Feb. 27, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats suffered a hard fought 52-49 decision to the visiting St. John's Red Storm in a game played on Wednesday, Feb. 27. With the loss, Villanova falls to 18-9 overall and 7-7 in Big East play, while the Red Storm has won six in a row to improve to 16-10 overall and 10-4 in conference action.
Two free throws by St. John's point guard Nadirah McKenith broke a tie game and gave the Red Storm a 50-48 lead with 59 seconds remaining. On the game's next possession, Villanova senior forward Laura Sweeney was fouled on a drive to the basket. After making the first free throw, Sweeney missed the second but was able to get the offensive rebound.
After a timeout, Sweeney drove to the basket and kicked the ball to an open Rachel Roberts in the corner. Roberts three-ball was off target and St. John's forward Shenneika Smith grabbed the rebound. The Wildcats fouled McKenith who missed the front end of a one-and-one to keep the score at 50-49 with 19 seconds remaining.
The missed foul shot gave the Wildcats one last chance to win the game. Villanova called a timeout and had the ball on the sideline with 10.4 seconds left on the clock. Junior guard Devon Kane pulled up for a 15-foot jumper to give Villanova the lead, but Kane's shot would not fall and Smith grabbed the defensive rebound.
St. John's made six of its first eight shots to start the game and led 18-12 with 8:46 remaining in the first half. The Red Storm then went cold from the outside and made just three of their next 18 shots. After a McKenith foul shot at the 9:15 mark, St. John's went 9:05 without scoring a point.
Villanova used the Red Storm dry spell and went on an 11-3 run to take a 23-21 lead at intermission.
In the loss, Sweeney led the Wildcats with 15 points and 11 rebounds. This was Sweeney's eighth double-double of the season and 16th of her career. Freshman guard Katherine Coyer and Roberts chipped in with seven points.
St. John's was paced by McKenith who had a game-high 19 points and Smith who had 16 points. McKenith also had five assists, three steals and three rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 39.1 percent from the field (18-of-46), 28.6 percent from three-point range (4-of-14) and 56.3 percent from the foul line (9-of-16), while St. John's was 19-of-44 from the floor (43.2%), 2-of-6 from long distance (33.3%) and 12-of-16 from the charity stripe (75.0%). St. John's owned a 33-30 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, March 2, with a road game at Syracuse. Tip-off at the Carrier Dome is set for 3 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova head coach Harry Perretta missed the game due to a family emergency...Associate Head Coach Joe Mullaney coached the Wildcats in Perretta's absence...Laura Sweeney has scored in double figures in 22 of the 27 games this season...St. John's has now won four in a row over the Wildcats...Villanova has lost four consecutive home games...The Wildcats were credited with an assist on 14 of their 18 field goals...Katherine Coyer is 7-of-15 from the field in the last two games.