‘Cats claw past Panthers for victory

Courtney Scrib

Villanova’s women’s basketball team defeated Pittsburgh, 75-45, at the Pavilion on Sunday afternoon in a game that featured a near record setting number of three point shots and one player reaching a career milestone. With their second straight win, the Wildcats improved their record to 16-5 overall and 6-4 in the Big East. They remain undefeated (9-0) at home.

“We struggle in every single game we play in,” Villanova head basketball coach Harry Perretta said. “Today [ . . .]was the exact opposite of the way the season’s been going.”

Villanova’s domination from behind the arc began 4:38 into the game when senior Kelly Nash connected on the first of her team-high five 3-pointers. In the first half alone, the ‘Cats hit 11-of-18 from long range, giving them a commanding 46-25 advantage over the Panthers by halftime. They finished the game 16-of-26 (two shy of the school record) with contributions from eight different Wildcats.

“Today we had kids that normally weren’t making threes, making threes,” Perretta said, referring to players like sophomore Jenna Viani, Jackie Adamshick and Betsy McManus. “I keep telling people you don’t know with us.”

In the second half, the Wildcats began how they left off the first half by hitting three 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to take a 55-28 lead.

One of those shots came from senior guard Courtney Mix which helped secure her position as one of the top all-around players in Villanova history. She became the seventeenth Wildcat to score 1,000 points and received a standing ovation from the crowd. “She’s been consistent,” Villanova head basketball coach Harry Perretta said. “She deserves to get it.”

Villanova shot 54 percent from the field overall and had three players in double figures. While Nash led the way with 15 points, Adamshick and Mix followed with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Along with a strong offensive performance, Villanova’s defense also proved too much for Pittsburg to handle. The Wildcats held the Panthers to 25.4 percent field goal shooting and allowed them just one field goal in the game’s final thirteen minutes.

It was the ninth time this season that Villanova has held an opponent under 50 points.

Compared to previous games that both Perretta and Mix describe as “life and death,” Sunday’s game saw the Wildcats grab the lead early and maintain it throughout the game.

Their 75 points was a season-high.

“All of a sudden we exploded. We made all of these kinds of shots that we haven’t been making,” Perretta said. “We don’t know if that’s going to happen all the time, but it happened today.”

The Wildcats return to the home court on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. to play West Virginia.