Jan. 19, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Wildcat junior guard Devon Kane made three foul shots with under a second remaining to lift Villanova to a 52-49 win over the visiting South Florida Bulls. With the victory, Villanova improves to 15-2 overall and 4-0 in Big East play, while South Florida falls to 12-5 overall and 1-3 in conference action.
With the score tied at 49-49, South Florida senior guard Andrea Smith missed a jump shot with eight seconds remaining in regulation. Villanova junior forward Taylor Holeman grabbed the defensive rebound and threw the outlet pass to Rachel Roberts. Kane took the pass from Roberts and was fouled on a desperation three-pointer with three tenths of a second on the clock. Kane sank all three free throws to give the Wildcats the dramatic win.
"We didn't shoot the ball well today, but we made enough plays throughout the game to hang around," said Wildcat head coach Harry Perretta. "I thought Laura Sweeney did a great job of controlling the game for us in the second half. Rachel Roberts and Devon Kane came up with the play at the end. Rachel advanced the ball quickly and Devon was able to get a shot up before the buzzer."
Villanova controlled the first part of the game, as the Wildcats held a 17-7 advantage at the 11:27 mark of the first half. After a Caroline Coyer jumper gave Villanova the 17-7 lead, the Wildcats went 10:24 without scoring a point. During the scoreless stretch, Villanova was 0-for-15 from the field. The Bulls took advantage of the Villanova offensive struggles by scoring 12 straight points to take a 19-17 lead.
Senior guard Rachel Roberts ended the Villanova drought by draining a three-ball with 1:03 left in the half to help the Wildcats take a 20-19 lead. With Villanova holding a 22-21 advantage, South Florida's Andrell Smith made a jumper with eight seconds left in the half to give the Bulls a 23-22 lead at intermission.
A jumper in the lane at the 17:24 mark of the second half by South Florida's Andrea Smith gave the Bulls their largest lead of the game at 29-24. It was then that Villanova senior forward Laura Sweeney became a huge factor in the contest. Sweeney scored five of Villanova's next seven points and the game was tied at 33-33. The Wildcats took their first lead of the second half at 34-33 when Kane made one of two from the foul line with 11:43 to play.
The game was knotted at 47-47 at the 3:43 mark when neither team was able to score for 2:31. Sweeney gave Villanova a 49-47 lead with 1:12 left when she connected on two foul shots. The lead was short-lived as Andrea Smith buried a 10-foot jumper with 53 seconds remaining.
Villanova failed to regain the lead when Taylor Holeman turned the ball over with 36 seconds on the clock. Holeman was attempting to feed Sweeney who had slipped a screen and was open rolling to the hoop.
South Florida ran the clock down and Andrea Smith got a good look but the shot would not fall with eight seconds remaining. The miss set-up Kane's heroics on the other end of the floor.
In the win, Sweeney tallied her 13th career double-double and fourth of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. She also added two blocks. Roberts registered 13 points for the Wildcats, while Holeman grabbed a career-high nine rebounds.
South Florida was paced by Andrell Smith with 20 points and nine rebounds. Twin sister Andrea Smith had 10 points, while Inga Orekhova added 10 points.
Villanova shot 32.7 percent from the floor (16-of-49), 21.7 percent from three-point range (5-of-23) and 78.9 percent from the foul line (15-of-19), while the Bulls were 17-of-65 from the field (26.2%), 4-of-12 from long distance (33.3%) and 11-of-14 from the charity stripe (78.6%). Villanova owned a 44-41 advantage on the backboards.
The Wildcats will return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 23, when they travel to Providence. Tip-off at the Mullaney Gymnasium is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Today's win was the first-ever victory for Villanova over USF...The Wildcats are 6-0 at home this season...Villanova is 15-2 and 4-0 in the Big East for the first time since 1986-87...Laura Sweeney moved past Kathie Beisel and into ninth place on Villanova's all-time scoring list with 1,336 points...Sweeney now has 13 double figure scoring games this year...Villanova committed a season-high 16 turnovers in the win over USF...The Wildcats have made a three-point field goal in 288 straight games.