Jan. 3, 2007
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Saint Joseph's (7-6, 1-0 Big Five) scored on nine straight possessions in the decisive stretch of the game, including three straight 3-pointers during that span, and Villanova (6-8, 1-3 Big Five) was defeated 56-48 on Wednesday evening at Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse.
Timisha Gomez hit a three-pointer with 5:39 remaining to give the Hawks the lead for good at 42-39 and Ayahna Cornish followed with two triples 46 seconds apart to push the lead to 48-41 with 4:01 left. After a basket by senior forward Jackie Adamshick (Allentown, Pa.) cut the margin to five with 3:39 left, Saint Joseph's scored seven more points in a row to go ahead 55-43 with 2:22 to play.
Earlier in the second half the Wildcats led by as many as eight points after a free throw by sophomore Lisa Karcic (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) gave Villanova a 29-21 advantage with 14:34 remaining. However, the Wildcats endured a stretch of just one field goal in seven minutes as the Hawks hung close, and Saint Joseph's eventually went on a late 25-10 run in under six minutes to surge to the victory.
Adamshick and Karcic scored 15 points each to lead the Wildcats. Adamshick surpassed 1,200 career points in the game, reaching the milestone with her first points of the second half. Redshirt freshman Maria Getty (Centerville, Ohio) added six points, seven rebounds, two assists and three steals in 36 minutes.
Both teams shot under 40 percent for the game and struggled to find a rhythm offensively, with Villanova making just nine field goals in each half to shoot 36 percent (18-of-50). That added up to one more basket in the game than the Hawks (17-of-51, 33 percent), but Saint Joseph's hit its groove at the right time. The Hawks made six of their field goals in a four-minute span late in the game and hit eight of their 15 free throws in the final 3:24.
Cornish led all players with 20 points and four steals, while Jen Oyler also reached double figures with 10 points. Erica Pollock pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds for Saint Joseph's, which owned a 36-30 edge on the glass.
The tone of the game was set in the first half with the Wildcats leading 16-12 at the 10:35 mark of the period. After combining for 28 points in the first nine-plus minutes of the game, each team scored just five points the rest of the way before halftime. Villanova made 7-of-11 (64%) to open the contest but hit on only 2-of-11 (18%) the remainder of the period. The Wildcats led 21-17 at the intermission despite not scoring in the final 6:34 of the frame.
Villanova was playing its final Big Five game and final non-conference game of the regular season. The Wildcats will now play 17 straight BIG EAST Conference games, beginning with a home matchup against West Virginia on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: Adamshick entered the game needing eight points to reach 1,200 for her career ... After scoring seven points on 3-of-3 shooting in the first half, her layup with 18:05 remaining in the game made her the 14th player in school history to reach that plateau ... Redshirt freshman Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) had a season-high five assists for the Wildcats ... Villanova had defeated the Hawks in each of the past three meetings in the series.