Villanova Wins Overtime Thriller at Lehigh
Nov. 14, 2013
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats traveled to Bethlehem, Pa., on Thursday, Nov. 14, where they tallied a 79-73 overtime win against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. With the victory, Villanova improves to 3-0 on the young season, while Lehigh falls to 2-1.
Trailing 60-54 with 4:03 left in regulation, the Wildcats outscored Lehigh, 8-2, down the stretch to send the game into overtime. Junior center Emily Leer connected on back-to-back 3-point field goals to tie the game at 60-60. After Lehigh took its last lead of the game at 62-60 on two free throws by Kerry Kinek, Villanova tied the game at 62-62 at the 2:12 mark on a lay-up by sophomore forward Kavunaa Edwards.
The Wildcats had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Kendall Burton's three-ball from the corner was off the mark.
Villanova started the overtime on a 7-0 run to grab a 69-62 lead with 3:09 remaining. After making two free throws on Villanova's first possession of the extra period, Leer buried her sixth 3-point field goal of the game to give her team a 67-62 advantage. A 15-foot jump shot by sophomore guard Caroline Coyer ended the 7-0 Wildcat spurt.
Following Villanova's early overtime run, Lehigh never got within five points the rest of the way. The Wildcats went 10-of-12 from the foul line over the final 2:35 to seal the win.
The first half was a back and forth affair with neither team able to open up more than a six-point advantage. Lehigh used 13 made free throws and a 3-ball at the buzzer by Elizabeth Sharlow to take a 34-32 halftime lead.
Lehigh went on a 13-4 run to take a 60-54 lead with 4:03 left in the second half. The six point advantage was Lehigh's largest lead of the game. Kinek led the Mountain Hawk run with five points.
In the win, Villanova was led by Leer who had a career-high 24 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a 6-of-10 effort from three-point range and a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line. Leer netted 19 of her 24 points in the second half and overtime. Coyer finished with 15 points, a career-best nine assists, seven rebounds and one steal. Senior guard Devon Kane tallied 12 points in the win, while Edwards finished with a career-high 11 points and a career-best eight rebounds.
Lehigh was paced by Kinek with 23 points and eight rebounds. Katie O'Reilly had 17 points, while Kayla Burton added 12 points and five assists.
For the game, Villanova shot 35.9 percent from the field (23-of-64), 29.5 percent from three-point range (13-of-44) and 74.1 percent from the foul line (20-of-27), while Lehigh was 24-of-72 from the floor (33.3%), 6-of-18 from long distance (33.3%) and 19-of-24 from the charity stripe (79.2%). Lehigh owned a 50-44 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Wednesday, Nov. 20, when the Wildcats travel to Sacred Heart. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova now leads the all-time series with Lehigh by a 6-1 count ... Wildcat sophomore guard Kendall Burton played against her sister Kayla who starts at guard for Lehigh ... One of the Lehigh assistant coaches is former Villanova star Laura Kurz ... The Wildcats are now 18-4 all-time versus Patriot League competition ... Emily Leer has scored 54 points in three games this season (18.0 ppg.) ... Villanova has made 39 3-point field goals in the first three games ... Kavunaa Edwards has had a career-high tying eight rebounds in each game this year ... Villanova had an assist on 20 of its 23 made field goals.