VILLANOVA, PA. -- The Villanova Wildcats closed out the 2017-18 regular season on Sunday afternoon with a 55-48 win over the visiting Creighton Bluejays. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 22-7 overall and 12-6 in Big East Conference play, while Creighton falls to 17-11 overall and 11-7 in league action.
Villanova finishes in third place in the final Big East standings and will be the three seed in next week’s Big East Tournament to be held at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Ill. The Wildcats will take on No. 6 seed Georgetown in the quarterfinal round on Sunday, March 4. Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m., eastern time.
The Wildcats started quick racing to a 7-0 lead on lay-ups by senior guard Alex Louin and sophomore guard Kelly Jekot and a three-ball by junior forward Jannah Tucker. The Villanova defense held Creighton scoreless for the first 5:10 of the game, before the Bluejays scored five straight points to make it a 7-5 contest. Villanova would lead 13-9 after one quarter of play.
After neither team was able to score for the first 4:14 of the second quarter, Louin scored the first points of the second stanza when she drained a 12-foot jump shot. The Wildcats held a 17-14 advantage at the 2:38 mark, when Tucker buried a three and senior center Megan Quinn scored on a driving lay-up to give Villanova a 22-14 advantage.
Leading 33-30 with 3:57 to play in the third quarter, Villanova sophomore forward Mary Gedaka scored seven straight points to help the Wildcats open up a 40-30 lead. Creighton finished the third quarter scoring when Temi Carda’s running lay-up beat the buzzer to make it a 40-32 game after three.
A Cardi lay-up and a free throw by Audrey Faber cut the Villanova lead to 40-35 with 7:06 remaining. Following two missed shots by both teams, Gedaka ended the Wildcat scoring drought that lasted 4:28 when she scored on a left-handed lay-up in the lane. The Gedaka bucket increased her team’s lead to 42-35. Villanova got a defensive stop on Creighton’s next offensive possession and converted on the other end when Gedaka drained a 15-foot jumper from the baseline to make it a 44-35 game.
After Sydney Lamberty’s lay-up pulled the Bluejays within seven at 44-37, Jekot connected on a huge three to give the Wildcats a 47-37 lead with 4:01 remaining. Creighton made one last run at the Wildcats and scored the game’s next four points to slice the Villanova lead to 47-41 with 1:45 left on the clock.
On Villanova’s next trip down the court, the Wildcats came up with an offensive rebound to get an extra 30 seconds on the shot clock. Villanova took advantage of the extra possession when Gedaka scored on an uncontested lay-up off a pretty feed from Tucker. The basket gave the Wildcats a 49-41 advantage.
Villanova put the game away by going six-of-six from the foul line in the last 43 seconds. Gedaka, Louin and Tucker all went two-of-two from the stripe.
In the win, Gedaka led the Wildcats with a game-high 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field and a 3-of-3 effort from the free throw line. Louin finished with 12 points and a team-best nine rebounds, while Tucker added 10 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Creighton was paced by Lamberty who had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. She was the only Bluejay in double figures.
For the game, Villanova was 20-of-54 from the field (37.0%), 4-of-19 from three-point range (21.1%) and 11-of-13 from the foul line (84.6%), while Creighton shot 33.3 percent from the floor (19-of-57), 10.5 percent from behind the arc (2-of-19) and 80.0 percent from the charity stripe (8-of-10). Villanova was charged with just five turnovers.
NOTES: Villanova finishes 9-3 at home this year…Villanova snapped a six-game losing streak to Creighton with today’s win…Villanova has won 59 Big East games over the last five years….Today was the third 20-point game of the season and fourth of Mary Gedaka's career…Mary Gedaka has scored in double figures in 12 of the last 14 games…Jannah Tucker is 32-of-65 from three-point range for .492 in her last 12 games….The Wildcats improve to 20-1 when leading at halftime…Villanova had just five turnovers today and now have 14 single digit turnover games this season…Alex Louin moved past Jackie Adamshick and into seventh on Villanova's all-time scoring list with 1,403 points…The Wildcats never trailed in today's victory.