VILLANOVA, PA. 2/25/2018 – One game to decide third place in the Big East. The winner between the Villanova Wildcats and the Creighton Blue Jays gets the #3 seed in the conference tournament. The decision goes to Villanova who lead from start to finish snapping a six-game losing streak to Creighton by a score of 55 – 48 at the Jake Nevin Field House.
Villanova Coach Harry Perretta is looking towards how good his team can be over the remainder of the season more than their seed.
“I don’t have a feeling either way,” Villanova Coach Harry Perretta said about the seeding. “We just wanted the best season we could have, and wherever we wind up, we wind up, and whoever we play, we play.”
“They’ve exceeded my expectations as I didn’t think we could win 22 regular season games,” Perretta said.
Nova can credit the defense for the win as they held Creighton to 48 points, their lowest offensive output this season. The Bluejays made 19 of 57 from the floor, and went 2 of 19 from distance. It was needed as Villanova converted 20 of 54 field goal attempts, and sank 4 of 19 from beyond the arc.
“We played very good defense today,” Perretta said. “We haven’t beaten them in a long time, and they hurt us offensively. Our defense stepped up today and held them under 50. We didn’t score a lot, we scored 55, so if we didn’t play good defense we wouldn’t have won the game.”
The Wildcats came out strong scoring the first seven points of the game. It gave them a lead they would hold. The Bluejays crawled back to within three-points at 33 – 30 with 3:57 to play in the third quarter. Wildcats sophomore forward Mary Gedaka found openings inside and scored the next 11 points for her team to open the lead back to 44 – 35. Gedaka scored a game-high 21 points making 9 of her 16 shots. Nova put the game away making 6 free throws over the last 43 seconds. This was the third 20-point game for Gedaka this season, and the fourth of her career.
“They isolated me with one player,” said Gedaka about her offensive performance. “My teammates found me really well. Usually I get isolated on the perimeter so I can go off the dribble, but today O got to work inside a little bit. That helped us.”
It was Senior Day, always an emotional event. Alex Louin, Megan Quinn, and Nicolette Juliana played their last regular season at the Jake Nevin Field House. Louin closed out her regular season scoring 10 points, handing out 3 assists, and grabbing 9 rebounds. Quinn scored 4 points and added 6 rebounds. Jannah Tucker scored 10 points and was credited with 3 assists.
“It is super emotional,” Louin said about playing on her Senior Day. “There were people here to watch me play from high school. It was really cool to see that. I took one last look as I was walking off the court today because it will be the last time I see that. It was an incredible environment to play in, and it gave us the energy to sustain our defense the entire game.”
Creighton (17 – 11, 11 – 7) had one player who broke double-digits as Sydney Lamberty had a game-high in points and rebounds getting 20 and 10. Team leading scorer Audrey Faber was held to 7 points.
“They are long, disciplined, and experienced,” said Creighton Coach Jim Flanery about the opposition. “And well prepared.”
Now, Villanova (22 – 7, 12 – 6) will put the regular season behind them and prepare for the Big East tournament. Nova will meet the 6th placed Georgetown Hoyas on March 4th in Chicago at 9:30 Eastern time.
Written By: Glenn Papazian