March 4, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats shot 59.2 percent from the field and 61.9 percent from three-point range en route to an 81-64 win over the visiting Marquette Golden Eagles. Villanova improves to 22-7 overall and 12-6 in Big East play, while Marquette falls to 20-9 on the season and 11-7 in conference action.
With the score tied at 6-6, Villanova ran off 13 straight points to take a 19-6 advantage with 13:11 remaining in the opening half. Junior center Emily Leer hit back-to-back three-point field goals before senior guard Devon Kane scored on a driving lay-up and drained a triple from the left wing. Sophomore guard Caroline Coyer finished off the 13-0 run with a pull-up jump shot off a fast break.
Marquette responded with seven straight points to cut the Wildcat lead to 19-13 at the 11:10 mark. Junior guard Arlesia Morse highlighted the Golden Eagle spurt with a 15-foot jumper and a three-ball.
Leading 30-25 with 5:41 remaining in the opening stanza, Villanova took control of the game by outscoring Marquette by a 20-6 margin the rest of the half to lead 50-31 at intermission. Leer and Kane were outstanding during this stretch for the Wildcats. Leer connected on three field goals from behind the arc, while Kane had four points, two assists and a steal. Coyer registered four points in the half ending run and junior forward Lauren Burford made a trifecta from the left corner.
The duo of Leer and Kane dominated play in the first half. Leer had a perfect half for the Wildcats by going 8-of-8 from the field and 5-of-5 from three-point range for 21 first half points. Kane finished the opening half with 16 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Villanova shot a sizzling 64.0 percent from the field in the first half (16-of-24) and 66.7 percent from three-point range (8-of-12).
The Wildcats used a 9-3 run to start the second half to take a 59-36 lead with 15:44 remaining in the game. Four different Villanova players combined to score the first nine points. Kane, Leer and Burford all scored on lay-ups, while Burford connected on a three.
After opening the 59-36 advantage, Marquette would not get within 17 the rest of the way and Villanova would cruise to the victory.
In the win, Villanova shot a season-high 59.2 percent from the field (29-of-49) and a season-best 61.9 percent from three-point range (13-of-21). The Wildcats were also 10-of-12 from the foul line for 83.3 percent. Marquette was 24-of-55 from the floor (43.6%), 4-of-9 from long distance (44.4%) and 12-of-15 from the charity stripe (80.0%). The Golden Eagles had a 30-22 advantage on the backboards. Villanova had seven turnovers, while Marquette was charged with 11 turnovers.
Villanova was led in the win by Kane and Leer who both had 23 points. Kane, whose 23 points is a career-best effort, also registered eight assists, a career-high five steals and four rebounds. She was 7-of-13 from the field, 3-of-4 from long distance and 6-of-8 from the free throw line. Leer was 9-of-11 from the floor and 5-of-6 from long distance. Caroline Coyer finished with 12 points, five assists, three rebounds and a steal.
Marquette was paced by Brooklyn Pumroy with 13 points and Morse with 12 points. Katherine Plouffe added 11 points.
Villanova finished in a third place tie in the final Big East standings with the Creighton Bluejays with a 12-6 conference record. The Wildcats will be the No. 4 seed in next weekend's conference tournament and will have a rematch from tonight with No. 5 seed Marquette. Game time is set for 8:30 central time at the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., on Sunday, March 9.
NOTES: Villanova finishes the regular season with an 8-4 home record...With tonight's win, Villanova swept five of the nine Big East opponents...Devon Kane has scored in double figures in 21 of 29 games this year...Tonight was Kane's second 20-point game of both the season and her career...Emily Leer now has a team-best four 20-point games this year...Villanova registered its 18th single digit turnover game tonight with seven...The Wildcats tallied their 11th game and third in the last four of making double digit triples...Katherine Coyer is 6-of-9 from three-point range in the last two games.