Jan. 26, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In women's basketball action on Saturday, Jan. 26, the Villanova Wildcats tallied a 64-59 home win over the Syracuse Orange. With the victory, Villanova improves to 16-3 overall and 5-1 in Big East play, while Syracuse falls to 16-3 overall and 4-2 in league action.
Senior guard Rachel Roberts hit a three-pointer from the corner to break a 54-54 tie and give the Wildcats a 57-54 lead with 6:42 left in regulation. The triple was her sixth of the game which established a new career-high. The Wildcats had a chance to increase the lead even further, but Roberts missed consecutive jumpers on Villanova's next two possessions.
Syracuse pulled to within one at 57-56 with 5:02 to play when Orange center Kayla Alexander scored on an offensive rebound put back. After a Roberts missed three-ball, Syracuse forward Elashier Hall was called for a travel. On the ensuing possession, Wildcat senior forward Laura Sweeney connected on a three-point field goal from the wing to give Villanova a 60-56 advantage at the 4:11 mark.
Villanova held a three point lead when Sweeney converted a driving lay-up to put the Wildcats up five at 62-57 with 1:28 to play. Syracuse freshman Brianna Butler kept the Orange in the game when she made a 15 foot bank shot. Butler's bucket closed the Villanova lead to 62-59 with 1:12 on the clock.
Syracuse had two three-point field goal attempts to tie the game in the final 30 seconds, but both attempts were off target. Villanova junior guard Devon Kane sealed the win for Villanova by making both ends of a one-and-one with eight seconds on the clock.
The first half went back-and-forth with neither team able to open up more than a five point lead. Villanova used hot shooting in the first half to take a 38-33 halftime advantage. The `Cats were 14-of-27 from the field (51.9%) and 6-of-9 from three-point range (66.7%) in the first stanza.
In the win, Roberts led the Wildcats with a career-high 26 points for her first career 20-point performance. Roberts was 9-of-16 from the field and 6-of-11 from three-point range. The six triples were also a career-best effort. Sweeney recorded her third consecutive double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. She now has 15 career double-doubles and six this season. Kane dished out a career-high six assists.
Syracuse was paced by Hall with 17 points and nine boards, while Brittney Sykes added 14 points and six rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 42.1 percent from the field (24-of-57), 40.0 percent from three-point range (10-of-25) and 75.0 percent from the foul line (6-of-8), while the Orange were 25-of-61 from the field (41.0%), 4-of-17 from behind the arc (23.5%) and 5-of-10 from the charity stripe (50.0%). Villanova owned a slim 37-36 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 29, when the Wildcats travel to Hartford, Conn., to take on the No. 2 Connecticut Huskies. Tip-off at the XL Center is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova now leads the all-time series against Syracuse by a 39-15 count and the Wildcats have won four of five versus the Orange...Laura Sweeney moved past Denise Dillon and into eighth place on Villanova's scoring chart with 1,366 points...Sweeney moved into sixth place on Villanova's all-time rebounding list with 723 career caroms...Katherine Coyer played her first career game tonight and had five points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal...At halftime, Villanova honored the 2002-03 Wildcat team on their 10th anniversary of winning the Big East championship and advancing to the Elite Eight...Also, at halftime, Villanova retired the jersey of former Wildcat great Trish Juhline.