Villanova, Pa. -
The Villanova Wildcats advanced to the quarterfinal round of the WNIT with a 63-55 home win over the St. John's Red Storm in women's basketball action on Thursday, March 26. With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 22-13 on the season, while the Red Storm finishes the season at 23-11.
Villanova will travel to Morgantown, W.Va., on Sunday, March 29, to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers in the WNIT quarterfinals. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
The game was tied at 40-40 with 9:06 remaining in regulation when the Wildcats went on a 13-2 run to take a 53-42 lead at the 4:50 mark. After senior center Emily Leer made a three to give Villanova a 43-40 advantage neither team was able to score for the next 1:36. St. John's broke the scoreless streak when Amber Thompson scored on a driving lay-up. The Thompson bucket made it a one point game at 43-42.
On Villanova's next possession, junior guard Katherine Coyer scored on a lay-up off a backdoor cut to give her team a 45-42 advantage. Following a St. John's turnover, Villanova freshman guard Alex Louin drained a triple from straight away and Villanova held a 48-42 lead with 6:36 to play.
St. John's had a chance to cut into the Villanova lead, but junior guard Danaejah Grant missed two foul shots with 6:10 remaining. The Wildcats took advantage of the missed free throws when junior guard Caroline Coyer gave Villanova a 51-42 lead when she connected on a three-ball from the left wing. Villanova would push the lead the double figures at 53-42 when sophomore guard Jordan Dillard scored on a lay-up off a pretty feed from Caroline Coyer. The Dillard basket finished off a 10-0 Wildcat spurt.
Grant tried to keep the Red Storm in the game when she buried a deep three from well beyond the arc. The Grant trifecta cut the Villanova lead to 53-45. After Louin missed a driving lay-up, St. John's had possession with a chance to slice into the Villanova advantage. However, a missed shot and a turnover gave the Wildcats the ball holding an eight point advantage with 3:41 left on the clock.
The Red Storm had another opportunity to cut into the Villanova lead, but Katherine Coyer came up with a big steal for the Wildcats at the 2:32 mark. Villanova put the game away when Katherine Coyer made her fifth three-point field goal of the game to increase Villanova's to 56-45 with 1:32 remaining.
Villanova would go 7-of-9 from the foul line down the stretch to secure the victory.
Despite shooting 24.3 percent from the field in the first half (9-of-37), the Wildcats held a 28-26 lead at halftime. Louin led the Villanova attack in the first half with 10 points and five rebounds. Thompson was dominant in the first 20 minutes for St. John's with 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and six rebounds.
In the win, Katherine Coyer led Villanova with a career-high 23 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-7 effort from three-point range and a 6-of-7 effort from the foul line. The five three-pointers also represent a career-best effort. Twin sister Caroline Coyer tallied 15 points, while Louin added 14 points and a team-high six rebounds.
St. John's was paced by Grant who had a double-double with 25 points and 14 rebounds. Thompson also had a double-double with 16 points and 11 caroms. Aliyyah Handford chipped in with eight points and 11 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova shot 31.1 percent from the field (19-of-61), 36.4 percent from three-point range (12-of-33) and 81.3 percent from the foul line (13-of-16), while St. John's was 25-of-62 from the floor (40.3%), 1-of-5 from long distance (20.0%) and 4-of-11 from the charity stripe (36.4%). St. John's owned a 49-36 advantage on the backboards. Villanova was charged with seven turnovers.
NOTES: Villanova will be making its first appearance in the WNIT quarterfinals...The Wildcats improve to 10-7 all-time in the WNIT...Villanova is now 26-22 all-time in postseason play...St. John's was the 25th opponent that Villanova has kept under 60 points...Freshman Alex Louin is 9-of-14 (.642) from three-point range in the WNIT...Villanova is 35-of-80 (.437) from behind the arc in its three WNIT games...With its seven turnovers tonight, Villanova has now committed single digit turnovers in 23 games this season...Villanova is now 14-2 at home this season.