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Wildcats Fall to St. John's in BIG EAST Battle
Kavunaa Edwards recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds against the Red Storm.

Jan. 22, 2014

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - In women's basketball action on Wednesday, Jan. 22, the Villanova Wildcats lost a hard fought 59-52 decision to the visiting St. John's Red Storm. With the loss, Villanova falls to 13-5 overall and 3-4 in Big East play, while St. John's improves to 13-5 overall and 6-1 in conference action.

With the game tied at 6-6, Villanova outscored St. John's by a 10-4 margin over the next 4:48 to take a 16-10 lead at the 12:16 mark. Two three-point field goals by sophomore forward Kavunaa Edwards led the Wildcat charge.

St. John's controlled the later stages of the half to take a seven point lead into intermission. The Red Storm held the Wildcats to just two points over the final 7:03 and St. John's outscored Villanova, 9-2, to lead by a 31-24 count at halftime.

Foul trouble played a big part in the first half for the Wildcats. Villanova had three of its primary players, including Emily Leer, Taylor Holeman and Katherine Coyer pick-up two first half fouls. Leer and Holeman were limited to just seven and six minutes respectively.

The first 12 minutes of the second half was evenly played with St. John's maintaining a lead that mainly fluctuated between a six and eight point margin. Trailing 49-44, Wildcat sophomore guard Katherine Coyer slipped a screen for a lay-up that cut the Red Storm advantage to 49-46 with 6:26 to play. After a Red Storm missed lay-up, Villanova made it a one point game at 49-48 when Holeman hit a 10 foot jumper in the lane.

On the Red Storm's next possession, St. John's guard Eugeneia McPherson missed a running lay-up and Wildcat senior guard Devon Kane grabbed the defensive rebound. Trailing by one with the ball, Katherine Coyer found Leer wide open on the wing. Leer caught the ball in rhythm and buried a three-point field goal to give Villanova its first lead of the second half at 51-49 with 4:35 to play.

St. John's guard Aliyyah Handford made one of two from the foul line to make it a one point game at 51-50, before Kane was called for a charge on Villanova's next possession. The Red Storm took advantage of the turnover when Handford scored on a baseline lay-up to give her team a 52-51 advantage.

The Wildcats had three opportunities to regain the lead, but Holeman missed two jump shots and the team was called for a turnover. Following the miscue, Red Storm senior guard Briana Brown connected on a trifecta and St. John's had a two possession lead at 55-51 at the 2:00 mark. Villanova was able to get it back to a one possession contest at 55-52 when Kane made one of two from the foul line.

Villanova had a chance to slice the Red Storm lead to one with a little over a minute to play, but Caroline Coyer's lay-up would not fall. Following the Coyer miss, McPherson gave St. John's a 57-52 lead with 37 seconds remaining when she connected on a pull-up jumper . Two free throws with 23 seconds left by Amber Thompson sealed the win for the Red Storm.

In the loss, Edwards led Villanova with her second double-double of the season with a career-high 13 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards made a career-best three field goals from behind the arc. Kane also reached double figures with 10 points to go with five assists and two rebounds. The Coyer sisters had eight points each.

St. John's was paced by Thompson with 14 points and Handford who had 11. Danaejah Grant came off the bench to tally seven points and nine rebounds.

For the game, Villanova shot 34.5 percent from the floor (20-of-58), 25.0 percent from three-point range (4-of-16) and 88.9 percent from the foul line (8-of-9), while St. John's was 20-of-56 from the field (35.7%), 2-of-8 from long distance (25.0%) and 17-of-22 from the charity stripe (77.3%). The Red Storm owned a 43-35 advantage on the backboards. Each team committed just six turnovers.

Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 25, when the Wildcats host Xavier. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.

NOTES: Villanova leads the all-time series against St. John's by a 31-23 count, but the Red Storm has won the last five against the Wildcats...The Wildcats fall to 3-3 at home this year...Tonight was just the second game all year that Lauren Burford did not connect on a three-point field goal...Devon Kane tallied her 11th double figure scoring game...The double-double by Kavunaa Edwards was Villanova's fourth of the season...Villanova has now had a single digit turnover game in 10 of the 18 games...Emily Leer has seven blocked shots in her last two home games...Devon Kane led Villanova with 37 minutes played, while Kavunaa Edwards logged a career-high 29 minutes.