Nov. 18, 2007
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. - Villanova (2-1) led by as many as 15 points in the first half and eased its way to a 53-39 victory over Monmouth (0-3) on Sunday evening at Boylan Gym. Senior forward Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, N.J.) scored a game-high 17 points and the Wildcats held their second straight opponent to fewer than 50 points.
Villanova used a 12-1 run in nine minutes late in the first half to go ahead 29-14 with just 42 seconds remaining in the opening period. Witman and junior forward Lisa Karcic (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) scored nine of the 12 points during the run and the Wildcats never led by fewer than six points in the second half.
Karcic joined Witman in double figures with 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. Both players went 3-of-10 from three-point range and hit both of their free throw attempts. Sophomore guard Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) contributed seven points and five assists and Villanova played its trademark team-oriented game with assists on 16 of 19 field goals.
As it has been in all three games this season, the Wildcats defense was in strong form and the host Hawks connected on just 23 percent (6-of-26) of their shots in the first 20 minutes. After pulling to within 17-13 midway through the first half, Monmouth went scoreless for nearly six minutes and made just one field goal in the final 10:12 of the stanza (1-of-12 shooting). Villanova led 29-16 at halftime.
Jennifer Bender had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hawks, who finished just 15-of-50 (30%) from the field. Leading scorer Marbely Montas was limited to 1-of-10 shooting and five points by the Wildcats.
In the second half, Monmouth pulled to within 45-39 with 6:24 remaining but did not score again as Villanova put up the final seven points in the contest. The Hawks missed all seven of their shots and turned the ball over three times in the closing minutes, while sophomore guard Maria Getty (Centrevill, Ohio) scored seven of her nine points in that stretch to secure the win for the Wildcats. Getty finished with nine points and seven rebounds and junior forward Laura Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) led all players with eight caroms.
Villanova prepares to head to the West Coast for the Thanksgiving holiday and will be playing in the University of San Francisco Tournament next weekend. The Wildcats face University of South Alabama on Saturday at 5 p.m. (Pacific time) and will play either the host Dons or Missouri-Kansas City the next day.
NOTES: Villanova has not allowed more than 58 points in any of its first three games ... The team is allowing an average of just 48.7 points per contest thus far and owns a +6.0 scoring margin ... For the third straight game the Wildcats attempted more shots from three-point range (30) than from inside the arc (20) ... Villanova owns a 1.52 assist-to-turnover (41-to-27) ratio in its first three outings.