Women’s basketball stays strong

James Evans

Christmas break was very nice to the Lady ’Cats as they won all of their six games and went 3-0 in the Big East.

This past weekend the Cats took to the road for the first time in a month to take on West Virginia in Morgantown.

The ‘Cats extended their dominance of the Big East, as they improved their record to 3-0 and 12-1 overall, as they beat Mountaineers, 53-43.

The girls were lead by Juhline who scored 20 points, including the last nine of the game. With the ‘Cats only up by three and just under two minutes left, Juhline drove to the hoop, got fouled, scored and then hit the free throw to put the ‘Cats up by seven.

However, the defense of the ‘Cats was the headline in this game. West Virginia came in with the Division I leading three point shooter in Kate Bulger, however the tight defense of the ‘Cats suffocated her when she had the ball behind the arc and prevented her from taking a single shot from behind the arc.

In the closest game of the break the ’Cats took on Virginia Tech. Katie Davis returned to form scoring a season high 26 points, in leading the ’Cats to a close 62-60 win.

The ’Cats put on an impressive free throw clinic at the end of the game, Davis hit five out of six free throws and Vianni hit one out two. Juhline and Vianni each pitched in by scoring nine points.

Going into Big East play against St. John’s with a record of 9-1, the ’Cats were feeling fairly confident about themselves and their positive attitude helped them to as they knocked of St. John’s 77-53.

The ’Cats led by only a point, 22-21 early on, but then went on a 18-0. Going into halftime the ’Cat’s held a 43-26 lead.

Villanova’s lead did not drop below 10 points as they cruised to the win.

The team was led by Kelly Nash and Nicole Druckenmiller. Nash poured in 19 points shooting an impressive 4-9 from behind the arc and Druckenmiller scored 17 points shooting 5-8 from behind the arc.

In the first round of the Wildcat Classic, the women took on Brown. Brown stayed close to the ’Cats for much of the first half and actually led by three points with eight minutes left.

However, the ’Cats went on a 17-3 run going into halftime, that put them up, 33-23. The ’Cats played strong the second half and doubled their lead and at the end of the game found themselves up, 70-50.

Once again the tandem of Davis and Juhline led the way for the ’Cats as they scored 23 and 20, respectively. Freshman Forward Kate Dessart-Mager also stepped up big in the game as she posted 10 along with four steals, two boards, two assists and a block.

The ’Cats came into their game with Fairfield with one thing on their mind-to win the Wildcat Classic. Right away the ’Cats proved that they were the best team on the floor that day, already leading by seven the ’Cats scored the next 17 and went into halftime with a comfortable 44-23 lead.

The girls did not slow down in the second half of the game building an early lead of 33, and were able to relax, blowing Fairfield out of the game, winning by 46, 88-42.

Davis scored 19 points, which brought her two-day total to 42, earning her MVP honors.

The ‘Cat’s scoring were also paced by Juhline, Jana Rediger, and Jenna Viani, who scored 14, 12, and 11, respectively.

Their first game was at the Pavilion against the Temple Owls, a Big Five opponent.

The ’Cats came into the game posting a 3-0 record in big five games, having defeated La Salle, Penn and St. Joe’s.

A win against the Owls would give Villanova their first Big Five title since the 95-96 season.

Though the ’Cats started out slow, finding themselves down by four points to begin with, they quickly rebounded and went on a 19-2 run, and a lead of 25-14. They closed the half out strong and went into the locker rooms with a 36-22 lead. The Owls tried to make a run in the second half, but the Cat’s never let their lead get below 10 and ended up winning 66-54. Juhline and Davis, the ’Cats scoring tandem, scored 18 each while Junior Courtney Mix added 12.