March 10, 2014
CHICAGO, Ill. -The Villanova Wildcats made a valiant comeback, but came up just short in the quarterfinal round of the Big East Tournament. Marquette scored the final four points of the game to tally a 56-53 win. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 22-8 on the season, while Marquette improves to 21-9 on the season.
Villanova trailed 44-37 with 7:19 left in regulation when Wildcat senior guard Devon Kane connected on a three-point field goal from the left wing to cut the Marquette lead to 44-40. Sophomore guard Caroline Coyer made it a two-point contest when she scored on a driving lay-up at the 5:47 mark.
After a defensive stop, Wildcat junior forward Taylor Holeman was fouled on a lay-up attempt with 4:50 remaining. Holeman made one-of-two from the stripe and Villanova was within one at 44-43.
Golden Eagle senior forward Katherine Plouffe pushed the Marquette lead to three at 46-43 when she hit a five-foot jumper in the lane. Coyer came right back 11 seconds later and made it a 46-45 game with a pull-up jump shot. Kane then came up with a steal for Villanova on Marquette's next possession and the Wildcats had the ball and a chance to take the lead. Villanova took advantage of the Marquette turnover when Holeman took a pretty feed from Coyer and scored on a lay-up to give the Wildcats a 47-46 advantage with 3:36 remaining.
The Wildcat lead was short-lived, as Marquette point guard Brooklyn Pumroy scored on a driving lay-up and was fouled. Pumroy completed the three-point play and the Golden Eagles had a 49-47 lead at the 3:10 mark.
Following a missed foul shot by Wildcat junior center Emily Leer, Holeman was fouled going for the rebound and was sent to the line for a one-and-one. Holeman calmly sank both free throws to tie the score at 49-49 with 2:57 to play. Following a Plouffe turnover, Kane was fouled away from the ball with Villanova in the double bonus. Kane converted both foul shots to give the Wildcats a 51-49 advantage with 2:19 on the clock.
Pumroy answered on the other end when she made a driving lay-up with 2:14 left to tie the game at 51-51.
After a missed triple by Coyer, Leer came up with the offensive rebound and Villanova had a new shot clock. The Wildcats set-up an isolation play for Coyer and the sophomore guard beat her defender and made a jump shot in the lane. Coyer's field goal gave the Wildcats a 53-51 lead at the 1:25 mark.
Plouffe was fouled on Marquette's next possession and made it a 53-52 game when she went one-of-two from the foul line. The Wildcats got a great look to take a three-point lead, but Coyer's pull-up jump shot went in and out with 31 seconds to play.
Villanova played good defense on the ensuing possession and forced Marquette guard Arlesia Morse to miss a runner in the lane. Plouffe managed to grab the offensive board and was fouled on the put back attempt. Plouffe made both free throws and the Golden Eagles led 54-53 with 18 seconds to play.
On the Wildcats next possession, Coyer beat her defender on the drive to the basket, but Plouffe came over from the help side and blocked Coyer's lay-up attempt. Following the miss, Villanova was forced to foul Golden Eagle forward Ashley Santos who converted both free throws to give Marquette a 56-53 lead with 5.6 seconds to play.
The Wildcats had one last chance to tie the game, but Kane had her three-point field goal attempt blocked at the buzzer.
In the loss, Kane led all scorers with 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, a 2-of-7 effort from three-point range and a 7-of-8 effort from the foul line. Holeman had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Coyer added 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and a steal. All 10 of Coyer's points came in the second half.
Plouffe paced Marquette with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Pumroy had 11 points. Katie Young chipped in with nine points and 10 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 34.0 percent from the field (18-of-53), 16.7 percent from three-point range (4-of-24) and 76.5 percent from the foul line (13-of-17), while Marquette was 20-of-56 from the floor (35.7%), 2-of-4 from long distance (50.0%) and 14-of-17 from the charity stripe (82.4%). Marquette owned a 43-34 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: Villanova finished the season 2-1 versus Marquette...The Wildcats fall to 31-28 all-time in the Big East Tournament, including 1-2 against Marquette...Tonight was just the fourth time in the last 19 years that Villanova lost its first game in the Big East Tournament...Villanova is now 4-5 all-time in the Big East Tournament as the No. 4 seed...Devon Kane has scored double figures in 22 of the 30 games this year...Kane has led the Wildcats in scoring in 10 games this year...Villanova has made a three-point field goal in 333 consecutive games...Caroline Coyer now has 18 double figure scoring games this season.