Women, No. 19 with win over Rutgers

Anne Boyd

Despite a 61-48 loss to Boston College on Jan. 2 which ended the 10-game winning streak, women’s basketball bounced right back and defeated Rutgers on Jan. 9 and Miami on Jan. 7. “Athleticism isn’t going to win games like these,” head coach Harry Perretta said. “We have to play smart.”

The ‘Cats improved to 12-2 after defeating Rutgers 53-49 making the game the 12th win out of the last 13 games. The game also makes for the fifth time this year the women have held the opposing team to under 50 points. The ‘Cats are 10th in the nation in scoring defense. ‘Nova also leads the nation in the category of fewest turnovers per game with just 9.5 turnovers per game.

‘Nova had its largest lead of the game at 40-32 with 13 minutes left to play. Rutgers came back over the next four minutes to steal the lead by one. A three-pointer by sophomore Liad Suez gave ‘Nova the lead again.

With the shot clock winding down sophomore Jenna Viani and junior Jennifer Hilgenberg secured the win, putting up two points each to make the final score 53-49. Senior Kelly Nash led ‘Nova in scoring with 12 points. Senior Courtney Mix and Suez and finished with 11 points each. Red-shirt freshman Jackie Adamshick and Hilgenberg both added six points each.

Mix led the team in rebounds and assists, pulling down nine rebounds and contributing four assists. Mix currently leads the team in total season assists and total season rebounds. She is close to leaving Villanova ranking in the top 10 of Villanova’s women’s basketball for all-time rebounding and assists.

After the Boston College game, the ‘Cats came back and upset the undefeated Miami Hurricanes 58-55. The game was the last time Miami would play in the Pavilion; next season, the school will officially be part of the Atlantic Coast Conference. ‘Nova’s win was the eighth straight win over Miami which came into the game with a 12-0 record. Suez led the ‘Cats to victory with a team-high 26 points.

The ‘Cats started the first few minutes of the game strong, but Miami took control quickly and at one point in the game held a 10-point lead. ‘Nova quickly came back and with one second left in the second half, Mix scored to tie the game at 29. The lead went back and forth between Miami and ‘Nova in the second half. With 30 seconds left on the clock, Suez scored two points from underneath, giving ‘Nova a two-point lead. At the 15-second mark, sophomore Kate Desart-Mager secured the 58-55 win by sinking a foul shot for the ‘Cats.

“We played hard and together tonight,” Perretta said. The ‘Cats are consistently recognized for their teamwork, with 68 percent of their field goals credited with an assist. Mix again led the team in assists with six and rebounds with nine. Sophomore Courtney Roantree contributed to the standout teamwork with five assists.

After her outstanding performances in the week’s games, Suez was named the Big East Co-Player of the Week. Suez is currently averaging 13.7 points per game which is the team high. She is third on the team with 3.6 rebounds per game.

The ‘Cat’s traveled to Virginia Tech Wednesday; results were not available as of press time. Friday the women go up against Seton Hall today at noon in the Pavilion.