Nov. 19, 2011
PRINCETON, N.J. - Villanova (3-1) played tight with Princeton (3-0) throughout the first half, but an 11-2 run to start the second half was too much for the Wildcats to overcome as Villanova was handed their first loss of the season by a score of 56-41. Freshman Emily Leer (Abington, Pa.) led the Wildcats with 10 points, which was a career-high in her fourth game at Villanova.
The first half was tightly played with a lot of good defense, which forced several turnovers on both sides as Princeton and Villanova combined for 23 first half turnovers. Neither team got a lead of more than four through the first ten minutes, with Villanova's only lead coming after the first basket of the game gave them the 2-0 edge.
With 8 minutes remaining in the first half, Princeton started a 7-0 run with five of those points coming from senior Lauren Edwards. Niveen Rasheed capped the run with a layup with 2:40 left on the clock as the Tigers held a 20-13 lead with the first half winding down.
However, the Wildcats responded with a 4-0 spurt of their own to cut the deficit to three heading into the locker room. Junior Laura Sweeney (Marlton, N.J.) scored on a lay-up, followed by one more from freshman Lauren Burford (Fairfax, Va.) to make the score 20-17 at the half.
Sweeney led all scorers at the half with 7 points, followed by junior Rachel Roberts (Marlborough, Conn.) who had 5 points. Sweeney also added 6 first-half rebounds. Princeton center Devona Allgood led the Tigers with 6 points.
The offense picked up significantly in the second half, especially for Princeton who used an 11-2 run to sprint to a 31-19 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the second half. Devona Allgood scored the first nine points of the half for the Tigers as she was strong inside to give the Tigers some breathing room.
Villanova sliced into the Princeton lead and cut it to 35-27 with 12:41 remaining in the second half. Emily Leer hit a three-pointer to make it an 8-point Tiger lead, but that was the closest the Wildcats would get the rest of the way. Allgood added three more points on a layup that she was fouled on, and after she knocked down the free throw, Princeton had their advantage back to 11 points. She finished with 18 points.
Niveen Rasheed helped keep the Wildcats at arm's length as she added 11 points of her own in the second half to give her 19 for the game with 12 boards.
Leer helped keep the Wildcats within striking distance throughout the second half as she scored all 10 of her points to give Villanova a chance to climb back in it, but Princeton kept on the pressure throughout the second half as Villanova was unable to cut into the lead any further.
Princeton extended their lead as far as 56-33, and a few late buckets by Villanova got to the final score of 56-41.
Laura Sweeney finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds, just short of a double-double.
Villanova played stout defense, holding Princeton to 34 percent shooting on the game and forcing 12 turnovers, but offensively Villanova shot just 25 percent and turned the ball over 19 times themselves.
Villanova will look to rebound and get back on a winning streak with their home opener this Tuesday night at the Pavilion against Delaware.