Wildcats Lose Narrow 51-49 Decision to Seton Hall in Closing Minutes
Jan. 8, 2008
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A pair of free throws by Ela Mukosiej with 2:25 to play proved to be the final points of the contest as Villanova (10-5, 0-2 Big East) was unable to come up with an equalizer late in a 51-49 loss to Seton Hall (11-2, 2-0 Big East) on Tuesday night at the Pavilion. The Wildcats missed their final four shots from the field and committed a costly turnover in the final 2:08 of the contest.
The Pirates controlled a missed Villanova shot with 41 seconds left and the Wildcats chose not to foul with at least one remaining possession guaranteed. With time running down on the Seton Hall shot clock, junior Laura Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) came up with a steal and Villanova had the ball with less than 15 seconds to play.
A scramble for possession ensued near the Wildcat basket, however, and Villanova could not get off a final shot before turning the ball over with five seconds left. Mukosiej missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity with 2.1 seconds remaining but there was just 0.4 seconds showing by the time sophomore Maria Getty (Centerville, Ohio) gained control of the rebound and called a timeout.
All season long the Wildcats have counted on the scoring production of forwards Kurz, Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) and Lisa Karcic (New Hyde Park, N.Y.). The same was true in tonight's contest but Villanova received no points from anyone aside from the three frontcourt starters. The trio combined to shoot 17-of-39 from the field while three other players combined to go 0-for-9.
Kurz led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-8 three-point accuracy. Witman added 17 points and both players had seven rebounds, while Karcic tallied 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.
There were five ties and 11 lead changes in the game but the Wildcats did not lead after a three-pointer by Jadis Rhodin with 4:14 left gave the Pirates a 47-46 advantage. Ebonie Williams added a jumper with 3:35 to play that stretched the margin to 49-46, but Karcic tied the game at 49-49 on a three-pointer with 2:52 remaining.
That triple wound up being the final points scored by Villanova, which shot just 30 percent (8-of-27) from the field in the final 20 minutes. Witman provided a 40-37 lead on a three-pointer at the 13:29 mark and the Wildcats still led by five, 46-41, after two Karcic free throws with 6:32 showing. However, the decisive factor ended up being that Villanova managed only two field goals in the final 11:28.
Mukosiej led Seton Hall with 10 points and the Pirates got at least four points from all seven players in the scoring column. Noteisha Womack had nine points and a game-high 17 rebounds, while Nicole Emery also chipped in nine points. Seton Hall owned a 35-27 rebounding edge for the contest.
Sophomore Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) dished out four assists for the Wildcats, who had helpers on 12 of 17 made field goals and turned the ball over just seven times. Getty and Karcic each had three assists in the game.
Villanova plays the third of its three straight home games to start conference play on Saturday at 2 p.m. against Georgetown.
NOTES: The Wildcats have lost three of the last four meetings with the Pirates since winning five straight in the series ... Villanova leads the series by a 31-17 count ... The nine three-pointers made by the Wildcats were more than double the 4.3 per game average allowed by Seton Hall ... Opposing teams had been shooting just .295 from three-point range against the Pirates ... Villanova finished 9-of-22 (.409) tonight ... Including tonight's game, Witman, Kurz and Karcic combine to average 42.1 points and 16.7 rebounds per game ... That represents 69.0 percent of the team's total scoring and 55.8 percent of the team's rebounding.