‘Cats light up the Main Line

Santo Caruso

Live by the jumper, die by the jumper. It’s an old basketball adage, and Villanova proved it to be true. Fortunately, the ladies also confirmed the idea that good defense always beats good offense.

The women’s basketball team used hot three point shooting, specifically from guard Betsy McManus and forward Courtney Roantree, to blast past Penn on Sunday. Then the ladies used a defensive stand to pull away from LaSalle on Wednesday.

The game against the Quakers was never in question, but runs of 12-5 and 14-2 helped pad a lead that resulted in a 69-44 victory for the Wildcats. The ‘Cats shot 11-26 from the three point stripe, with Roantree and McManus hitting three treys and Liad Suez and Jennifer Hilgenberg adding two more each.

‘Nova also protected the ball, turning it over only six times and cleaning the glass to the tune of 39 rebounds.

Kate Dessart Mager pulled in over a rebound for every minute she played, and her game high of 10 would be a preview of things to come against the Explorers on Dec. 8.

Mager went off on the Wildcat second straight Big 5 opponent, scoring 23 and pulling down 11 rebounds. Cooling off from the Penn game, the ladies only hit five for 20 from behind the arc. LaSalle used the poor start to keep the game close, but collapsed late 70-54.

The six-foot forward from Media, Pa. imposed her will down low, shooting 11 for 17. Suez helped out her counterpart, Mager, by adding 21 of her own.

This is the third straight game Nova’s leading scorer came off the bench. McManus earned a team high 35 minutes off the becnch by dishing eight dimes against the flailing LaSalle players.The loss dropped the Explorers to 3-3, while raising the mainline maidens to 5-2.

The ‘Cats continued to get good guard play and made crisp passes, only committing four turnovers to go with 20 assists. (For those scoring at home, that is an amazing five to one ratio.)

The girls’ next game takes place on Saturday at 2 p.m. where they will face St. Joe’s. On Tuesday, the Wildcats conclude their Big 5 competition with Temple on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. If ‘Nova can sweep the next two games, they will win the City 5 for the second consecutive year.