Women’s Basketball Hits its Stride



Dave Jarman

In their fifth-straight win, the Wildcats topped Xavier on the road 72-47 last Sunday, improving to 11-9 overall and 6-3 in Big East Conference play. Despite early losses, the mindset Head Coach Harry Perretta instills in the team culture is to always stay positive.

“We have kept our morale and our character very high,” senior guard Karlie Crispin said. “I think that’s one thing that has kept us together as a team through the bad and the good. Now that we are on this winning streak, practice is more enjoyable than it was before.”

With a young team with six freshmen on the roster, the team’s camaraderie has shown to be a vital part to their recent success.

“We get along on and off the court so well, which has been really enjoyable this year,” Crispin said.  “Our chemistry comes from the friendships that we have. I feel like I can sit down, go to dinner or hang out with anybody on the team.”

These friendships have contributed to their never-give-up attitude they have displayed this season. During their five-game win streak, they overcame a 22-point deficit in the third quarter against Butler and managed to win the game in overtime. The Wildcats don’t mind playing from behind, due to the familiarity of it in the beginning of the season.  

“Even though they weren’t that great of a team at the beginning of the year, they still had a great attitude,” team manager Jimmy Davis said. “They didn’t give up on the season and showed up to every game expecting to win. They’ve been down so many times this year, that they are probably used to it.”

But attitude isn’t the only thing that wins games. Over this five game stretch, sophomore point guard Adrianna Hahn averaged 14 points per game including 22 and 23-point performances against Seton Hall and UPenn respectively. She has now scored 20-plus points on six occasions this season. The dynamic guard from Ursuline Academy has the attitude of a scorer and the most consistent shot on the team. Although only in her sophomore year, her leadership on the court has attributed tremendously to the team’s success.  

“She can really create shots for herself really well, especially for her size,” Crispin said. “She shoots the ball very consistently because she’s constantly on a scoring mindset, and there’s only a few of us on our team that are always thinking offensively. As the point guard she’s that leader, and she does what she’s supposed to day in and day out.”

Davis agrees.

“I think she’s realizing it’s her team,” he said. “She has one of the best jump shots on the team by far because she releases the ball the same every time.”  

Along with the play of Hahn, junior guard Alex Louin averaged 15 points per game during this winning streak, including her 20-point performance against Seton Hall, 19-points against Saint John’s, and 16 points against Butler.

“She’s a go-to scorer,” Crispin said. “In a time of need she’s a player we can go to in order to get some points quickly.”

Hahn and Louin’s relationship goes back to their Ameteur Athletic Union (AAU) days playing together for the Philadelphia Bells. If Hahn is having an off night, Louin has shown to pick up the slack.   

“They definitely feed off each other and are both offensive-minded players,” Crispin said. “They are generally natural scorers, and that’s how they go. And sometimes this is how a team works — when one’s not doing well, somebody else has got to step up. That’s how you win games.”  

The performances by Hahn and Louin play in favor to the offensive style Perretta plays, emphasizing the perimeter game. In their win against Seton Hall, the Wildcats made 14 threes as a team.  

“We live and die by the three, even more so than the men’s team,” Crispin said. “Our offense is basically all five out — everybody’s on the perimeter and everybody on the team can shoot threes. If you’re open, you’re shooting.”  

In addition to their perimeter game, the Wildcats are get contributions from their bench. One rising star is freshman forward Mary Gedaka. The former Gloucester Catholic Rams star has made an impact since the first day of the season. This week she was named USBWA Women’s Basketball National Freshman of the Week.

In the ‘Cat’s win against Butler, Saint John’s, and UPenn, she averaged 14.7 points and 8.7 rebounds. This includes a double-double against Butler in which she scored a career-high 20 points and 10 rebounds. Her personal success is due to her speed and ability to crash the glass on offense.

“She outperformed almost everybody when we would practice,” Crispin said. “She has a lot of speed that most big girls don’t have, and she can finish. That’s the key: you can have all the speed in the world, but if you can’t finish at the basket, there’s no need for it. Her way to get offensive rebounds has been huge, giving us second-chance points.”

Further contributions have come from junior center Megan Quinn and the versatile junior guard/forward Jannah Tucker feeding off each other in the post, the Wildcats have gone from pretenders to contenders in the Big East. With their style of play and confidence, the only team that can bring these Wildcats down are themselves.