It wasn’t the easiest or prettiest of games, with both teams locked in a defensive battle and struggling to really find a groove offensively.
However, Harry Perretta’s Wildcats were able to step up and heat up on the floor when it mattered most—in the fourth quarter—to pull away and take down their Big 5 rival Saint Joseph’s Hawks.
After a three-pointer by St. Joe’s Nailah Delinois tied things up with 6:30 to go in the game, Villanova went on a 12-0 run the rest of the way, shutting down the Hawks in the closing minutes to win 47-35.
Once Delinois sank the three, Villanova responded with a Grace Stant trey to break the tie and take the lead. Both teams were unable to score for the next three minutes, and they traded a series of tense, empty-handed possessions.
Finally, Mary Gedaka was able to get a steal, which led to a fast break score on the other end, giving ‘Nova a bit more breathing room with a 40-35 lead and just 2:33 remaining in the game.
Moments later, Jannah Tucker added the dagger with a three to extend the Wildcat lead. Then Gedaka and Stant added the finishing touches. It was a frustrating end to the game for the Hawks, as the Wildcats just capitalized on almost every mistake and miscue.
Villanova led for the majority of the game, but St. Joe’s was right behind the Wildcats all throughout the game. The ‘Cats had a 26-22 lead at the break and clung onto that narrow four-point lead entering the fourth quarter.
It was just a tough shooting day for both teams. Villanova shot 17-of-46 (37.0 percent) overall, including a subpar 8-for-24 (33.3 percent) showing from long range. The Hawks had it even worse, going 13-of-47 (27.7 percent) overall and a meager 3-for-16 (18.8 percent) on the floor. They also turned the ball over 15 times, which the Wildcats converted into 14 points.
Adrianna Hahn led the Wildcats with 17 points, three rebounds, and three assists. She shot 7-of-12 on the floor. Gedaka finished with nine points, five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Stant finished with eight points.
For the Hawks, Alyssa Monaghan paced them with 16 points and four rebounds. Katie Mayock added nine points and four rebounds.
This marked the first time the Jekot sisters were able to square off against each other. Kelly Jekot (Villanova) and Katie Jekot (St. Joe’s) were in the starting lineups for their respective teams. Things got delayed a season, when Katie was injured for last year’s matchup. Unfortunately for both sisters, they had a quiet game. Kelly had five points and a pair of assists off of 2-for-5 shooting. Meanwhile, Katie logged shot 1-of-9 en route to a two point finish, but had eight boards and three assists.
Villanova is back in action on Thursday night, when it takes on the George Washington Colonials at 7 p.m. ET.