March 15, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In first round action of the WNIT, Villanova tallied a 58-39 home win over the American University Eagles. With the victory, Villanova improves to 18-14 on the season, while American finishes the season at 23-8.
The Wildcats now advance to the second round and will play at Illinois State on Sunday afternoon. Illinois State earned a 69-68 win over Central Michigan in a first round match-up.
Villanova led 20-19 with 7:05 to play in the first half, when the Wildcats went on a 12-2 run to take a 32-21 halftime lead. Redshirt freshman center Emily Leer and sophomore guard Devon Kane each had five points in the spurt. Kane grabbed an offensive rebound and connected on a 10 foot jumper as time expired in the first half, giving the Wildcats their first double digit lead of the contest.
In the first half, the Wildcats shot an efficient 51.9 percent from the field (14-of-27), while the Eagles were just 9-of-27 from the floor for 33.3 percent.
Villanova outscored American, 16-5, over the first 10 minutes of the second half to take a commanding 48-27 lead. The Wildcats used four three-point field goals to open up the lead, including two triples by junior forward Emily Suhey. American would not get closer than 14 the rest of the way.
Senior guard Rachel Roberts and sophomore forward Lauren Burford led the Wildcats in the victory with 10 points. Burford scored all 10 of her points in the second half. Leer and Kane added seven points each.
American was paced by Alexis Dobbs with eight points.
For the game, Villanova shot 42.9 percent from the field (24-of-56), 34.5 percent from three-point range (9-of-19) and 33.3 percent from the foul line (1-of-3), while the Eagles shot 28.0 percent from the floor (14-of-50), 25.0 percent from long distance (4-of-16) and 43.8 percent from the charity stripe (7-of-16). Each team grabbed 37 rebounds.
NOTES: The Wildcats improve to 5-5 all-time in the WNIT, including a 4-1 mark at home...Villanova is now 2-0 all-time versus American with both wins coming in the WNIT...Against the Patriot League, Villanova is now 13-4 all-time...Villanova improves to 12-0 when leading at halftime...Devon Kane tied a season-high with three steals