March 24, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -- In the first round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, the No. 9 seed Villanova Wildcats lost a hard fought 60-52 decision to the No. 8 seed Michigan Wolverines. With the loss, the Wildcats finishes the season at 21-11, while Michigan advances to play No. 1 seed Stanford on Tuesday night.
Michigan started the second half on a 9-2 run to increase its two point halftime lead to 35-26 with 15:18 to play. After taking a timeout to slow the Michigan momentum, Villanova scored five straight points to cut the Wolverine lead to 35-31. A Devon Kane lay-up and a three-ball by Rachel Roberts accounted for the five points.
The Wolverines answered the Villanova 5-0 run with a three-ball by Kate Thompson that gave Michigan a 38-31 advantage at the 12:46 mark. Michigan would control the game for the next five minutes, before Villanova made another run.
A lay-up by Kane cut the Michigan lead to 42-38 with 9:22 on the clock. After a defensive stop and a Wolverine turnover, Wildcat sophomore Lauren Burford connected on a three-ball from the wing and Villanova was down just one at 42-41 with 7:48 left in the second half. On the play, Michigan was called for a foul away for the ball and Villanova maintained possession. The Wildcats had two shots to take the lead, but Taylor Holeman's 10-foot jumper and Kane's pull-up jump shot were off target.
After Villanova failed to take the lead, Michigan went up four at 45-41 when Rachel Sheffer converted an old fashioned three-point play. The Wildcats came right back and sliced the Wolverine advantage back to two when Kane scored on a driving lay-up.
Following Kane's bucket, Michigan outscored the Wildcats, 9-1, over the next 3:33 to open up a 54-44 lead at the 2:18 mark. Villanova made one last surge and cut the lead to 54-48 and had possession of the ball at the 1:34 mark, but that is as close as the Wildcats would get.
Despite playing with foul trouble throughout the game, Wildcat senior forward Laura Sweeney led Villanova with 16 points in 16 minutes. Sweeney was 7-of-10 from the field. Kane came off the bench to score 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Michigan was paced by Thompson with 17 points and Sheffer with 16 points and 13 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 33.9 percent from the field (21-of-62), 23.1 percent from three-point range (6-of-26) and 66.7 percent from the foul line (4-of-6), while Michigan was 22-of-46 from the floor (47.8%), 5-of-11 from long distance (45.5%) and 11-of-13 from the charity stripe (84.6%). Michigan owned a 39-28 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: Villanova falls to 7-10 all-time in the NCAA Tournament...The Wildcats are now 1-3 in the tournament 8-9 game...Villanova's seven turnovers marked the 13th game this year with a single digit turnover game...The Wildcats committed a total of 26 turnovers in the last four games of the season...Villanova has made a three-point field goal in 303 straight games...Laura Sweeney tallied her 26th career double figure scoring game...Laura Sweeney finishes her Wildcat career with 87 double figure scoring games, 1,551 points and 802 rebounds...Sweeney is one of just five players in the program's history to record 800 career caroms.