Tipping off the first part of Friday’s doubleheader at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa., the women’s basketball team didn’t take long to get heated up on the court.
Harry Perretta’s squad got to work right from the opening tip, barely giving Lehigh an opportunity to breathe.
The Wildcats left very little doubt early, springing out in front and slowly building a double digit lead, one that was able to sustain itself the rest of the way.
Villanova maintained its comfortable lead over Lehigh in a wire-to-wire finish against the Mountain Hawks, as it improved to 2-0 on the season after a 62-42 win.
The Wildcats’ Adrianna Hahn was atop the scoring totals once again, posting a team-high 13 points, with seven rebounds and three assists to go along with them. However, it was Villanova’s sparkplug off the bench, sophomore Mary Gedaka, that shined against the Mountain Hawks.
Gedaka did a bulk of her work in the first half, coming off the bench and shooting a perfect 5-of-5 on the floor for 10 points. She would also finish the game with 13 points—without missing a shot—and added six rebounds and three blocks to top off her impressive display.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore forward helped the Wildcats take a 14-7 lead after the first quarter, making three baskets to begin the game.
From there, Villanova would blitz Lehigh with a burst of scoring to add on to its lead to begin the second quarter. The Wildcats would ride the momentum for a 30-16 advantage at the break.
Villanova would show no signs of complacency, as a tough all-around effort allowed the ‘Cats to begin the second half with a 16-2 run that lasted for a majority of the third quarter. It was topped off by a Bridget Herlihy layup, with 3:17 remaining. Although the Mountain Hawks closed out the quarter strong after giving up such a big run, it was already far too late.
From then on, the rest of the game seemed like a mere formality, as the Wildcats coasted until the final buzzer.
As a team, Villanova shot just 22-of-61 (31.9 percent) on the floor. The Wildcats struggled from beyond the arc, going a mediocre 7-for-37 (18.9 percent) from deep.
Aside from Hahn and Gedaka, sophomore Kelly Jekot chipped in nine points, six boards, and three blocks to the Wildcats’ winning effort.
Cameryn Benz paced the Mountain Hawks with a game-high 14 points and seven rebounds. The 6-foot-3 sophomore seemed to be the only player dressed in brown and white that was able to get it going for Lehigh, but her effort alone was not enough, as no other Mountain Hawk eclipsed double figures.
While Villanova didn’t shoot the ball too well, its performance was masked by the effort on the defensive side of the court—mixed in with Lehigh’s offensive struggles.
The Mountain Hawks were 14-of-61 (23.0 percent) overall, and 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) from long range.
Villanova will now have a quick turnaround, returning back to the Jake Nevin Field House for a showdown on Sunday against No. 11 Duke. The Wildcats will host the Blue Devils (2-0) in a non-conference game slated for a 1 p.m. tip-off.