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Wildcats Overpower Syracuse 62-45

Feb. 9, 2005

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - With hopes of avenging a loss to the Orange just 11 days earlier, Villanova (13-8, 6-4 Big East) closed the first half on a 15-5 run and never led by fewer than 12 points in the second half. The result was a 62-45 victory over Syracuse (11-11, 3-8 BE) on Wednesday night at The Pavilion.

Senior center Jana Rediger (Sellersville, Pa.) scored the Wildcats' first 12 points of the second half, and Villanova stretched a 31-18 halftime margin to a 39-22 advantage in the opening 3:29 of the second stanza. The Wildcats maintained that lead the rest of the way, never leading by more than 12 and stretching the lead to as many as 19 before settling on the final margin.

Rediger shot 7-of-10 from the field and scored a season-high 16 points on the night, with 14 of those points coming in the second half. She also pulled down five rebounds, blocked two shots and had a steal in just 18 minutes of work. Junior forward Liad Suez (Even-Yehuda, Israel) came off the bench to score 11 points and manage a game-high seven rebounds. Junior guard Betsy McManus (Pearl River, N.Y.) dished out six assists and senior guard Jennifer Hilgenberg (Readington, N.J.) passed out five as an efficient Villanova offense distributed 19 assists on its 25 baskets.

Vaida Sipaviciute led Syracuse with 11 points and seven rebounds, while Jessica Richter and Mary Joe Riley added 10 points apiece.

The Wildcats led 16-13 in the first half before scoring 15 points in the final 8:30 of the period. Junior forward Kate Dessart Mager (Media, Pa.) scored six of her eight points during the run, in which the Orange missed seven straight shots from the floor.

Villanova returns to action on the road this Saturday with a 2:00 p.m. game against West Virginia. The next home game is on February 19 against St. John's at 2:00 p.m.



NOTES: Dessart Mager made her first collegiate start and tallied eight points, five rebounds and three steals in 21 minutes ... Villanova's bench outscored the Syracuse reserves 26-6 ... The Wildcats have now held the opposition to fewer than 50 points seven times this season, including three of the past four games.