WBB: ‘Cats offense drenched by Red Storm

Carolyn Brown

The women’s basketball team (7-14, 1-7 Big East) continued to struggle offensively last Saturday against the St. John’s Red Storm (6-12, 2-5 Big East). The Wildcats, who have the lowest average points scored per game in the Big East, were unable to break the 50-point barrier for the second consecutive game in a 59-49 loss.

“It is very difficult to win games, especially in the Big East, if we don’t make shots,” junior Claire Hannenberg said. “We executed our offense well for stretches but did not do it consistently enough over 40 minutes to win the game, and St. John’s was able to capitalize on our errors.”

Villanova was treated to a larger-than-usual crowd at the Pavilion. Spectators gathered not only to watch the Big East Game of the Week, but also to celebrate Girl Scout Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Day. The Wildcats sported pink Nike sweatbands to commemorate the event.

However, the added support was not enough to earn a Wildcat victory. While the defense, ranked third in the Big East, managed to hold the Red Storm to 59 points, the offense could not put up the points when needed to secure a victory.

With 5:37 left in the first half, sophomore Lisa Karcic hit a 3-pointer to give Villanova a 20-19 lead. Following that basket, the Red Storm went on a 12-2 run, ending the half with a 31-22 lead.

In the second half, a scoring drought once again took its toll on the Wildcats. Villanova trimmed the St. John’s lead to five points with 10:23 left in the game, but the Red Storm strung together nine straight points to open up a 14-point lead. The Red Storm held off the ‘Cats for the remainder of the game, never allowing them within nine points.

“Our obstacles are mental in that we need to play with more mental toughness and learn to play through droughts,” Hannenberg said. “Those improvements will come with more experience.”

Villanova’s starters combined for only 33 points, while all 59 of St. John’s points came from the starters. Karcic led the ‘Cats with 14 points. Junior Stacie Witman and senior Jackie Adamshick added nine and eight points, respectively.

Aside from scoring problems, Villanova also continued to struggle with rebounding. The team is ranked 10th in the Big East in defensive boards and last in offensive rebounds. Against the Red Storm the ‘Cats only managed to pull down 27 rebounds – 11 less than their opponents.

“We need to concentrate on getting better every day, whether it be at practice or in a game,” Hannenberg said. “If every player can focus and improve on one thing, then we will be making progress. Once we start putting the pieces together consistently, the rest will follow.”

Tuesday night, the Wildcats also lost a close game to Louisville on Tuesday night by a final score of 64-59. Witman led Villanova with 15 points, while Tia Grant and Karcic scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Louisville was led by Angel McCoughtry’s 17 points and Jazz Covington’s 14 points.

The ‘Cats look to pick up a win against the Hoyas at Georgetown on Saturday at 3 p.m.