Jan. 2, 2005
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Junior guard Courtney Roantree (Philadelphia, Pa.) drilled three consecutive 3-pointers to help break open a close game, and Villanova (8-4, 1-0 Big East) defeated Providence (1-11, 0-1 BE) 45-34 on Sunday afternoon at The Pavilion. In the Big East opener for both teams, the Wildcats used a 16-3 run in a span of 6:40 midway through the final stanza to surge past the Friars.
Villanova led 18-16 at halftime, and the two teams traded leads of one or two points in the opening minutes of the decisive second period. That changed with 13:25 remaining, when junior forward Liad Suez (Even-Yehuda, Israel) spun around her defender and scored the first two points of the 16-3 run. Providence was 1-of-6 from the field and turned the ball over twice during the Villanova spurt.
Suez scored a game-high 15 points to lead the Wildcats, while Roantree finished with nine points. The pair combined to score 20 of Villanova's 27 second-half points. Senior center Jana Rediger (Sellersville, Pa.) pulled down seven rebounds, and junior guard Betsy McManus (Pearl River, N.Y.) had a team-high four assists.
Danielle Howard led Providence with 10 points, and also pulled down seven rebounds. Shauna Snyder and Kristen Brown each managed eight rebounds as the Friars maintained a 39-32 edge on the glass, including 14 caroms on the offensive end. Snyder also scored nine points and passed out five assists while playing all 40 minutes.
Both teams struggled from the floor at the game's outset, combining to score just 17 points in the first 12-plus minutes of the game. Villanova led 9-8 with 7:45 remaining in the first period, at which time the Wildcats were shooting 29% (4-of-14) and Providence was shooting 24% (4-of-17). Villanova later led 18-10 with 5:03 left before intermission, but the Friars scored six straight points to cut the margin to two before the break.
Villanova returns to The Pavilion next Sunday when it hosts #6 Notre Dame at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live by Big East TV and airs locally on Comcast Sports Net. A broadcast of the game can also be heard on WFIL 560-AM.
NOTES: Villanova improved to 12-11 in conference openers under head coach Harry Perretta ... The win marked the fourth time in the last five years that the Wildcats won their Big East opener ... Villanova received nearly equal production from its starters and reserves, as the five starters scored 23 points, while the bench produced 22 points ... The Wildcats committed a season-low eight fouls.