Villanova Women’s Basketball opened the season with an exhibition game against Division II opponent East Stroudsburg University. They had no problems, easily defeating the Warriors, 98-54. The Wildcats saw 14 players who put in minutes in the game as head coach Harry Perretta looked to give the younger players some experience and test out who will be solid contributors alongside already proven seniors Jannah Tucker and Adrianna Hahn with support coming from juniors Kelly Jekot and Mary Gedaka.
Right from the get-go it was clear the Wildcats had not lost any momentum from last season, outscoring the Warriors 25-12 in the first quarter. Gedaka and Jekot lead the charge early, both shooting perfect from the field. Just as they did last season they relied heavily on Gedaka and Jekot in the paint and the team scored over half of their points down low. At halftime the score was 52-24 in favor of the ‘Cats.
Perretta continued swapping in and out players to get some experience while also testing out new lineups with players coming off the bench. Jekot, Gedaka, Tucker, Hahn, and Bridget Herlihy - the expected starting five - combined for the most minutes. A couple of freshmen finished up the final few minutes with freshmen Emily Esposito and Brie Wajer both scoring five points.
The ‘Cats shot an impressive 56% from the field and made 11 three-pointers and scored exactly half of their points from inside the paint. Jekot lead the way with 18 points with Gedaka trailing right behind her with 15 points and 7 rebounds (neither of them missed a shot, they went a combined 15-15 from the field). Tucker added 6 points and the Herlihy sisters combined for 15 points. The team looked like they did for much of last season, focusing on driving the ball into the paint and taking the three-pointers when open. A team that tied the eventual champions Notre Dame at halftime in the round of 32 last season will look to build on a relatively young team and prove they are a force to reckon with in the Big East.
The Wildcats open the regular season next Wednesday at 7 PM against the University of Hartford.