PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -
The Villanova Wildcats advanced to the third round of the WNIT on Sunday afternoon with a 56-51 win at Drexel. With the victory, Villanova improves to 18-14 on the season, while Drexel finishes the season at 22-11.
In the win, junior guard Alex Louin became the 26th player in Villanova women’s basketball history to score 1,000 career points when she made a free throw at the 5:37 mark of the third quarter. Louin now has 1,010 career points to her credit.
Villanova started fast racing to a 10-0 lead just 4:11 into the game. Louin led the charge scoring seven of the 10 points. The other three points came on a three-ball by junior center Megan Quinn.
Drexel responded to Villanova’s fast start by scoring the last 11 points of the opening quarter to take an 11-10 lead after one. The Dragons would then score the first seven points of the second quarter to open up their biggest lead of the game at 18-10 at the 7:16 mark.
After Drexel scored 18 straight points and held the Wildcats scoreless for 7:23, Villanova senior forward Samantha Wilkes ended the scoring drought by making one of two from the foul line to make it an 18-11 game. The Wilkes free throw propelled Villanova on an 8-0 run to tie the game at 18-18 with 4:46 remaining in the second quarter.
Poor shooting was the theme in the first half, as the Wildcats were 7-of-32 from the field (21.8%) and the Dragons were 8-of-25 (32.0%). A three-point field goal by Drexel senior Sarah Curran with 2:41 to play in the opening half sent the Dragons to halftime with a 23-22 advantage.
Villanova opened the second half on a 15-4 spurt to take a 37-27 lead midway through the third quarter. Four different Wildcats scored in the run highlighted by freshman guard Kelly Jekot who had a three from the corner and a driving lay-up.
The Wildcats used the opening spurt to outscore Drexel by a 22-7 margin in the third quarter and take a 44-30 lead after three.
A Quinn lay-up and two Jekot free throws accounted for the first four points of the fourth quarter and Villanova had its largest lead of the game at 48-30 with 8:56 to play.
Drexel got threes from Kelsi Lidge, Meghan Creighton and Curran to slice the Wildcat lead to 50-41 at the 6:40 mark. After neither team was able to score for the next 1:17, the Dragons ran off five straight points to pull within four at 50-46 with 4:31 to go. The five points included an old fashion three-point play by Aubree Brown and a lay-up by Lidge.
Villanova ended a scoreless stretch of 5:25 when Jekot made two free throws with 1:15 on the clock that gave her team a 52-46 lead. The Dragons would not go away, as Creighton nailed a step back three just 10 seconds later to cut the Villanova lead to 52-49. Following a missed jumper by Louin, the Dragons trimmed the lead to 52-51 with 14 seconds remaining on a lay-up by Lidge.
Following the Lidge bucket, Villanova in bounded the ball to Louin who was fouled with 12 seconds remaining. Louin calmly made both free throws to give the Wildcats a 54-51 advantage.
The Wildcats played excellent defense on Drexel’s next possession and forced Lidge into an off balance three that was off target. Louin would seal the win for the Wildcats with two free throws with 3.5 seconds to play.
Louin led the Wildcats in the win with a game-high 24 points to go with nine rebounds and three steals. She was 6-of-15 from the field, 3-of-7 from three-point range and 9-of-9 from the foul line. Jekot came off the bench to score 13 second half points. Quinn added seven points and a team-high tying nine rebounds.
Drexel was paced by Curran who had 20 points. Creighton added nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.
For the game, Villanova was 15-of-55 from the field (27.3%), 6-of-31 from three-point range (19.4%) and 20-of-23 from the foul line (87.0%), while the Dragons shot 32.1 percent from the floor (18-of-56), 29.0 percent from long distance (9-of-31) and 85.7 percent from the foul line (6-of-7). Villanova owned a 40-39 advantage on the backboards. The Wildcats committed just four turnovers.
NOTES: Villanova improves to 12-9 all-time in the WNIT with today’s win…Today was the 22nd double figure scoring game of the season, including the fifth 20-point effort for Alex Louin…Villanova’s now leads the all-time series with Drexel by an 8-1 count…The Wildcats have allowed 60 points or less in 16 of the last 20 games…Alex Louin played all 40 minutes in this afternoon’s victory.