Sour road trip for ‘Nova

Dave Pedra

Villanova women’s basketball returns from a long week without a win, but with experience. The Wildcats entered last weekend’s match-up against Pittsburgh at 12-6 (3-4 in the Big East.) Two consecutive loses to the Panthers on Saturday and South Florida this past Tuesday leave them No. 12 in the conference, tied with Seton Hall.

Last weekend’s loss to Pitt is painful not only because the game was so close but because Alumni Day for ‘Nova saw 48 players returning. Villanova was up at the half by three and remained in the lead or tied for the majority of the second half, but in the closing minutes the Panthers evened it up and stole one by the score of 59-56.

While several Wildcats had great numbers for the day, it was the seven turnovers committed by the girls in the second half compared to just one by Pittsburgh that ultimately decided the outcome of the contest. Despite Adamshick dropping twenty points and Dessart-Mager’s eleven, it was the 3-point percentage that skinned the ‘Cats, as they hit only four of 24, a 15 percent performance.

While the loss to Pittsburgh at home was a heartbreaker, South Florida proved to be a squad of snipers, picking off the Wildcats the entire game. The USF Bulls shot 54 percent from the floor, and only attempted seven three pointers the entire game, playing conservative, smart ball.

On an off-night for the women, Jenna Viani was the only Villanovan to reach double figures in points for the game. Whether it was the weight of the heavy, warm Florida weather or playing from behind most of the game, Villanova was sluggish. The team shot only 29 percent from the floor and couldn’t get the three pointers to drop, nailing only five of 23 attempts.

The Wildcats remain idle until next Tuesday, when they head to Notre Dame to take on the Irish, so in the mean time the three-point game needs to be found or replaced.

With two “L’s” added in the brutal Big East, there are lessons to be learned. The Wildcats have shot only nine of 49 from the arc the past two games and need to find a way to get more open looks, or else Perretta will have to rethink his basic offensive scheme.

Secondly, a rebounding presence must be established every game to get those easy points; highlighting another trend in the losses, being beat on the boards.

The Villanova Wildcats have a tough stretch of games ahead of them but are far from out of the chase, and can easily claw their way back into the top half of the Big East.