WBB: Villanova wins one of three in tournament

Daniel Madden

The women’s basketball team spent its Thanksgiving break on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam Classic. Usually a time for feasting and football, Thanksgiving made time for basketball, and the Wildcats were sure to not let tradition slow them down. Playing three games in three days, Villanova took its first two to the wire but lost both. However, the third and final game brought victory, and the team left the Virgin Islands 1-2.

Villanova first fell 47-45 to Wisconsin on Thanksgiving Day. The Wildcats rallied to take a two-point lead in the second half after eliminating a first-half deficit. Despite holding the lead with just 1:26 left in the game, Villanova was unable to finish on top after missing a late layup that would have sent the game into overtime.

A low-scoring first half saw the Wildcats go 12 minutes without a point and Wisconsin eight minutes without a basket. After Villanova overcame a seemingly insurmountable 11-point deficit to cut the score to 20-15 at halftime, they took the lead on a 3-pointer from Grant, going up 33-31 with 12:12 to go. But the Badgers proved too tough, and when Villanova again took the lead on senior Siobhan O’Connor’s 3-pointer at the 1:26 mark, Wisconsin immediately came back with sophomore Alyssa Karel’s 3 to regain the lead. Though Grant later hit a layup with 12 seconds left to move to within one, Wisconsin pulled out the win en route to the championship over Baylor.

Senior Lisa Karcic and junior Tia Grant led the team with 11 points each, and they both hit two 3-pointers.

Wisconsin Junior Rae Lin D’Alie finished with eight points, three assists and five boards for an all-around solid game but gave the Wildcats a chance when she missed a free throw with 10 seconds left in the game.

Villanova took on sixth-ranked Baylor the next day. After getting destroyed in the first half and trailing 37-21 at halftime, the Wildcats surged from a 16-point deficit with 11:49 left to move to within three points with 16 seconds remaining. The Lady Bears hit their last four free throws to win 62-57 and avoid the upset.

Senior Laura Kurz scored 17 points to lead the team. She also had six rebounds and three blocked shots. Junior Maria Getty posted 14 points, and Karcic added 11.

The Lady Bears dominated the first half, as senior Jessica Morrow scored 13 of her 17 points then. Senior Rachel Allison tallied 16 points for the game, and senior Jhasmin Player had 14.

In their third game, the Wildcats defeated Central Florida 68-50. A close game saw Villanova, with a three-point deficit with 13:32 left in the second half, go on a 13-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 49-39 lead. Karcic later extended the lead to 18 with back-to-back 3-pointers, and Kurz stretched it further to 23 after a layup with 2:42 remaining.

Kurz finished with 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting. She also had six rebounds, five assists and two blocks. Getty scored 17 points, and Karcic added 14 more with four 3s.

For the Knights, sophomore D’Nay Daniels scored 15 points, with 11 in the first half to help them go up six early on. Sophomore Emma Cannon added 10 points and seven rebounds for UCF.

Villanova (3-3) next takes on St. Joe’s tonight in Big 5 competition.