Women knocked out by Purdue

Anne Boyd

Despite holding a five point lead at halftime, the women’s basketball team fell to Purdue 60-42 on March 23, ending their time in the NCAA Tournament.

“Purdue has the ability to score at all angles, they aren’t a one-dimensional team,” ‘Nova head coach Harry Perretta said before the game. “[Shereka] Wright will be hard to guard. They have four or five players that could play point, they are a very versatile team and that makes it difficult to guard them. We will be forced to play small the first five to seven minutes. We can’t sag off and not guard this girl or that one. We have to guard them all and we have had trouble guarding versatile teams.”

The seventh seeded Wildcats led by as many as eight points in the first half, but fell apart in the second half when Purdue outscored ‘Nova 37-14 in the final period. ‘Nova made just five of 22 shots in the second half finishing with about 35 percent. Liad Suez was the team’s high scorer with 12; Jackie Adamshick scored 11.

Villanova led 28-23 at halftime but did not score for more than six minutes after Purdue took control in the beginning of the second half. After a 10 point run by Purdue, the Boilermakers secured their win making the score 53-35 with just four minutes remaining. The Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third time in four years. They will match up against Georgia in the regional semi-finals.

On March 21 ‘Nova defeated Mississippi State 66-63 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. “We fought fiercely. The key to the game today was the ability to slow the second half and execute our offense,” Villanova head coach Harry Perretta said after the game. “We have a lot of young players and at the end of the game; we had three sophomores on the floor. When we are executing well, we look good. We knew coming into the game that we had to beat Ole Miss by passing the ball. We gained a big enough lead to hold on in the end.”

Mississippi put up a good fight coming back from a 12-point deficit and getting within three points twice. “We tried to get the pace of the game slowed and we knew we had to absorb the team’s run,” Perretta said. “We practiced slowing the pace down, we executed it, and we took the lead. It was an adjustment on us getting in controld. They made some tough shots.”

With one minute remaining in the game Mississippi’s Genice Terry brought the score to within three points. The Rebels were called for kicking the ball with 50 seconds left which gave the ‘Cats 30 seconds on the shot clock. ‘Nova was unable to capitalize on the extra time and gave Ole Miss one more chance.

The Rebels three-point attempt bounced off the front of the rim into the hands of Courtney Mix who secured the win for ‘Nova with her 10th rebound of the game.

“We are very excited. Our goal was to get here and we knew Ole Miss would be hard to beat,” ‘Nova guard Jenniger Hilgenberg said.

The game was Mississippi’s first appearance in the Tournament since 1996. Ole Miss forward Amber Watts had 23 points, leading the Lady Rebels in scoring. ‘Nova held the all-star Rebel Armintie Price, the team’s leading scorer for the season, to only three points.