Coming off of a big win against DePaul the Villanova women’s basketball team looked to put up another big performance, this time against the top team in the conference: the undefeated Marquette Golden Eagles.
Unfortunately for Villanova, its hard-fought effort was not enough to topple the visiting Golden Eagles, falling just short of another big statement win, losing 67-57.
The Wildcats were overwhelmed by Marquette’s Erika Davenport and preseason Big East Player of the Year Allazia Blockton. The two forwards combined for 43 points in the victory, with Davenport dialing in a game-high 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Blockton accounting for 21 points and eight rebounds.
The two forwards carried Marquette to the win, as they bullied and did most of the damage inside on a Wildcat team that is mainly guard and perimeter oriented.
Villanova used a balanced approach, with eight different players contributing points. Alex Louin and Mary Gedaka led the ‘Cats with 11 points each.
The Wildcats hung in tough with the Golden Eagles, initially leading the game by a narrow 10-9 margin to being the game, after Louin had drained 1-of-2 free throws with 6:05 left in the first quarter. However, being extremely early in the game, Marquette would eventually take control. That would be the last time Villanova would lead, as a Blockton jumper gave the Golden Eagles the edge, and they wouldn’t give it up from there.
Villanova stayed close behind, with a last-second Gedaka layup cutting into the Golden Eagle lead just before halftime. Marquette held a 34-29 lead at the break.
Defensively, the Wildcats didn’t do that bad of a job on Marquette. Aside from letting Davenport and Blockton combine for 43, they held an interior-dominant style of play only shoot 40.3 percent overall--just slightly under its 44 percent mark. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, they were cold from long range throughout the game.
As a team, they shot just 5-of-23 (21.7 percent) from beyond the arc. The Wildcats are known for their love with the three-point shot and couldn’t muster enough baskets to keep up with the Golden Eagles, who would eventually push their lead into double figures.
Aside from that, Marquette made Villanova pay for its turnovers. The Golden Eagles forced 13 Wildcat turnovers, which converted into 21 Golden Eagle points.
They went on a 12-2 run to gain separation to start the fourth quarter, topped off by a Blockton basket that made it 59-44. The 15-point margin was Marquette’s biggest of the game. The Wildcats would not go down quietly and battle back into the game, but couldn’t put together a last-minute comeback.
The loss tops off a tough, crammed 11-day stretch in which the Wildcats played six games. Villanova went 3-3 during that time. It drops to 15-5 overall, with a 5-4 record in the Big East. Now, the Lady ‘Cats will get a much deserved and much-needed break. They resume action on the road, at Xavier, on Friday, January 26. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.