Feb. 27, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova celebrated Senior Night in fine fashion on Monday evening, as the Wildcats tallied a 68-60 win over the Syracuse Orange. With the win, Villanova improves to 16-13 overall and 6-10 in Big East play, while the Orange fall to 17-13 overall and 6-10 in conference action.
The Wildcats finished in a 10th place tie in the final league standings with Syracuse and Cincinnati. Due to wins over both teams, Villanova will earn the No. 10 seed in next weekend's Big East Tourney. The Wildcats will play No. 15 Seton Hall on Friday, March 2, at 6 p.m.
Hot shooting was the story for Villanova in the first half. The Wildcats made 13-of-27 from the field in the first stanza (48.1%), including a 10-of-15 effort from three-point range (66.7%). Senior Lindsay Kimmel was red hot in the first 20 minutes for Villanova. She finished the half going 5-of-5 from long distance for 15 points.
With the score tied 14-14 with 12:32 left in the first half, Villanova used a 10-0 run to open up a 24-14 advantage. Redshirt freshman center Emily Leer had two lay-ups in the spurt, while junior guard Rachel Roberts and Kimmel each connected on triples. Villanova would use the run to propel them to a 36-27 halftime lead.
Syracuse outscored Villanova, 15-6, over the first eight minutes of the second half and tied the contest at 42-42 with 12:27 to play. Orange senior forward Iasia Hemingway was dominant in the run. Hemingway accounted for 11 of the 15 points in the spurt.
The Orange would take their first lead of the second half when Carmen Tyson-Thomas nailed a three-ball from the wing to give her team a 49-46 advantage with 9:31 to play. Syracuse would then score five of the game's next six points to take a 53-47 advantage at the 7:30 mark.
Villanova answered the Orange run with a 7-0 run to lead 54-53 with 5:36 left on the clock. A three-ball by redshirt freshman Lauren Burford capped the run and gave the `Cats the one point advantage.
Wildcat junior forward Laura Sweeney converted two free throws with 4:59 remaining to give the Wildcats a 56-55 lead. After a defensive stop, Sweeney made a driving lay-up to increase Villanova's lead to 58-55. Hemingway answered at the other end when she made a driving left-handed lay-up to cut the Wildcat lead to 58-57.
On the game's next possession, Villanova executed a set play to perfection and Burford buried a three-pointer to put the `Cats up 61-57 at the 3:44 mark. Syracuse would not go away. Phylesha Bullard made a 15 point jumper to cut the Wildcat advantage to 61-59. After both teams failed to score on their next possession, Sweeney slipped a screen and scored on an uncontested lay-up, giving the `Cats a 63-59 advantage with 2:06 remaining.
After Hemingway made one-of-two from the line, Wildcat sophomore guard Devon Kane was fouled driving to the hoop. Kane made foul shots and Villanova led 65-60 at the 1:24 mark. Villanova made a defensive stop and junior forward Emily Suhey iced the game with two free throws with 1:05 to play.
In the win, Kimmel scored a season-high 16 points, while Sweeney added 15 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, three assists and two steals. Syracuse was paced by Hemingway with a game-high 19 points and a game-best 10 rebounds. Tyson-Thomas added 10 points.
For the game, Villanova shot 42.0 percent from the field (21-of-50), 53.8 percent from three-point range (14-of-26) and 80.0 percent from the foul line (12-of-15), while Syracuse shot 36.1 percent from the floor (22-of-61), 33.3 percent from long distance (4-of-12) and 70.6 percent from the foul line (12-of-17). The Orange owned a 42-29 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: Villanova has won three of the last four against Syracuse...In the last four games against Syracuse, the Wildcats are 56-of-125 from three-point range (44.8%)...Lindsay Kimmel has made 12 triples in her last two games against Syracuse....Kimmel has recorded back-to-back double figure scoring games (11 vs. St. John's on Saturday)...Laura Sweeney registered her 22nd double figure scoring game of the year...Sweeney moved into 12th place on Villanova's all-time scoring list (1,084 points) with her 15 point effort...Villanova had nine turnovers giving the Wildcats their ninth single digit turnover game of the year...The Wildcats had an assist on 17 of their 21 field goals.