Wildcats Fall in Final Minute to Seton Hall, 56-51
Feb. 11, 2007
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - Despite getting a career-high 26 points from junior Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.), Villanova (7-17, 1-10 Big East) lost its school-record ninth consecutive game on Sunday afternoon. The Wildcats were defeated by Seton Hall (15-8, 7-5 Big East) 56-51 at Walsh Gymnasium in a game not decided until the closing seconds.
With the score tied 51-51 after a three-pointer by Witman with 42 seconds remaining, Ela Mukosiej made a layup with 13 seconds left to put the Pirates ahead for good. On its ensuing possession, Villanova turned the ball over and Mukosiej made two free throws with eight seconds left to extend the margin to a two-possession game.
A 14-5 run by Seton Hall early in the second half cut a 10-point Wildcat lead down to just one, 41-40, with 11:09 to play. Villanova led 46-43 with just over eight minutes remaining but back-to-back jumpers by Monique Blake gave the Pirates their first lead of the period, 47-46 with 6:23 remaining.
Witman, who scored the last 15 of the Wildcats 17 points in the second half, made a layup with 5:06 left to put Villanova in front 48-47, but that margin turned out to be the final lead of the game for the Wildcats. Mukosiej made a shot with 2:42 to play that gave Seton Hall a 49-48 lead, and Villanova missed two straight attempts to retake the lead before Mukosiej stretched the lead to 51-48 on another jumper with 1:06 remaining.
Mukosiej scored 14 points of her own in the second half to nearly match Witman's performance in the period. That included eight points in a span of 2:34 late in the game that lifted the Pirates to the victory. Villanova led by as many as 12 points in the first half but lost for the ninth time this season in a game it led at halftime.
In addition to her career-high point total, Witman also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds. She was the lone Wildcat to score in double figures for the afternoon. Seven other players got into the scoring column for Villanova, including redshirt freshman Maria Getty (Centerville, Ohio) with eight points. Senior Jackie Adamshick (Allentown, Pa.) added a team-high five assists.
Mukosiej had a team-high 24 points for Seton Hall, while Blake came off the bench to play 34 minutes and tally 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Pirates owned a 40-26 edge on the glass and turned the ball over just five times to overcome 10-of-16 three-point shooting by the Wildcats.
Villanova hit 7-of-10 three-pointers in the first half and opened a 34-22 lead with 2:37 remaining before the intermission. The Wildcats led for nearly the entire opening period and used a 12-3 run that stretched a 22-19 lead to the 12-point margin late in the period. Mukosiej made two jumpers in the final 1:39 of the half to pull Seton Hall to within 34-26 at the break.
After three straight games on the road, the Wildcats return home for their next two contests. Villanova will host Notre Dame on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. and then entertains Rutgers on Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
NOTES: The Wildcats longest previous losing streak had been eight games during the 1989-90 season ... Villanova is 6-9 this season when leading at halftime ... Witman scored at least 20 points in a game for the fourth time this season ... She is averaging 17.5 points per game over her last six contests and has moved up to second on the team with 12.0 points per game for the season ... Seton Hall was 0-for-6 from three-point range and was outshot for the game by Villanova ... The Pirates had 15 offensive rebounds and a 12-0 edge in second chance points during the game.