‘Cats win eighth straight in Big East

Joseph DeNicholas

The women’s basketball team (17-8, 9-2 Big East) defeated the No. 25 DePaul Blue Demons (19-7, 7-5) 50-46 at the Pavilion on Saturday. Junior guard Maria Getty paced the ‘Cats with 12 points, while senior forward Laura Kurz added 10 points and nine rebounds. Villanova halted the streaking Blue Demons, who had won six of their last seven entering the game.

Senior forward Lisa Karic put up eight points to reach 1,000 total points for her collegiate career. The Long Island native went 2-2 from 3-point distance against DePaul.

The win marked Villanova’s eighth consecutive victory in Big East play, improving to third in the conference behind the No. 1 Connecticut Huskies and the No. 10 Louisville Cardinals. The eight-game winning streak in conference play is the longest streak since the ’03-’04 season when the ‘Cats won their final eight games. The win was also Villanova’s second win over a ranked opponent this season. ‘Nova defeated No. 22 Notre Dame 55-48 on Jan. 24.

Villanova built an eight-point first-half lead with 12:32 remaining and ended the half up 26-23. DePaul’s sophomore guard Sam Quigley led all scorers with 13 points, while senior forward Natasha Williams contributed 11 points. Quigley’s layup with 11:52 left in the second half gave the Blue Demons a 38-36 lead. However DePaul failed to hit another field goal for nearly 10 minutes, allowing Villanova to take a 46-39 lead that it never relinquished.

DePaul fought back to within one point with just over nine seconds left, but Williams was called for an intentional foul on Kurz with just 4.2 seconds remaining. Kurz knocked down one-of-two at the line putting the Wildcats up 48-46. Senior guard Siobhan O’Connor iced the game when she sunk a pair of free throws with 3.3 seconds left.

Poor shooting plagued the Blue Demons, who were only 1-of-13 from 3-point range and 36 percent overall, while Villanova went 9-of-21 from deep. Both teams shot just 50 percent from the free-throw line.

Villanova scored by committee, having nine players contribute in scoring and 11 players seeing time on the floor. The Blue Demons controlled the inside, scoring 38 points in the paint compared to Villanova’s eight points. The Wildcats received a big boost from their reserves, scoring 13 bench points compared to DePaul’s two points.

Villanova will host Louisville on Saturday.