Jan. 24, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats tallied a key Big East Conference win on Tuesday evening at The Pavilion with a 62-53 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats. With the win, Villanova improves to 13-7 overall and 3-4 in Big East play, while Cincinnati falls to 9-11 on the year and 0-7 in conference play.
Villanova led 40-24 with 15:13 to play in the second half, when Cincinnati made a charge. The Bearcats made 12 of their first 17 shots of the second half and cut the Wildcat lead to three at 52-49 with 5:04 to play
After a Wildcat turnover, Cincinnati forward Tiffany Turner missed a jump shot that would have cut the Villanova advantage to one at the 4:37 mark. The Wildcats answered on the other end when junior forward Laura Sweeney scored on a driving lay-up to put her team up 54-49. Each team then failed to score on its next two possessions. Sweeney converted a huge basket when she buried a baseline jump shot. The jumper gave Villanova a 56-49 lead with 2:11 to play.
Cincinnati cut the advantage to 56-51 with two free throws by Bjonee Reaves. Sweeney then scored her sixth straight point when she made a left-handed lay-up off a sideline inbounds pass to put the `Cats back up seven at 58-51 with 1:13 on the clock.
Villanova sophomore guard Devon Kane went four-of-four from the foul line down the stretch to seal the win.
The Wildcats played an outstanding first half to take a 33-18 lead at intermission. Villanova used the three-ball in the first half to its advantage, as the Wildcats were 7-of-14 in the first stanza from long distance. Redshirt freshman Lauren Burford led the charge in the first 20 minutes for Villanova with 11 points, including three triples.
Villanova led 17-12 with 9:29 to play in the first half, when the Wildcats used a 9-0 run to grab a comfortable 26-12 lead. Three consecutive three-pointers by Lindsay Kimmel, Rachel Roberts and Kane fueled the run. The Bearcats managed just six points the last 9:29 of the half.
In the win, Burford scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting, including a 4-of-9 effort from behind the arc. Sweeney finished with 14 points and six rebounds. She was an efficient 6-of-10 from the floor. Kane chipped in with nine points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Cincinnati was paced by Reaves who had a game-high 20 points. Dayeesha Hollins added 17 points, six rebounds and three assists.
For the game, Villanova shot 46.9 percent from the floor (23-of-49), 43.5 percent from three-point range (10-of-23) and 100.0 percent from the foul line (6-of-6), while the Bearcats were 21-of-48 from the field (43.8%), 5-of-16 from long distance (31.3%) and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe (66.7%). The Wildcats owned a slim 28-27 advantage on the backboards. Villanova had eight turnovers and Cincinnati was charged with nine turnovers.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 28, when the Wildcats travel to Louisville. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
NOTES: With the 13 wins, Villanova surpasses last year's total of 12 victories...Villanova has now defeated Cincinnati three-straight times...The Bearcats fall to 0-4 all-time at The Pavilion...Devon Kane is now 36-of-40 from the foul line on the year...Lauren Burford now has eight double figure scoring games on the season...Laura Sweeney tallied her 16th double figure scoring game of the season.