Although the Lady ‘Cats recently endured a tough four-games-in-seven-days stretch, Villanova proved to have a lot more fight left within it.
The Wildcats’ path was about to get even harder, with DePaul and Marquette coming up in back-to-back games. However, Friday night’s game was nothing short of a telling one, providing a big morale boost moving forward. The Wildcats got themselves up and going against one of the top, proven teams in the conference.
Not only did the ‘Cats pull off an upset against the Blue Demons, but their star point guard, Adrianna Hahn, also scored her 1,000th career point in the 84-58 lopsided victory over DePaul.
“The tough loss off Penn really fired us up, which is what allowed us to come out tonight with the W,” Gedaka said. “Our team does a good job in handling losses like that, while not letting it get to our heads as we channel it into positive energy in our next game on the court.”
Villanova didn’t have an easy task, but it sure rose to the challenge. DePaul is known to be a solid team within the Big East women’s basketball landscape, one that’s made the NCAA Tournament every year since 2004. Standing alongside Marquette as the top two squads in the conference, the Blue Demons are loaded with a variety of talent that boasts five double-digit scorers that includes standouts like redshirt senior Amarah Coleman and last season’s Big East Freshman of the Year, Kelly Campbell.
However, those two could not carry the Blue Demons tonight, despite a combined 25-point effort that led all other DePaul scorers.
Opening the game with a Kelly Jekot three-pointer to get things going, the Wildcats took control of the game early, thanks to a hot 7-0 start within the first two minutes from opening tip. It was foreshadowing of what was to come, as it was only the beginning of their wire-to-wire victory.
The Wildcats were 7-of-12 from the field in the opening quarter, while DePaul quickly fell behind with a 2-of-14 shooting performance to begin the game.
DePaul went on to finish 11-of-27 overall (40.7 percent) in the opening half, while the Wildcats shot 71.4 percent from the field in the first half on a 20-of-28 effort from the field.
With 6:18 left in the second quarter, Hahn drained a three-pointer for her 1,000th career point. The junior point guard became just the 28th player in Villanova women’s basketball history to reach the milestone. She had 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half alone.
It was a much better feeling than her uncharacteristic eight-point game against Penn on Wednesday night. Like the rest of the Wildcats, she also bounced back from the loss in a big way.
At the half, the Wildcats led the Blue Demons, 48-31.
Things didn’t get easier for DePaul, as it struggled even more on the floor. The Wildcats increased their defensive effort to close out the game, especially at the perimeter. DePaul was an ugly 3-of-17 from deep in the final 20 minutes of play.
Early in the fourth quarter, that Villanova lead started to reach the twenties, but peaked as high as 30, when Grace Stant knocked down a three-pointer to make it 84-54 in the closing minutes of the game.
With the win, the Wildcats improve to 15-4 overall and 5-3 in Big East play.
Next up for Villanova is another challenge at Jake Nevin Field House, a game against the top team in the conference, the preseason favorite—the Marquette Golden Eagles. They have yet to lose a game in conference play, but the Wildcats will try to be the first to put an end to that unbeaten streak. Tip-off is this Sunday, Dec. 21, at 12 p.m.