Feb. 2, 2013
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Villanova traveled to Rutgers University on Saturday afternoon where the Wildcats lost a hard fought 58-50 decision to the Scarlet Knights. With the loss, Villanova falls to 16-5 overall and 5-3 in Big East play, while Rutgers improves to 13-8 overall and 4-4 in league action.
A lay-up by senior forward Laura Sweeney gave Villanova a 44-36 lead with 7:25 to play in regulation. Following the Sweeney bucket, the Wildcats would score just two more points the rest of the half.
Rutgers sliced the Villanova lead to 44-41 on a Shakena Richardson three-point field goal at the 3:49 mark. The Wildcats answered on the other end when sophomore center Emily Leer converted an uncontested lay-up. Leer's field goal was her team's final points of the second half.
Villanova led 46-45 when Richardson was fouled on a drive to the basket with eight seconds remaining. Richardson missed the first and made the second free throw to tie the game at 46-46. The Wildcats had a chance to win the game at the buzzer but Megan Pearson's jumper was off target.
Rutgers scored the first six points of overtime to take a 52-46 lead. A key play in the extra session happened at the 4:07 mark when Sweeney fouled out of the game.
Two free throws by Wildcat junior guard Devon Kane cut the Scarlet Knight lead to 52-48 with 2:31 to play. Rutgers freshman Kahleah Copper scored on a driving lay-up on the next possession to give the Knights the six point lead again at 54-48. Kane made one of two from the line to make it a five point game, before Richardson made two free throws to give Rutgers a 56-49 advantage with 1:33 on the clock.
Two missed field goals by Villanova and a bucket by Scarlet Knight forward Betnijah Laney iced the game for Rutgers.
With the game tied at 11-11 with 9:59 to play in the first half, the Wildcats outscored Rutgers, 10-3, over the rest of the half to take a 24-17 halftime advantage. Senior guard Rachel Roberts led the Villanova run with seven points.
In the loss, Sweeney led the Wildcats with 11 points and 10 rebounds. She also had five assists and four steals. Roberts added 10 points, while Emily Leer had eight points off the bench.
Rutgers was paced by Richardson with 14 points and Laney who had 12.
For the game, Villanova shot 39.1 percent from the field (18-of-46), 50.0 percent from three-point range (9-of-18) and 62.5 percent from the foul line (5-of-8), while Rutgers was 21-of-46 from the floor (45.7%), 3-of-7 from long distance (42.9%), 13-of-19 from the charity stripe (68.4%). Rutgers owned a 35-23 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when the Wildcats host Notre Dame. Game time at the Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Laura Sweeney now has 16 career double-doubles and seven this season...Villanova committed a season-high 18 turnovers in today's loss...Sweeney now has 16 double figure scoring games to her credit this season....Sweeney moved past Kathie Beisel and into fifth place on Villanova's all-time rebounding chart with 738 career boards.