Villanova, Pa. - In women's basketball action on Sunday, March 22, the Villanova Wildcats tallied a 71-66 home win over the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs in the second round of the WNIT. With the victory, Villanova improves to 21-13 on the season, while Old Dominion finishes the season with a 21-13 record.
Villanova will now advance to the WNIT round of 16 on Thursday, March 26, when the Wildcats will play host to the St. John's Red Storm. Tip-off at The Pavilion is set for 7 p.m.
Old Dominion stated fast scoring the first five points of the game. Wildcat junior guard Katherine Coyer got Villanova on the scoreboard when she scored on a lay-up. The Coyer basket would propel the Wildcats on a 10-2 run and a 10-7 lead. Senior forward Lauren Burford made a three and a 15-foot jumper in the early spurt.
Leading 29-26 with 6:33 remaining in the first half, Villanova finished the half on a 12-2 run to take a 41-28 lead at intermission. All 12 of the points came on three-point baskets tallied by Katherine Coyer, Burford, Caroline Coyer and Alex Louin. The Louin triple came a second before the halftime buzzer.
The Lady Monarchs scored the first four points of the second half to pull within nine at 41-32. After three missed shots and a turnover, Villanova scored its first points of the second stanza when senior center Emily Leer converted a driving lay-up. The Leer bucket gave her team a double digit lead again at 43-32. Two possessions later Leer buried a three from the corner and the Wildcats held a 46-33 advantage.
Villanova had its biggest lead of the game at 55-40 with 12:12 to play when Old Dominion outscored the Wildcats, 10-4, over the next 4:50 to slice the lead to 59-50 at the 7:38 mark. Jennie Simms had two lay-ups during the stretch for the Lady Monarchs, while Ashley Betz-White and Tiffany Minor made three-point field goals. After a Katherine Coyer 10-foot jumper increased the Villanova lead to 63-52, Simms drained a deep triple and Old Dominion trailed 63-55.
A Taylor Holeman short jumper gave the Wildcats a 65-55 advantage, before Simms buried another three to make it a 65-58 game with 2:55 remaining. Following a Wildcat turnover, Simms made two free throws and the Lady Monarchs were within five at 65-60 with 2:27 to play. After a foul that reset the shot clock, Villanova was able to take 40 seconds off the game clock, before Leer scored on a baseline jumper to give the Wildcats a 67-60 lead at the 1:47 mark.
Old Dominion would not go away as Minor banked in a three to pull the Lady Monarchs within four at 67-63 with 1:31 on the clock. A missed jumper by Holeman gave Old Dominion the ball and the chance to make it a one possession game. However, the Wildcats came up with a defensive stop when Caroline Coyer registered a steal with 47 seconds remaining. Following the turnover, Old Dominion was forced to foul Katherine Coyer who made both ends of the one-and-one. The Coyer foul shots increased Villanova's lead to 69-63.
On Old Dominion's next offensive possession, Simms connected on another three to make it a one possession game at 69-66 with 33 seconds on the clock. The Lady Monarchs elected not to foul and Villanova ran the shot clock down to two seconds and the game clock at 5.2 seconds before calling a timeout. Out of the timeout, Holeman drained a deep two from just inside the arc to ice the game and give Villanova a 71-66 victory.
Simms paced the Lady Monarchs with a game-high 29 points on 10-of-20 shooting (5-of-7 from three) and a 4-of-6 effort from the foul line. She also had seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. Minor scored 12 points for Old Dominion and Betz-White chipped in with 10.
For the game, Villanova shot 48.4 percent from the field (30-of-62), 45.0 percent from three-point range and 100.0 percent from the foul line (2-of-2), while Old Dominion was 24-of-50 from the floor (48.0%), 11-of-19 from long distance (57.9%) and 7-of-12 from the charity stripe (58.3%). Villanova held a 33-28 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: The Wildcats improve to 9-7 all-time in the WNIT...Villanova is now 25-22 all-time in postseason play...Today was just the second all-time meeting between Villanova and ODU...The Wildcats improve to 13-2 at home this season...Villanova improves to 10-0 this year when scoring 70 points or more...Emily Leer's 23 point performance is her second 20-point game of the year and her 18th double figure scoring game of the season...The Wildcats had an assist on 22 of their 30 field goals.