WBB: ‘Cats fall short in close games

Carolyn Brown

Playing against the team ranked No. 19 in the country did not stop the women’s basketball team from putting up a fight. On Jan. 30, the Wildcats faced the Louisville Cardinals in an attempt to put their losing streak on hold.

The lead went back and forth the entire first half. Sophomore Lisa Karcic showed her range and drained a 3-pointer to finish the first half with 10 points. Red-shirt freshman Tia Grant ended the half with eight points, while junior Stacie Witman recorded five points. The Wildcats headed into the locker room at the end of the first half with a lead of 31-30.

“We were pretty happy at halftime of this game,” junior Claire Hannenberg said. “We started off well, but the most important thing about that half was that we played through Louisville’s run. Previously, we would get frustrated and struggle when other teams made a run, but that did not happen this game.”

Coming out of the half high-spirited and confident, the ‘Cats fought the Cardinals in a close second half. Louisville pulled ahead but was answered by a Wildcat basket. The game was tied at 59 with a little under two minutes left to play. However, the Wildcats were unable to make another shot for the remainder of the game and fell to Louisville by a final score of 65-59.

“Louisville is a very talented and athletic team,” Hannenberg said. “They won the game with their skill. All of the tough shots that fell for us in the first half fell for them in the second. In the end, we could not hold onto the lead. Heather Scanlon did a great job tying the game, but we could not score after that.”

After their close game against Louisville, the Wildcats (7-16, 1-9 Big East) headed out to Georgetown to play the first of three road games.

After being unable to score in the first four minutes of the game, senior Jackie Adamshick scored a layup to put her team on the board. From there it was a whole new start for the ‘Cats as they fought their way back into the game after an 8-0 run by the Hoyas. Georgetown was able to increase its lead by as many as seven points in the first half as the Wildcats faced the second half behind once again, 29-23.

The second half offered hope for the Wildcats, as they were able to tie the game at 31 just three minutes into the period. However, Georgetown answered the Villanova comeback with a fight of its own, going on a 9-0 run.

The Wildcats continued to play hard as they came back within three points of the Hoyas. A layup by red-shirt freshman Kyle Dougherty, a jumper by sophomore Siobhan O’Connor and another layup by Adamshick truly showed a team effort to stay in the game.

Georgetown continued to extend its lead against Villanova, and the Wildcats were never able to get ahead of the Hoyas. In the closing seconds of the game, Villanova, again only down by three, had an opportunity to tie the score at 51 and send the game into overtime. A 3-pointer did not fall, and the final buzzer followed the shot to place another loss on the Villanova record.

“I think we made improvements from the first half to the second half,” Hannenberg said. “We are just not experienced enough to play from behind and that ended up being the case. Georgetown gave us a great opportunity to tie the game by turning the ball over under our basket, but it wasn’t our game.”

Witman ended the game with 18 points and Adamshick recorded 16.

“For the next two road games, we need to focus on getting better – plain and simple,” Hannenberg said. “Our coach told us today that our freshmen are now sophomores, sophomores are now juniors, etc., and everyone needs to step up a little and look to score. We need to focus, listen, concentrate, execute, play smart and play together. Pitt and Seton Hall are both tough opponents, and we will be ready to accept those challenges.”

Pittsburgh also got the best Villanova 66-53 Tuesday night. Adamshick led the team with 15 points in the loss.