VILLANOVA, PA. 2/21/2020 – The Villanova Wildcats women’s basketball team got a significant win over a team in the upper echelon of the Big East standings. The Wildcats won 61 – 47 over the 2nd place Marquette Golden Eagles at the Finn. It avenged an earlier loss to Marquette this season. Senior forward Mary Gedaka led the Wildcats with 21 points. Fellow senior Bridget Herlihy added 18 points in the effort.
“This win was crucial,” Gedaka said. “It was a win we wanted to get back. In the first game we didn’t play as best as we could. We were right there. We locked down in the game plan. Everybody contributed in some way, shape, and form, and it was a team win.”
The Wildcats had a balanced effort, but credit the defense who held the Golden Eagles to their lowest point total of the season. Marquette turned the ball over 18 times and made 16 of 52 from the field (31.4%). The Golden Eagles converted only one of twelve three-pointers. The number of Marquette turnovers were the highest by an opponent for the Nova. It was a matter of making things uncomfortable for the visitors.
“What we did was we took them out of their comfort zone on offense,” said Coach Harry Perretta. “When you get out of your comfort zone, you turn the ball over on your own.”
Offensively, Nova made shots hitting 24 of 57 attempts (42.1%), and made 10 of 27 from distance. The three-point shooting came to the rescue in the fourth quarter when Marquette made a run to pull to within 48 – 36 which erased half of Villanova’s biggest lead.
The Wildcats responded with a trio of three-pointers by Cameron Onken, Bridget Herlihy, and one from the deep corner late in the shot clock by Kenzie Gardler. Gedaka added two baskets and the lead was back to 20-points with 4 minutes to play.
“Being in non-conference game and early in the conference has prepared us for these crucial situations.” said Gedaka. “They did make a run, but with the experience that we had we were able to respond flawlessly.”
“We hit some threes,” Perretta stated. “They went zone. We didn’t make any shots and they make a run at us. The big three by Cameron (Onken) in the corner, then Kenzie (Gardler) made one.”
Herlihy was one-point shy of her career-high. Maddy Siegrist was held to 9 points. Selena Lott scored 13 points for Marquette and Camryn Taylor added 11 points.
Villanova won the second quarter 14 – 5 which was the fewest points given up in a quarter in Big East games this season.
The Wildcats improve to 15 – 11 overall and are 9 – 6 in the league. Nova came into the game among a jumble of teams that can be seeded as high as third or as low at seventh in the Big East. Marquette is 20 – 7, 11 – 5 in the conference.
“It was one of those games where we played a good solid all-around game,” said Perretta”.
Next for Villanova is a Sunday game against league leading and nationally ranked DePaul. It will be an emotional day as it is Senior Day and will be the final regular season home game for Coach Harry Perreta.
For the Wildcats it will be good to go in on an uptick.
“To say the least,” Gedaka said. “It’s the confidence this team has right now and going in with that momentum. Getting a win against a very good team going in and facing the top team in the league gives such confidence for us. With everybody contributing, so much more.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian