. That is always new and exciting. But this year a bit different. It is the 42nd season for Coach Harry Perretta, and will be his last season on the Nova bench.
“At some point you knew this was going to happen,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “I went in knowing that each game was going to one less game, one game closer to the end of the season. I just wanted to be the best I can going out there.”
And the Wildcats were without last year’s leading scorer Kelly Jekot.
All of that aside, there was a basketball game to be played. Nova ran into an opponent with more experience and a better inside game. The George Washington Colonials got 40 points close to the basket to take home a 68 – 56 win at the Finneran Pavilion. It was much like the opposite from last season where Villanova had scorers and experience and won 60 – 45.
At the start GW hit back to back three-pointers by Tori Hyduke and Sydney Zambrotta. That opened the inside and George Washington called on their experience and knew where to go.
“You can see our inexperience,” said Perretta. “We’re out of position. We physically are able to guard, but we’re letting them catch the ball a foot from the basket and turn and lay it in. Those are things you have to play through.”
The Colonials held a 38 – 25 lead at halftime. Half of those points came in the paint. Villanova was having a problem generating sustained offense. In the second half GW opened the third quarter with a 10 – 4 run, all points coming off layups. The lead would grow to as many as 22 points.
For Villanova turnovers became an issue. The Cats were getting some, but could only produce 6 points off 13 Colonial turnovers. The 15 miscues were limiting Nova’s chances at the basket.
“We made mistakes, got frustrated and then you compound those mistakes, Perretta said. “Last year we did that to them with an experienced team. It was the exact opposite game down there last year than this one up here this year.”
Three pointers? Villanova made 7 of the 31 they tried. Bridget Herlihy made two from distance to score 12 points. The Wildcats got two three-pointers from Brooke Mullin. Madison Siegrist had a team-high 14 points and 9 rebounds. Brianna Herlihy added 12 points. Mary Gedaka was limited to 2 points.
“This group is not ready to play at this level yet,” Perretta said. “We need experience. It’s going to take some time.”
Zambrotta was the game leading scorer getting 17 points as she went 3 for 6 from beyond the arc. Hyduke added 10 points. Alexandra Maund scored 12. Fellow forwards Neila Luma and Kayla Mokwuah contributed 9 points each. Luma had a team-leading 7 rebounds.
Villanova takes the floor again on Saturday hosting the James Madison Dukes. It is American history figures schools for the mainliners.
And for Harry Peretta another game.
Written By: Glenn Papazian