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Villanova Defeats Seton Hall, 50-45

Ryan Sarbello/Villanovan Photography
Junior forward Christina Dalce grabbed 12 rebounds in the victory.

Villanova notched another Big East win on Wednesday night, defeating Seton Hall (9–5, 1–2 Big East) 50–45.

The victory improves the Wildcats to 2–1 in Big East play and 9–5 overall.

Juniors led the way for the ‘Cats.

Junior guard Kaitlyn Orihel was the night’s leading scorer, contributing 13 points and six rebounds. Orihel was followed by junior guard Lucy Olsen with ten points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Christina Dalce led the team in rebounds, tallying 12.

The Wildcats had a slow start, trailing the Pirates on the scoreboard for the majority of the first quarter. Seton Hall soon developed a six-point lead with just under four minutes left in the first quarter.

The Wildcats made a quick comeback. 

A three-pointer and free throw from freshman guard Maddie Webber, along with an Olsen jumper in the paint, tied the game at 11. The Wildcats ended the quarter on a nine-point run to finish ahead by three.

Tightened Villanova defense held Seton Hall to 5–19 shooting and zero points from behind the arc throughout the second quarter.

However, the Wildcats saw less offensive success on 28 percent shooting in the first twenty minutes. The half ended with Villanova ahead, 26–21.

The Wildcats ramped up the intensity in the second half. Junior guard Zanai Jones connected on a three-pointer to help Villanova increase the lead to double-digits across the first five minutes. Olsen claimed seven of Villanova’s points in a 9–3 run.

The Pirates were back in the game later in the third quarter, adding seven unanswered points until they were down by five. A layup from Orihel ended the Pirates’ streak to put the Wildcats ahead, 37–30, going into the last period.

Villanova regained a safe, ten-point advantage early in the fourth quarter, but could not hold onto the lead for long. Foul trouble hurt the Wildcats as the Pirates went 6–8 from the free-throw line across the last ten minutes.

The Pirates then scored six unanswered points to cut the lead to 47–43 as the game entered a critical final minutes.

The ‘Cats sought to run out the clock for the win.

After Jones missed a three-point attempt, a timely offensive rebound from Dalce gave Villanova possession with 33 seconds remaining. Orihel added another point from a free-throw.

The Villanova defense pressured Seton Hall into a contested three-point shot that went off-target. Dalce gained control of the ball with a defensive rebound.

Two more successful free-throws from Orihel secured the win for the ‘Cats, although the Pirates made a shot in the paint as the final three seconds ticked away.

The Wildcats will have a weeklong break before returning to the Finn to take on Georgetown next Wednesday, Jan. 10. Tip-off is scheduled for 11:30 A.M.

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Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis, Co-Sports Editor
Katie Lewis is a sophomore from Miami, FL in her first year as Co-Sports Editor in 2024. From covering games to writing features and profiles, she loves to find the story behind Villanova sports. Pursuing her enthusiasm for writing and journalism in her studies at Villanova, Katie is double-majoring in English and Communication with concentrations in Journalism and Writing & Rhetoric. When Katie isn’t at Holy Grounds working on her next article, she enjoys playing tennis with Villanova’s club team.
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