VILLANOVA, PA. – The Villanova Wildcats improved to 20-5 overall and 10-4 in Big East Conference play with a 59-53 home win over the visiting Seton Hall Pirates. With the loss, Seton Hall falls to 15-11 overall and 7-8 in conference action.
Villanova held an 11-10 lead early in the second quarter, when the Wildcats used a 13-0 run to take a 24-10 lead with 5:08 remaining until halftime. Back-to-back threes by sophomore guard Kelly Jekot and senior center Megan Quinn started the spurt. Following a lay-up by senior guard Alex Louin, Jekot scored on a driving lay-up and junior forward Jannah Tucker drained a three from the left wing.
Seton Hall responded to the Wildcat run with an 8-0 spurt of its own to cut the Villanova advantage to 24-18 with 3:20 left on the clock. After neither team was able to score for the next 2:04, Villanova scored the final five points of the quarter to take a 29-18 halftime lead. The five Villanova points included a three-ball by Jekot and a 10-foot jumper by Louin.
Villanova began the third quarter by outscoring the Pirates by a 10-3 margin to open up its largest lead of the game at 39-21. Junior guard Adrianna Hahn had five of the 10 points, while Louin added a reverse lay-up and Tucker drained a three. The Wildcats used the opening run to control play throughout the quarter and take a 46-34 lead after three.
The Wildcats led 52-39 with 7:20 remaining in regulation, when Seton Hall scored six straight points to cut the Villanova lead to 52-45 at the 4:53 mark. Selena Philoxy had consecutive lay-ups and sophomore guard Kaela Hilaire connected on a 10-foot pull-up jumper to account for the Pirate points.
With the momentum on the side of the Seton Hall, Louin grabbed an offensive rebound to give Villanova a new shot clock. The Wildcats took advantage of the extra possession when Hahn buried a deep three from straightaway to give her team a 55-45 lead with 3:50 to play.
After the teams traded lay-ups on their next possessions, the Pirates made one last run and used a Hilaire lay-up and a short jumper by Shadeen Samuels to make it a 57-51 game with 1:31 remaining.
On its next trip down the court, Villanova ran the shot clock down and got sophomore forward Mary Gedaka an open 15 foot jump shot. Gedaka’s shot was off target, but Louin saved the ball from going out of bounds and threw it to Gedaka who converted the lay-up to give the Wildcats a 59-51 lead with 57 seconds left.
Despite going 0-for-4 from the foul line in the final 36 seconds, the Wildcats were able to hold on for the 59-53 victory.
In the win, Louin led the way with a double-double of 12 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Jekot finished with 12 points, while Hahn added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists. Quinn and Gedaka chipped in with eight points each.
Seton Hall was paced by JaQuan Jackson with 13 points and six rebounds and Hilaire who finished with 10 points and six boards.
For the game, Villanova was 24-of-56 from the field for 42.9 percent, 9-of-27 from three-point range (33.3%) and 2-of-8 from the foul line (25.0%), while Seton Hall shot 34.7 percent from the floor (25-of-72), 9.1 percent from long distance (1-of-11) and 40.0 percent from the charity stripe (2-of-5). The Pirates owned a 45-39 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Friday, Feb. 16, with a road game at Marquette. Tip-off is set for 12:30 p.m. eastern time.
NOTES: The Wildcats have now 20 games in six consecutive seasons…Villanova has won five in a row and six of the last seven…The Wildcats lead the all-time series with Seton Hall by a 41-22 margin and have won 10 of the last 14 versus the Pirates…Alex Louin is 44 of 76 from the field in the last eight games for a .578 shooting percentage… Alex Louin moved past Caroline Coyer and into 10th place on Villanova’s all-time scoring list 1,345 points…The Wildcats improve to 7-3 at home this season…Adrianna Hahn moved past Karen Hargadon and Laura Kurz and into 21st on Villanova’s scoring list with 1,065 points.