March 3, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. -In the second round of the Big East Tournament on Saturday, March 3, No. 7 seed Louisville used a dominant second half to tally a 63-47 win over No. 10 Villanova. With the victory, the nationally ranked Cardinals improve to 22-8 on the season, while Villanova falls to 17-14.
The first half was a back and forth affair with nine lead changes and four ties. Neither team was able to lead by more than four points in the game's first 20 minutes.
Villanova took a 29-26 lead with 1:13 left in the first half, when junior forward Laura Sweeney connected on a three-point field goal from the right wing. After a defensive stop, Villanova had a chance to increase its lead, but sophomore guard Devon Kane was off target on her triple attempt.
On the final possession of the first half, Louisville sophomore guard Shoni Schimmel made a three-point field goal at the buzzer to tie the game at 29-29 at intermission.
In the first half, the Wildcats were 7-of-16 from three-point range. Villanova's first five field goals of the first half were trifectas.
Louisville started the second half strong, as the Cardinals used a 9-0 run over the first 3:22 to open up a 38-31 lead. Asia Taylor had five of Louisville's nine points in the run.
A Rachel Roberts lay-up at the 14:36 mark pulled the Wildcats to within five at 42-37. After neither team scored for over two minutes, the Cardinals took control of the game with a 14-4 spurt over the next six minutes to lead 55-41 with 6:21 to play. Shawnta Dyer netted nine straight points in the run for Louisville. Five of Dyer's nine points came from the free throw line.
Villanova went cold from the outside in the second half. After going 7-of-16 from long distance in the first half, the Wildcats were 0-for-6 from behind the arc in the second stanza.
In the loss, three Wildcats scored double figures. Sweeney registered her eighth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Kane also scored 13 points. Roberts chipped in with 10 points.
Louisville was paced Schimmel with a game-high 20 points and eight rebounds. Taylor scored 13 points, while senior Becky Burke had 10 points.
For the game, Villanova shot 36.5 percent from the field (19-of-52), 31.8 percent from three-point range (7-of-22) and 100.0 percent from the foul line (2-of-2), while Louisville was 22-of-52 from the floor (42.3%), 7-of-20 from long distance (35.0%) and 12-of-17 from the charity stripe (70.6%). The Cardinals owned a 38-29 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: The Wildcats all-time record in the Big East Tournament now stands at 30-26...Villanova falls to 0-9 all-time versus Louisville...Rachel Roberts recorded her second straight double figure game of the Big East Tournament and her 13th of the season...Devon Kane averaged 11.5 points per game in the Big East Tournament and she has now scored double figures in five of the last nine games.