Feb. 12, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats earned their sixth win in a row with a 61-46 victory over the visiting Butler Bulldogs. With the win, Villanova improves to 19-5 overall and 9-4 in Big East play, while Butler falls to 11-13 overall and 6-7 in conference action.
Villanova's six-game Big East winning streak is the team's longest since an eight-game streak during the 2008-09 season.
The Wildcats led 14-10 when junior forward Taylor Holeman made a 15-foot jump shot and sophomore guard Caroline Coyer connected on a three-point field goal to give Villanova a 19-10 advantage with 5:01 to play in the opening half.
Butler's Haley Howard made a three to make it a 19-13 game, before Coyer hit a second trifecta to put Villanova up 22-13. After Liz Stratman made two free throws to pull the Bulldogs within seven at 22-15, Katherine Coyer buried a trifecta and Villanova led by double figures for the first time at 25-15. The Bulldogs scored the last points of the half on a Daress McClung lay-up with 1:01 remaining. McClung's bucket made it a 25-17 Villanova lead at intermission.
A Kavunaa Edwards three-point field goal on Villanova's second possession of the second half propelled the Wildcats on a 19-2 run over the first 4:36 of the second stanza. During the spurt, Villanova made four triples with two from Edwards and one each from senior guard Devon Kane and junior forward Lauren Burford. Kane also added a conventional three-point play and a driving lay-up during the run. Kane's lay-up at the 15:24 mark gave Villanova a commanding 44-19 lead.
Following the early second half run, Villanova would control the game the rest of the way. The Wildcats led by as many as 26 and Butler never got within 15 the remainder of the contest.
"I liked our focus tonight," said Wildcat head coach Harry Perretta. "This was a big win for us. It gets us a step closer to the 20-win mark. I thought we played a smart defensive game and our experienced players did a great job of executing the offense."
After shooting 32.3 percent from the field (10-of-31) in the first half, the Wildcats were 15-of-32 for 46.9 percent from the floor during the second half. Villanova committed just six turnovers in the game, including only two in the second half.
Kane led Villanova in the win with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including a 2-of-5 effort from three-point range. She also had four assists, three rebounds and a steal. Leer added 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor. Caroline Coyer netted nine points, while Edwards chipped in with six points, five rebounds and three steals.
Butler was paced by Lexus Murry who had a game-high 16 points, while Howard scored nine points. Liz Stratman posted seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 39.7 percent from the field (25-of-63), 33.3 percent from three-point range (10-of 30) and 50.0 percent from the foul line (1-of-2), while Butler was 19-of-54 from the floor (35.2%), 3-of-11 from long distance (27.3%) and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe (83.3%). Villanova owned a 38-36 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Feb. 15, when the Wildcats travel to No. 24 St. John's. The game can be seen live on CBS College Sports TV at noon.
NOTES: With tonight's win, Villanova sweeps the season series with Butler...The two games this year are the only two meetings all-time between the Wildcats and Bulldogs... Taylor Holeman is 14-of-25 from the field in the last three games for 56.0 percent...Devon Kane has scored double figures in 12 of the last 13 games and in 17 of 24 games overall...Villanova registered its 14th single digit turnover game tonight...The Wildcats have now made double digits in three-point field goals in eight games this season...Villanova has outscored its opponent by a 600-312 margin this year from three-point range...Lauren Burford has made at least one three in 21 of the 23 games she has played in this year.