Women defeat Seton Hall after powerful comeback

Anne Boyd

An amazing comeback against Seton Hall by the nationally ranked ’Cats gave the girls their 13th victory and head coach Henry Perretta his 450th career win.

After tailing at the half with a score of 17-25 Saturday afternoon, Villanova womens basketball turned the tables on the Pirates when the team came back strong and defeated the opponent 58-52.

In the first half “we weren’t playing our game,” said senior guard Trish Juhline.

Senior Katie Davis adds, “In the first half we were not playing well and we were getting frustrated. So at halftime we really tried to regain our focus to make sure we were making the right passes, finding the open person, and taking good shots. We needed to settle down a little bit and adjust to their defense.

“We did a much better job of that in the second half,” she adds.

Halftime gave the ’Cats a wake-up call. When the buzzer to start the second half sounded, the girls came out refreshed and ready to go. They came out strong scoring right off the bat and bringing the score to 20-25. After a Seton Hall turnover, Courtney Mix took a drive to the basket to bring the score up 25-28 with the Pirates still leading.

With just 14 minutes left in the game, Juhline took an impressive drive for two and narrowed the gap to one point. Two minutes later Davis put up a three pointer and gave Villanova the lead for the first time the entire game. With the score now at 36-35, Villanova stole the ball from Seton Hall Seton Hall, and went full court for a lay-up for two.

After this burst from the Wildcats Seton Hall called a timeout to regroup.

Despite the lead the girls had earned, the team knew they had to keep it up. “When we were down we knew we couldn’t make it all up on one possession, so we had to just keep working hard and playing defense,” said Mix.

Seton Hall tightened up their defense, which had a noticeable impact. The Lady Wildcats were forced to use every second of time on the shot clock. With about nine minutes left, the shot clock was counting down and even reached single digits. At the last second, Juhline swished in a three- pointer, kicking the score up 41-38. A few possessions later, Mix put up a last second shot.

With about three minutes left, Juhline went up for three, scored, got fouled and made the foul shot.

The girls turned over the ball eight times in the first half, but not once in the second half. Juhline scored 19 of her 24 points in the second half. Their relentles determination won them the game, and their powerful finish proved to make the difference and brought the girls’ record to 13-2.

Playing smart was the key to their win according to Juhline. “We knew we could beat them athlete to athlete, we just had to outsmart them.We made them make decisions.”

This match was Juhline’s 100th career game. With her game-high contribution of 24 points Juhline is also now number nine on Villanova’s all-time scoring list.

Juhlines teammates are nothing but proud for their captain. “Trish is an amazing basketball player and an even better person. She is a great teammate and I have definetly learned a lot from her,” said Davis.

Last Wednesday’s game against Rutgers brought the girls’ second loss of the season with a score of 58-57.

Rutgers held an 18-4 lead by the 11 minute mark. They kept the lead going into half time, despite Juhline’s 19 points, to lead the ’Cats in the first half. Coming out of the first half, with a score of 28-26, Rutgers widened the gap to 42-34. Villanova stayed strong and tied the game at 46 with six minutes left to play. Rutgers put up a lay-up with 25 seconds left to seal the game for them. The Wildcats were unable to get a shot off, and walked off the court with a final score of 58-57.

Watch the girls play Saturday against Notre Dame. Tip-off is at noon in the Pavillion.