Holiday tournament is successful for women’s basketball

Kate McAvey

While most Thanksgiving daysconsist of turkey and mashed potatoes, the women’s basketball team’s day also includes taking home the trophy at the Double Tree Classic Tournament. After returning victorious seven out of the last 10 compeititions, the women participated in the annual tournament at Chattanooga, Tennessee. The women earned the trophy after a tough 64-59 win in the championship game against host UT Chattanooga on Saturday evening.

The tournament started Friday night when the ‘Cats defeated Evansville at the McKenzie Arena 56-49. The team shot 22-of-55 for the game, but had trouble sinking their 3-pointers, making only four of their 25 attempts. Redshirt freshman Laura Sweeney and senior Maria Getty led the team in scoring, with Sweeney sinking 14 points and Getty close behind with 13.

The game was close after the first half with the ‘Cats only up by two points, but with the start of the second half, the team was on fire. In the first 10 minutes after halftime, the team went on a 20-6 run to cushion the score, 49-36. Evansville was able to close the gap when ‘Nova went scoreless for almost four minutes of play, but the Wildcats were able to hang on to their lead and walk away with the seven-point win.

The championship game was played the next evening, and the women had their game faces on from the opening tip-off. ‘Nova put the first points on the board, and they didn’t back down. ‘Nova shot 46.8 percent from the field and was 7-of-23 from behind the arc. At halftime, the score read 36-28, and at the start of the second half, the Wildcats launched a few 3-pointers to strengthen the lead.

With 14:32 left on the game clock, the Mocs were able to battle back to tie the game at 40 points After a layup by senior Tia Grant and another to follow by junior Amanda Swiezynski, Getty sank two free throws to give the Wildcats a six-point lead. Chattanooga was able to cut the lead to two, but with a little over three minutes left, Villanova was able to extend the lead to seven. At the final buzzer, the ‘Cats were on top 64-59, securing the coveted trophy.

It took a team effort to pull out the win. Getty led the team in scoring with 15 points and totaled five-assists on the day. Sweeney tallied 12 points and seven rebounds, going 5-6 from the field. Sophomore Sarah Jones tallied nine points for the ‘Cats and went 6-7 from the foul line.

Sweeney earned the title of tournament MVP, and Getty was named to the all-tournament team after both had impressive performances for the weekend.

While everyone else was busy sleeping off their food comas, the Wildcats were sinking shots and tearing up the court.

The players lace up their sneakers again on Saturday when they take on Lehigh on the road .