Jan. 16, 2013
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats won their second consecutive Philadelphia Big Five title with a 48-44 comeback win at Penn. The win was also Villanova's 100th all-time Big Five victory which is the most by any Big Five women's program.
With the victory, Villanova improves to 14-2 overall and a perfect 4-0 in Big Five play, while Penn falls to 7-7 overall and 1-2 in City Series action.
Villanova led 16-8 with 9:09 left in the first half when Penn took control of the game. The Quakers outscored the Wildcats, 15-5, over the final 8:37. Alyssa Baron led the Quakers in the first half with 11 points.
Penn's Kathleen Roche connected on a three-ball with 1:57 left in the half to give the Quakers a 22-18 advantage. After a Penn defensive stop, Quaker center Courtney Wilson made one of two from the foul line giving Penn its largest lead of the first half at 23-18.
The Wildcats cut the Penn advantage to 23-21 at halftime when sophomore forward Taylor Holeman made a three-ball from the corner with 13 seconds remaining in the half.
Penn started the second stanza by scoring the first six points of the half to grab a 29-21 lead. All three Quaker field goals were lay-ups in the half court set.
After a Villanova timeout, the Wildcats scored seven unanswered to pull within one at 29-28. Wildcat senior forward Laura Sweeney began to dominate the game during the run with five of her team's seven points.
Quaker sophomore guard Kathleen Roche ended the Penn scoreless streak with a three-point field goal from the wing to give the Quakers a 32-28 advantage.
Villanova took its first lead of the second half at the 13:24 mark when junior guard Devon Kane connected on a three-ball to give the Wildcats a 34-32 advantage. After Penn tied the game at 34-34 on a Keiera Ray lay-up, Villanova ran off seven straight points to take a 41-34 lead with 8:39 to play. Sweeney was the story for the Wildcats scoring five of the seven points. Sophomore forward Taylor Holeman accounted for the other bucket on a lay-up off an assist from Lauren Burford.
A Katy Allen foul shot pulled the Quakers to within four at 46-42 with 2:57 remaining. Villanova managed a key possession that lasted 2:09. The Wildcats missed four shots during the time period, but recorded three offensive rebounds to keep the possession going. An offensive foul by Sweeney with 48 seconds left gave Penn the ball.
Penn sliced the lead to 46-44 with 27 seconds remaining on a Ray lay-up. The Quakers fouled Villanova's Kane with seven seconds on the clock where she iced the game by making both free throws.
Sweeney led the Wildcats in the win with a game-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting. She also added eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Kane finished with 11 points, while Holeman added nine points and six rebounds.
Penn was paced by Baron who had 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting. She was the only Quaker in double figures.
For the game, Villanova was 18-of-46 from the field (39.1%), 5-of-20 from three-point range (25.0%) and 7-of-12 from the foul line (58.3%), while Penn shot 38.0 percent from the floor (19-of-50), 25.0 percent from behind the arc (3-of-12) and 50.0 percent from the charity stripe (3-of-6). Villanova owned a 34-26 advantage on the backboards.
The Wildcats will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 19, when they host South Florida. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. Prior to the game, the annual alumnae game will take place at 11:15 a.m.
NOTES: Villanova now leads the all-time series with Penn by a 38-2 margin...The Wildcats have defeated the Quakers 10 straight times...Villanova improves to 56-9 all-time versus the Ivy League...The Wildcats finished the non conference portion of the schedule with an 11-2 record...Laura Sweeney tallied her 12th double figure scoring game of the season...Taylor Holeman is 22-of-29 from the field in the last six games...The Wildcats have held 10 of their 16 opponents under 50 points.