March 1, 2014
CINCINNATI, OHIO - The Villanova Wildcats traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio on Saturday afternoon where they tallied a 57-55 win over the Xavier Musketeers. With the victory, Villanova improves to 21-7 overall and 11-6 in Big East play, while Xavier falls to 8-21 overall and 3-14 in conference action.
Xavier freshman guard Kayla Davis helped the Musketeers race to an early 14-9 lead. Davis made her first three shots and scored seven of her team's first 14 points. Davis finished the first half 6-of-9 from the field for 13 points.
Following a three-point field goal by Devon Kane that pulled Villanova within one at 19-18 with 8:47 remaining in the first half, the Musketeers scored six of the game's next eight points to take a 25-20 advantage at the 6:39 mark. Davis was the key figure again for the Musketeers scoring four of Xavier's six points on two pull-up jump shots.
Villanova trailed 28-23 when Wildcat junior center Emily Leer and sophomore guard Caroline Coyer hit back-to-back triples and Villanova led 29-28 lead. The lead was short lived, as Musketeer forward Maddison Blackwell converted a lay-up on the other end to give Xavier the lead back. After the Wildcats regained a one point advantage on a Devon Kane jumper with 1:17 on the clock, Xavier senior guard Ashley Wanninger finished the first half scoring by making a three with 51 seconds remaining. Wanninger's triple gave the Musketeers a 33-31 halftime lead.
Xavier finished the first half shooting 14-of-24 from the field (58.3%) and 3-of-4 from three-point range (75.0%), while Villanova was 11-of-30 from the floor (36.7%) and 9-of-22 from long distance (40.9%).
With the score tied at 37-37 early in the second half, Xavier scored five straight points to grab a 42-37 advantage at the 16:06 mark. A Kane three-ball ended the mini Musketeer run and the Wildcats were back within two at 42-40. Following a Musketeer turnover, Caroline Coyer drained a three from the wing to give the Wildcats a 43-42 lead.
After the Musketeers went back up one at 44-43 on a Blackwell lay-up, Kane connected on another trifecta and Villanova's lead was at 46-44. Wildcat freshman forward Samantha Wilkes and Blackwell from Xavier each went one-of-two from the foul line and the Wildcats held a 47-45 advantage with 12:26 to play.
A Lauren Burford lay-up with 10:54 on the clock propelled the Wildcats on a 6-0 run and a 53-45 lead at the 8:47 mark. Following the Burford basket, junior forward Taylor Holeman hit back-to-back jump shots for the Wildcats.
With her team in danger of falling behind by double digits, Wanninger hit a big three-point field goal for Xavier from the top of the key to slice the Villanova lead to 53-48. Following the Wanninger three, neither team was able to score for the next 3:21. Holeman ended the scoring drought and put her team up seven at 55-48 when she made a driving lay-up.
Blackwell scored on a lay-up to pull the Musketeers within five at 55-50, before Holeman made another lay-up to increase the Villanova lead to 57-50 at the 3:55 mark. The Holeman bucket would prove to be Villanova's game-winning basket.
The Wildcats led 57-52 with 54 seconds to play when Musketeer guard Sydney Neal made one of two from the foul line to cut the lead to 57-53. Villanova had a chance to put the game away with 29 seconds left, but Leer's 10-foot jumper would not fall. Xavier took advantage of the Wildcat miss when Briana Glover scored on a lay-up. The Glover basket cut the Villanova lead to 57-55 with 18 seconds remaining.
Kane was fouled with 5.2 seconds on the clock and missed the front end of the one-and-one. Following the Kane miss, Xavier rushed the ball up court and Neal missed the potential game-winning three from the right corner as time expired.
In the win, Kane led all scorers with 16 points on 6-of-15 shooting, including a 4-of-8 effort from three-point range. She also had a game-best seven assists. Sophomore guard Katherine Coyer had an outstanding all-around game for Villanova with 12 points, six assists, four blocks, two rebounds and a steal. All 12 of her points came on a career-high four three-point field goals. Holeman added eight points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
Xavier was paced by Davis and Wanninger with 13 points each, while Blackwell had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Glover had 10 points and 12 caroms.
For the game, Villanova shot 37.5 percent from the field (21-of-56), 38.9 percent from three-point range and 33.3 percent from the foul line (1-of-3), while Xavier was 23-of-44 from the floor (52.3%), 4-of-9 from long distance (44.4%) and 5-of-11 from the charity stripe (45.5%). The Musketeers owned a 36-25 advantage on the backboards. Villanova was charged with just six turnovers.
The Wildcats return to action on Tuesday, March 4, when Villanova plays host to Marquette on Senior Night. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova completed the season sweep of Xavier with today's win...Devon Kane has now led Villanova in scoring in eight games this year...Kane has 20 double figure scoring games to her credit this season...The Villanova bench scored 21 of the team's 57 points today...Villanova had an assist on 18 of its 21 field goals...Devon Kane tied a career-high with four three-point field goals in today's win...Today was Villanova's 10th game this year making double digit three-point field goals...Villanova tallied its 17th single digit turnover game this year with six turnovers...The Wildcats lead the country in fewest turnovers per game at 8.7...The Wildcats have allowed 60 points or less on 18 occasions this season...Villanova improves to 11-3 on the road. The 11 wins are the most by any Big East team.