Wildcats Falter in Second Half of 59-45 Loss at West Virginia
Jan. 20, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W. Va - A pivotal 13-3 run in a span of just three minutes late in the second half proved to be the difference, and Villanova (7-12, 1-5 Big East) was defeated 59-45 on Saturday afternoon at West Virginia (12-7, 4-3 Big East). The Mountaineers avenged a double-overtime loss to the Wildcats two weeks ago and defeated Villanova for just the second time in the last 15 meetings.
Junior Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) hit two free throws that pulled the Wildcats to within 42-38 with 8:41 remaining, but the Mountaineers answered with a jump shot from Sparkle Davis moments later that kicked off the decisive run. LaQuita Owens drained consecutive three-pointers to cap the West Virginia spurt, which culminated with the Mountaineers leading 55-41 with 5:23 left.
Earlier in the second half, Villanova led 33-32 before West Virginia scored eight unanswered points to take the lead for good. The Mountaineers led 40-33 with 10:10 left and four points was the closes that the Wildcats got the rest of the way.
Witman scored a game-high 20 points despite going 5-of-14 from the field. She drained four shots from beyond the three-point arc, was a perfect 6-of-6 at the foul line and pulled down five rebounds for the day. Redshirt freshman Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) was the only other Villanova player in double figures, scoring 13 points.
Grant scored 11 of her points in the first half, including eight of the team's first 12 points in a 12-6 run to start the game. West Virginia was just 3-of-9 from the field with four turnovers in the first eight minutes, but shot 7-of-14 for the rest of the first half to pull to within 25-23 at halftime. The Mountaineers started the second half with a 9-2 run in the first 3:30 to take a 32-27 lead.
Four different West Virginia players scored in double figures, including Chakhia Cole with a game-high 14 points. Owens had 13 points and Olayinka Sanni chipped in 12, while Davis added 11 points. All four players also had at least five rebounds as the Mountaineers turned in a 37-25 advantage on the glass.
The Wildcats are idle for the next week before returning to action at home against St. John's next Saturday at Noon.
NOTES: Only five different players scored in the game for Villanova ... Senior forward Jackie Adamshick (Allentown, Pa.) was held to a season-low four points on 2-of-15 shooting ... It snapped a streak of 11 straight games scoring in double figures for Adamshick, who has reached double digits in 16 of 19 games on the season ... Witman scored at least 20 points for the third time this season ... The six points scored by sophomore Siobhan O'Connor (West Chester, Pa.) represented the only bench points for the Wildcats ... Over the last five games the team's starting lineup has scored 92.4 percent of the team's points (267 of 289) ... West Virginia outscored Villanova 26-4 in the paint ... The Wildcats had won the last five games in the series between the two teams and had also won five straight meetings at the WVU Coliseum ... Villanova defeated the Mountaineers 70-64 in two overtimes at the Pavilion on January 6 ... The Wildcats trailed by six with 38 seconds left in regulation of that game before forcing extra time.