March 22, 2012
BOULDER, COLO - In the third round of the WNIT, the Villanova Wildcats traveled to Boulder, Colorado, where they lost to the Colorado Buffaloes by a score of 48-47. With the loss, the Wildcats finish the season at 19-15, while Colorado improves to 21-13.
Colorado will advance to the WNIT quarterfinals on Sunday with a game at Oklahoma State.
The first half was a defensive battle as neither team was able to lead by more than six points. That six point advantage was owned by the Buffaloes with a 14-8 at the 7:08 mark.
Villanova trailed the majority of the first half, until junior forward Emily Suhey made a long two-point jump shot to give the Wildcats a 15-14 lead with 4:03 left in the first half.
After Suhey's jumper, the only points the rest of the half came when Colorado sophomore guard Brittany Wilson scored on a driving lay-up at the 2:22 mark. That bucket helped the Buffaloes go to intermission with a 16-15 advantage.
In the first half, Villanova shot 23.1 percent (6-of-26), while Colorado was 7-of-22 from the field for 31.8 percent.
Colorado started the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 27-17 lead with 15:51 to play. Buff star guard Chucky Jeffery led the charge with a jumper in the lane and two free throws.
Villanova answered the Buff spurt with a run of its own. The Wildcats used a 14-2 run over the next four and half minutes to take a 31-29 advantage with 10:14 left. Sophomore guard Devon Kane tallied five of her team's 14 points, including two free throws that gave the Wildcats the two-point lead.
The Buffaloes regained the lead with an 8-0 spurt to take a 37-31 advantage at the 6:05 mark. Pearson slowed the Colorado momentum when she scored on a driving lay-up to cut the lead to 37-33. The Buffaloes scored on the next possession when Jeffery made a 12 foot jumper to up the lead to six again. The Wildcats refused to go away and redshirt freshman center Emily Leer nailed a three-point field goal from the left wing to cut the Colorado lead to 41-38 at the 3:25 mark.
Villanova got a defensive stop on the next possession and Pearson made the stop count as she drove baseline and converted a lay-up. The Pearson bucket sliced the Buff lead to 41-40 with 2:47 remaining.
Colorado owned a 46-44 advantage with 1:12 left when Jeffery made a tough, one-handed shot in the lane to give the Buffaloes a 48-44 lead. After a timeout, Villanova ran a sideline out of bounds play to perfection and Leer hit another triple from top of the key to cut the lead to 48-47 with 55 seconds left on the clock.
The Wildcats got the defensive stop they needed when Kane forced Jeffery into a tough shot that was off target. Villanova worked the ball around the perimeter and found no opening and were forced to call a timeout with nine seconds left. Out of the timeout, Kane caught the ball behind the arc on the left wing, drove the lane and missed a running left-handed lay-up as time expired.
In the loss, Leer led the Wildcats with a career-high tying 16 points. Leer was 6-of-12 from the field, 2-of-4 from three-point range and 2-of-4 from the foul line. Pearson scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds, while senior Lindsay Kimmel added eight points in her final collegiate game.
Jeffery led the Buffaloes with 19 points and 17 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 35.3 percent from the field (18-of-51), 30.0 percent from three-point range (6-of-20) and 71.4 percent from the free throw line (5-of-7), while Colorado was 20-of-50 from the floor (40.0%), 1-of-10 from behind the arc (10.0%) and 7-of-15 from the charity stripe (46.7%). Colorado owned a 42-27 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: For the second straight game, Villanova played without the services of second team All-Big East forward Laura Sweeney who is out with a hand injury...Leer scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half...Villanova falls to 0-3 all-time in the WNIT third round....The Wildcats are now 22-20 all-time in postseason play, including a 6-6 mark in the WNIT...The 34 games played by Villanova this year ties a school record for games played in a season...Villanova is now 3-2 all-time versus Colorado.