Feb. 24, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. -
In women’s basketball action on Sunday, Feb. 24, the Villanova Wildcats suffered a 55-49 home loss to the No. 12 Louisville Cardinals. With the loss, Villanova falls to 18-8 overall and 7-6 in Big East play, while Louisville improves to 22-6 overall and 10-4 in league action.
Louisville controlled the first 13 minutes of the game and led 23-11 with 6:52 left in the first half. Cardinal sophomore guard Bria Smith led the Louisville charge in the early going by scoring six points and recording four steals on the defensive end of the floor.
Villanova used two Katherine Coyer free throws to start a run that would pull the Wildcats to within four at halftime. The Wildcats went on a 13-5 spurt over the last 6:38 of the half and Louisville would go to intermission with a 28-24 lead. Coyer netted seven of Villanova’s 13 points in the run.
The Wildcats kept the momentum going to start the second half, as Villanova began the second stanza on an 11-4 run. Senior forward Laura Sweeney scored the first six points for Villanova and a three-ball by Coyer gave the Wildcats a 35-34 lead with 15:50 to play.
With the score tied at 40-40 with 9:34 remaining, Villanova sophomore center Emily Leer gave the Wildcats their last lead of the game when she scored on a nice post move. Leer’s bucket gave Villanova a 42-40 advantage at the 9:34 mark. Neither team was able to score for the next 3:19, before Louisville’s Antonita Slaughter connected on a three-point field goal to give the Cardinals a 43-42 lead.
On the game’s next possession, Sweeney made one-of-two from the foul line to tie the game at 43-43 with 5:59 left on the clock. The Cardinals would take the lead for good at the 4:56 mark when Smith made a lay-up to put the Cards up two at 45-43.
After Sweeney missed the front end of a one-and-one, Louisville center Sheronne Vails scored on a lay-up, giving her team a 47-43 advantage with 4:09 to play. Sweeney made a lay-up to slice the lead to 47-45, before Vails made another jumper to put Louisville back up four at 49-45 at the 1:33 mark.
The Wildcats failed to score on their next possession and Louisville went six-of-six from the charity stripe down the stretch to seal the victory.
In the loss, Sweeney scored a team-high 13 points, while Coyer netted a career-high 12 points. Coyer also grabbed a career-best five rebounds. Senior forward Megan Pearson added a season-high eight rebounds.
Louisville had three players in double figures led by Smith who had 16points to go with seven rebounds, six steals and four assists. Sara Hammond and Slaughter added 10 points each.
For the game, Villanova shot 37.3 percent from the field (19-of-51), 33.3 percent from three-point range (5-of-15) and 50.0 percent from the foul line (6-of-12), while Louisville was 21-of-56 from the floor (37.5%), 2-of-9 from long distance (22.2%) and 11-of-17 from the charity stripe (64.7%). Louisville owned a 42-31 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova will return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 27, when the Wildcats host St. John’s. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: After starting the year 7-0 at home, Villanova has now lost three straight home contests…The Wildcats fall to 0-9 all-time versus Louisville…Villanova was just 1-of-6 from the foul line in the second half…Laura Sweeney has now scored double figures in 21 of 26 games this season…The Wildcats will play two of the final three regular season games at home.