Jan. 15, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats concluded the non conference portion of their schedule on Wednesday evening with a 55-54 win over the Penn Quakers. With the victory, Villanova improves to 13-3 overall and 3-1 in Philadelphia Big Five play, while Penn falls to 8-4 overall and 1-1 in City Series action.
Penn started the second half on 9-4 run to open up its biggest lead of the game at 38-31 with 15:36 remaining in regulation. Kara Bonenberger had four points in the run, while Meghan McCullough hit a three-ball to give the Quakers the seven point cushion.
Following the Penn spurt, the Villanova guard tandem of Caroline Coyer and Devon Kane took over the game. Coyer scored six straight points on two driving lay-ups and a pull-up jump shot. The jumper closed the Penn lead to 40-37. With the Quakers leading 42-39 with 11:52 on the clock, Kane hit a three-point field goal off a nice feed from Coyer to tie the game at 42-42. Coyer and Kane combined to score 16 of Villanova's 18 points during a key six minute stretch.
On Penn's next possession, Quaker junior guard Renee Busch connected on a trifecta to give her team a 45-42 advantage. Coyer answered on the other end for Villanova when she made a 12-foot jumper to slice the Penn lead to one.
With the score tied at 48-48, Coyer drove baseline and was fouled and was awarded two free throws. Coyer sank both foul shots to give Villanova a 50-48 lead. After neither team was able to score for 2:34, Wildcat junior forward Lauren Burford drained a triple from the left wing and Villanova led 53-48 at the 5:25 mark.
Burford's three appeared to give Villanova all the momentum, but the Quakers would not go away. The Quakers scored the next six points of the game, including two Sydney Stipanovich free throws that gave Penn a 54-53 lead with 1:58 remaining in the game.
The Wildcats got a good look on their next possession, but Caroline Coyer's three-ball was off target. Penn then had a chance to take a two possession lead, but Quaker senior guard Alyssa Baron missed a three-point attempt with 1:21 on the clock.
After Katherine Coyer rebounded the Baron miss, Villanova had possession trailing by one. The Wildcats worked the ball around the Quaker zone before Kane found Katherine Coyer open at the right elbow. Coyer took the Kane feed and drained the game-winning jump shot with 59 seconds to play.
Baron missed a running lay-up on Penn's next trip down the floor and Stipanovich was able to grab the offensive rebound for the Quakers. Following a Penn timeout, the Quakers got the ball to Baron who missed a 15-foot jump shot. Stipanovich grabbed another offensive rebound, but her lay-up with five seconds left would not fall.
The first half saw eight lead changes and five ties with neither team able to open up more than a five point lead. Poor shooting doomed both teams in the opening half. The Wildcats were 10-of-31 from the field in the first 20 minutes, while Penn was 12-of-30, including a 1-of-8 effort from three-point range.
Caroline Coyer led Villanova in the win with 17 points to go with six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Burford had 12 points on four three-point field goals, while Katherine Coyer had 11 points. Kane added seven points, three assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Penn was paced by Baron with 16 points and Bonenberger with 12 points. Baron also grabbed nine rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 38.6 percent from the field (22-of-57), 29.0 percent from three-point range (9-of-31) and were 2-of-2 from the foul line, while Penn was 21-of-56 from the floor (37.5%), 3-of-17 from behind the arc (17.6%) and 9-of-15 from the charity stripe (60.0%). Penn owned a 37-34 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Sunday, Jan. 19, when the Wildcats travel to Chicago to take on the DePaul Blue Demons. Game time is set for 2 p.m. central time and can be seen live on Fox Sports 1.
NOTES: Villanova has now won 11 straight over Penn and lead the all-time series with the Quakers by a 39-2 count...The Wildcats improve to 58-9 all-time versus Ivy League competition...Villanova finished the non conference portion of its schedule with a 10-1 record...The Wildcats have won 12 of their last 13 Big Five games and are 103-36 all-time in Big Five play...The 103 wins are the most by any Philadelphia Big Five women's team...Lauren Burford has made three or more three-point field goals in six games this year...Katherine Coyer is 27-of-46 from the field (.586) in the last seven games...Caroline Coyer has scored double figures in 11 of the 16 games this season.