Wildcats split road trip against St. John’s, Seton Hall



Rachel Bleier

The women’s basketball team travelled New York on Friday to take on St. John’s, tallying a 71-59 win over the Red Storm. 

With this victory, the Wildcats improved to 16-9 (9-5 Big East) and brought Head Coach Harry Perretta within one victory of 700 career wins. Just days later, a 60-50 loss to Seton Hall denied Perretta his landmark triumph. 

St. John’s led 29-23 with 2:38 remaining in the second quarter, when the Cats went on an 8-0 run to take the lead 31-29 at the half. 

Junior forward Samantha Wilkes made two free throws, igniting the Wildcats offense. Sophomore guard Alex Louin then buried a deep three from the left wing. Senior guard Caroline Coyer drained another three-pointer to finish the first half scoring, putting ‘Nova up by eight with 54 seconds left on the clock. 

The Wildcats finished the first half shooting 11-of-22 from the field and 53.8 percent from beyond the arc.

However, St. John’s did not go away without a fight. With the score tied at 40 with 5:14 left in the third quarter, the Wildcats finally took control of the game, outscoring the Red Storm 15-6. 

Sophomore center Megan Quinn dominated down the stretch for ‘Nova, scoring the first 10 points of the run. Quinn hit a three-ball and converted on a conventional three-point play, showing off her versatility while building the Cats’ lead. 

The Wildcats went on another run to blow the game open with 3:01 left to play. During the 14-3 run, five different Cats scored with Louin leading the way with two threes from the field. 

On their way to Coach Perretta’s 699th win, the Wildcats shot 51.1 percent from the field, 45.8 percent from three-point range and 85.7 percent from the foul line. 

Going into the Seton Hall game after such an amazing shooting performance against St. John’s, and with Coach Perretta’s 700th win on the line, the Wildcats got off to a slow start. Shooting just 7-of-22 from the field, the Wildcats found themselves down by eight at the half, 30-22. 

Caroline Coyer would have to sit out the last few minutes of the first half due to foul trouble.  Seton Hall’s Tabitha Richardson-Smith had 11 points in the first half, contributing to the Hall’s eight point lead. 

Villanova came out ready to play in the third quarter, with Louin and Coyer making consecutive three-pointers to tie the score at 36. Richardson-Smith gave the Pirates the lead after making two foul shots, but the Wildcats came roaring back to take their first lead of the game, 39-38 off of Samantha Wilkes’ three from the top of the key.

Slipping back into their pattern of slow scoring, the Cats scored just two points in the last four minutes of the third quarter, giving Seton Hall a 42-38 lead. 

The Cats offense exploded at the start of the fourth quarter, going on an 8-0 run to take a 46-44 lead with 7:06 to go. Katherine Coyer and freshman guard Adrianna Hahn both converted on three-point field goals during the run. 

However, Seton Hall answered with their own eight-point run, retaking the lead, 52-46. Hahn hit one more three to get the Cats within three points of the Pirates, but the Pirates would score eight of the game’s last nine points to secure a 60-50 victory and delaying Coach Perretta’s 700th career win for another day. 

Louin was the only Wildcat in double figures with 13 points. Both Coyers and Hahn each had nine points in the loss. For the game, ‘Nova shot 27.9 percent from the field and 31 percent from beyond the arc. 

The irony here is that the Coach Perretta’s 600th career win came against Seton Hall Coach Anthony Bozzella when he was at Iona. 

However, this time Coach Bozella and the Pirates were able to postpone Perretta’s 700th career win.