Women’s Basketball wins three straight



Dave Jarman

While the Villanova Women’s Basketball team is on a three-game winning streak, including two road wins against St. John’s (the reigning Big East Tournament Champions) and Seton Hall, its success is not final with four games left in the regular season.

The Wildcats’ end-goal is to contend for the Big East Championship, and it starts by playing hard night in and night out. 

“We don’t have that good of a record right now,” sophomore point guard Adriana Hahn said. “We just have to see and play each game as it is.” 

The star guard from Wilmington isn’t completely right. The Wildcats have an overall record of 14-11, 9-5 in the Big East. Yet, they are getting hot at the right time of the season.

After their win against Seton Hall on Sunday, the Villanova women are 10-3 in their last 13 games and boast a 7-3 record on the road this season. 

In their game at St. Johns last Friday, Hahn sparked the Villanova offense by going 4-for-4 from the field, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc. That ignited an 8-2 run and a 20-14 lead over the Red Storm in the first quarter. Hahn believed this quick start was important for the Wildcats. 

“We just have to come out strong and be prepared,” Hahn said. We had a good warm up before the game, so I knew we were ready to play.”  

With the start that the Wildcats had, Hahn was able to show her confidence in the first quarter.  

“I just have to stay confident in my shot,” she said. “ I knew [St. John’s guard] Aaliyah Lewis was going to put a lot of pressure on me handling the ball full court, so I just have to stay in the game and be focused.”  

With a quick start in the first quarter and a hot hand from Hahn, the Wildcats never looked back. They went on an 11-4 run to gain a 42-29 halftime lead and later on a 12-0 run to retain a 56-37 lead after the third quarter.

Despite shooting 1-for-10 from the field in the game’s final quarter, Villanova did not have a lead less than eight points. The Wildcats went 7-for-9 from the free throw line en route to a 66-56 victory. In addition to Hahn’s 17 points and a career-high eight rebounds, Villanova got help from their bench as forward Megan Quinn and guard Kelly Jekot scored 18 of their 19 bench points.  

The momentum from the Wildcat bench-play continued last Sunday at Seton Hall, as four of five Wildcats would score double digits in their 87-52 win.

Senior guard Jordan Dillard led the Wildcats with 15 points, going 7-for-8 from the field. In addition to Dillard, Jannah Tucker finished with 10 points, Jekot had 12 and freshman forward Mary Gedaka added 11 more to contribute to a total of 50 points off the bench. Hahn feels that their bench play is an important aspect to their success. 

“We all have the skill and the green light to score and help each other score,” Hahn said. “We just have to stay in the rhythm of our game, play confident, work together and play together.”  

Team manager Jimmy Davis agrees. 

“It definitely is important because it gives the starters a chance to rest and not worry about coming into a tie game or a deficit,” he said. “Some of the players that come off the bench have experience. Jordan [Dillard] is a senior and Megan Quinn is a junior. You also have a lot of youth like freshmen Kelly Jekot and Mary Gedaka, so there’s a mix and match of experience coming off the bench.”

One flaw the Wildcats have shown this season is their inconsistent rebounding. In their battles on the boards these past two games, the Wildcats were outrebounded at St. Johns 44-32, largely due to the 20-rebound performance by Red Storm center Maya Singelton. She also scored 13 points. 

Against Seton Hall the Wildcats bounced back as they outrebounded the Pirates 39-22. 

Yet, the remarkable play of Gedaka in particular has helped settle Villanova’s rebounding woes this season. Recently known for her 20-point, 10-rebound performance in their comeback victory against Butler earlier this year, Davis believes that Gedaka, who totaled eight rebounds these past two games, has an instinct for the ball. 

“It helps having Mary Gedaka because she has a nose for the ball,” Davis said. “It seems that the 50-50 balls always end up in her hands. It looks like she has an instinct to go after the ball.”   

With these two road wins, the Wildcats are fourth overall in the Big East and would receive a first round bye if the Big East Tournament started today. With the way the team has been playing, it is becoming a contender to win the Big East Tournament. Davis likes their chances of making a run at the in the first week of March.     

“We’ve played well in the Big East,” Davis said. “It depends if they show up or not for the game. In the beginning of the year there were games where it looked like the team was not ready to play, and ending up losing badly to teams they should have beaten. But the way they are playing right now, I can see a deep run.” 

In order to make a deep run, the Wildcats will need to focus on their next game against Xavier this Friday in their second-to-last home game this season. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1.