Jan. 4, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats tallied a 68-59 win over the Providence College Friars on Saturday afternoon in the team's home BIG EAST opener. With the victory, Villanova improves to 11-2 overall and 2-1 in BIG EAST play, while Providence falls to 5-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play.
Wildcat junior forward Lauren Burford connected on a 10-foot jumper in the lane on Villanova's second possession of the second half to increase her team's 10 point halftime lead to 37-25. The 12 point margin was Villanova's largest lead of the game.
Following the Burford basket, Providence went on an 18-3 run to take a 43-40 lead at the 11:22 mark. During the run, the Friars went 8-of-13 from the field, while Villanova was 1-of-6 with two turnovers. Providence forward Alexis Harris led the Friars during the spurt with six points.
Villanova senior guard Devon Kane slowed down the Providence momentum when she scored on a driving lay-up to pull the Wildcats within one at 43-42. Harris missed two free throws on the next possession and Villanova regained the lead for good when junior forward Taylor Holeman scored on a lay-up off a pretty pass from sophomore point guard Caroline Coyer.
The Wildcats led 50-47 when Holeman connected on a 15-foot jumper to give Villanova a 52-47 advantage with 5:10 to play. After Danielle Pearson missed a running lay-up for Providence, Coyer misfired on an open three-ball, but Kane grabbed the offensive rebound and converted the put back. Kane's field goal gave Villanova a 54-47 lead with 4:38 remaining.
Providence would not go away, as the Friars scored three straight points to cut the Villanova lead to 54-50. With 3:09 left to play, Villanova junior center Emily Leer connected on a huge triple and Villanova led 57-50.
Harris scored on a lay-up for Providence to make it a 57-52 game, before Holeman made a baseline jumper to increase the lead back to seven at 59-52. Following a Pearson turnover, Kane put the game away for Villanova with a three-pointer from the right wing. Kane's trifecta gave the Wildcats a 62-52 lead at the 1:49 mark.
Trailing 10-8 early in the game, Villanova used a 12-2 run to take a 20-12 lead at the 11:54 mark. Sophomore guard Katherine Coyer highlighted the run with six of Villanova's 12 points.
Providence trailed 24-16 when the Friars scored five consecutive points to make it a 24-19 game with 6:20 remaining in the opening half.
With her team leading 30-25, Caroline Coyer made deep three-ball and a driving lay-up at the buzzer to give the Wildcats a 35-25 halftime advantage. In the game's first 20 minutes, Villanova was 16-of-30 from inside the arc for 53.3 percent and just 1-of-10 from three-point range.
In the win, Kane led Villanova with 17 points to go with seven assists and four rebounds. She was 7-of-14 from the field. Holeman added 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the floor. In her last eight games, Holeman is 37-of-52 from the floor for 71.1 percent. Katherine Coyer also reached double figures with 10 points.
Providence was paced by Harris who had a game-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting. Freshman guard Sarah Beal netted 16 points and eight rebounds for the Friars.
For the game, Villanova shot 48.3 percent from the field (29-of-60), 19.0 percent from three-point range (4-of-21) and 66.7 percent from the foul line (6-of-9), while the Friars were 24-of-52 from the floor (46.2%), 3-of-10 from long distance (30.0%) and 8-of-14 from the charity stripe (57.1%). Providence owned a 33-32 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 8, when the Wildcats travel to Indianapolis to take on Butler. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova has now defeated Providence in 17 of the last 21 meetings and lead the all-time series by a 38-25 count...Today was just the third home game of the year for Villanova...The Wildcats are 24-2 in the last three years when Devon Kane scores double figures in points, including 7-0 this season...Caroline Coyer has 30 assists and five turnovers in the last six games...Today was the first game all year that Lauren Burford failed to make a three-point field goal...Villanova had an assist on 25 of its 29 made field goals