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Dec. 10, 1997

Villanova Wins Home Opener

Jenn Sliwa.

In women's basketball action at The Pavilion, Villanova opened up the home portion of its schedule by defeating St. Joseph's, 67-54. With the win, the Wildcats improve to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in Philadelphia Big 5 action, while the Hawks fall to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in Big 5 play. Villanova is now 15-5 in home openers under head coach Harry Perretta.

Villanova jumped all over the Hawks to begin the game, as the Wildcats raced to a 7-0 lead. St. Joseph's would score its first field goal of the game at the 16:57 mark, before Villanova would increase the lead to 14-4 with 14:49 left until halftime. Junior Jenn Sliwa scored eight of Villanova's first 14 points, including making good on two three-point field goals.

The Wildcats would control most of the first half, as they led 30-17 with 3:47 left in the first stanza. St. Joseph's managed a 9-0 run to cut the Wildcat advantage to 30-26 before senior Jenn Beisel hit a short jumper late in the half, giving the Cats a 32-26 halftime lead.

In the first half, Villanova was led by Beisel with 12 points and Sliwa with 11, while the Hawks were paced by Maureen Costello who had eight points.

After St. Joseph's tallied the first field goal of the second half, Villanova went on a 9-0 run over three minutes to take a 41-28 lead at the 15:23 mark. The Villanova spurt was led by Beisel who had two points and three assists in the run. Following this run, St. Joseph's would get no closer than eight the remainder of the way. Villanova would maintain a double figure lead over the final 4:37 of the contest.

Beisel was the story for Villanova, as she tied a career-high that was set last Sunday versus Pittsburgh with 22 points, to go with a career-best nine assists and six rebounds. Sliwa also played an outstanding game for the Wildcats with 17 points (six-for-11 from the field). Also adding double figures for Villanova was Jenny Higgins who had 12 points on five-for-eight shooting. Point guard Shanette Lee recorded five points, five assists and eight rebounds. In the win, Villanova shot a season-high 54.9 percent from the field.

St. Joseph's was led by Costello with 16 points and 13 rebounds, along with Melissa Coursey who tallied 12 points.

Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 13 when they travel to Temple for a Philadelphia Big 5 game at 1:30 p.m.