The Villanova women’s basketball team was once again forced to come back after a tough loss with another tough Big East matchup just a few days later. The Lady ‘Cats came out firing and downed the Xavier Musketeers at home, winning 75-57.
The Wildcats started out strong, quickly building a lead and finished the first quarter up 17-13. Adrianna Hahn picked up her second foul early in the second quarter, forcing her to sit for the rest of the half. Kelly Jekot seemed to be back in the swing of things after having a few tough games in a row, scoring 10 points and grabbing four rebounds in the first half.
The Wildcats were moving the ball well, assisting on seven of their 10 first half baskets, while building a 30-24 lead. Xavier shot slightly better in the first half—40 percent compared to ‘Nova’s 37 percent—but the ‘Cats made four three-pointers compared to zero from Xavier.
‘Nova opened the third quarter on a 12-5 run, building a comfortable double digit lead that would last the rest of the game. The ‘Cats shot lights off in the third quarter, going 10-for-14 from the field and racking up 9 assists. The Wildcats scored 27 points in the third quarter, one of the best quarters of the season. A moment of concern came when Jannah Tucker did not return to the game at all in the second half due to injury, which is something to keep an eye out for.
The fourth quarter was simply a formality for Villanova, as Xavier never got within 14 points. The Wildcats coasted to the final buzzer behind Jekot’s game-high 21 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Megan Quinn added 10 points. Alex Louin finished with 8 points and 8 assists.
Xavier’s Jada Byrd finished with 12 points and Imani Partlow finished with 11 points—the only Musketeers finishing in double digits.
The ‘Cats assisted on 20 of their 27 FGs, and finished shooting 49 percent from the field, both drastic improvements from the past few games. Coach Harry Perretta has stressed the importance of taking good shots and moving the ball this season, and the way they played today was definitely a good sign. Holding the Musketeers to 39 percent from the field and forcing 10 turnovers was another good sign that they were back on track defensively.
The Wildcats had a great comeback game after a tough loss against Butler on Tuesday. They improve to 2-2 in the Big east and 12-2 overall. They travel to D.C. next week to take on Georgetown, starting a tough four-games-in-one-week stretch.