Hunger fuels ‘Cats into quaterfinals

Dave Pedra

Editor’s Note: At the time of press, the result of the Villanova-Western Kentucky game had still not been determined.

The Wildcats came out hungry Tuesday night against Xavier and satisfied their pangs with a second round 59-47 win for ‘Nova. Four players finished in double digits for the game, led by Jackie Adamshick’s 15 points. Liad Suez-Karni added 14 points against the Musketeers while Kate Dessart-Mager chimed in with 12 and Jenna Viani contributed 11 points.

The numbers put up by the women were misleading to the match’s dynamic.

“We came out pretty hard in the first half, but then we let up as the half went on,” Adamshick said.

The Wildcats entered the locker room at halftime only leading by six points in front of the dedicated fans at the Pavilion. It was the effective play of the second half that sealed the victory for the ‘Cats.

“We played pretty well,” coach Harry Perretta said in Tuesday’s post-game press conference. “We played pretty good defense and made shots when we needed to.”

The girls made 4-of-9 three-pointers in the second half, totaling seven for the game and finished with a 42.5 shooting percentage for the night.

However, according to Perretta, the team’s defense was the key aspect to the resulting victory. The Wildcats generated seven steals against Xavier and held the Musketeers to a mere 32.8 field goal percentage. In three out of their last four games, Villanova had held their opponents to less than 50 points.

While defending the ball proved to be successful for the Wildcats, their lack of rebounding, especially on the offensive end, was an area of concern for their next game against Western Kentucky.

The Lady Toppers of Western Kentucky finished the regular season with a 17 RPI ranking and were the regular season champions of the Sun Belt Conference.

“Western Kentucky is a very talented team, and we really won’t be able to win if we play the way we played [Tuesday night] against Xavier,” Dessart-Mager admitted. “They are a quick team with an excellent post player. We will have to focus on defense in order to have a chance to win.”

In order to keep pace with the talented Lady Toppers, who feel they were snubbed by the NCAA and have a point to prove to the nation, the Wildcats planned to focus on playing their own game.