PROVIDENCE, R.I. – In women’s basketball action on Saturday, Dec. 30, the No. 18 Villanova Wildcats tallied a 63-55 win at Providence. With the victory, Villanova improves to 11-1 overall and 1-1 in Big East play, while Providence falls to 7-7 on the year and 0-2 in conference action.
Villanova trailed 44-38 when sophomore forward Mary Gedaka drained a three-ball from the corner in the final seconds of the third quarter to pull the Wildcats within three at 44-41 entering the fourth stanza. The Wildcats then tied the game at 44-44 on a three by junior Jannah Tucker on the first possession of the final quarter.
With the score tied at 48-48 with 6:31 remaining, junior guard Adrianna Hahn found sophomore forward Bridget Herlihy open on the wing and Herlihy connected on the triple to give Villanova a 51-48 advantage. After the Wildcats missed two open threes to take a six point lead, the Friars tied the game at 51-51 at the 4:58 mark on a three-pointer by Maddie Jolin.
Villanova would take the lead for good at 53-51 with 3:35 to play on a Gedaka lay-up off a nice feed from Herlihy. Following a defensive stop on Providence’s next possession, Gedaka scored on a driving lay-up and was fouled. Gedaka connected on the free throw and the Wildcats held a 56-51 lead with 2:55 remaining.
After Villanova forced a turnover and a missed shot on the next two Friar possessions, the Wildcats had the ball with a five point lead. The Wildcats ran the shot clock down to 10 seconds and called a timeout with 58 seconds to play. Villanova ran its out of bounds play to perfection and Hahn buried a deep three to put the Wildcats up eight at 59-51.
Senior guard Alex Louin went four-of-four from the foul line in the final 33 seconds to seal the win.
The game was tied at 21-21 with 5:50 left in the second quarter when the Friars used a 10-4 run to take a 31-25 halftime lead. Cold shooting doomed Villanova in the first half, as the Wildcats were 10-of-31 from the field for 32.3 percent and just 3-of-18 from three for 16.7 percent. Providence shot 46.2 percent from the floor (12-of-26) and 40.0 percent form downtown (4-of-10) in the opening 20 minutes. Friar junior guard Jovana Nogic led the Providence charge in the first half with 18 points.
Providence continued the momentum in the third quarter and scored the first four points of the second half to open up a 35-25 advantage. Back-to-back threes by Louin and Hahn sliced the Friar lead to 35-31.
In the win, Gedaka was sensational with a career-high 24 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds. Louin finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while Hahn added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Providence was paced by Nogic who had 26 points and Jolin who chipped in with 10 points.
For the game, Villanova shot 38.6 percent from the field (22-of-57), 27.3 percent from three-point range (9-of-33) and 100.0 percent from the foul line (10-of-10), while Providence was 21-of-49 from the floor (42.9%), 5-of-15 from long distance (33.3%) and 8-of-10 from the foul line (80.0%). The Friars owned a 32-31 advantage on the backboards. Villanova was charged with just seven turnovers.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 2, with a home game versus Butler. Tip-off at the Jake Nevin Field House is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova has defeated Providence in 24 of the last 29 meetings and leads the all-time series by a 46-26 count…The Wildcats held Providence to four points over the last 4:58 of the game…Mary Gedaka’s 11 field goals are a career-high…Today was Mary Gedaka’s second career 20-point game…Villanova had an assist on 15 of its 22 field goals.