Nov. 23, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. - Senior forward Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) led an unstoppable sharp-shooting clinic with a school-record tying nine three-pointers and Villanova (3-1) matched a school team mark with 18 three-pointers in an 83-58 victory over South Alabama (4-1) on Friday evening in the first game of the Odwalla Classic at the University of San Francisco.
Witman was 9-of-12 from three-point range and 12-of-15 from the field overall as the Wildcats exhibited pinpoint accuracy the entire game. Villanova made 18-of-29 (62 percent) shots from long range and broke the game open with a 21-4 run in the last nine minutes of the first half.
The forward trio of Witman and juniors Lisa Karcic (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) and Laura Kurz (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) accounted for 76 of the 83 Wildcat points and 17 of the 18 three-pointers. Karcic and Kurz scored 20 points apiece, with Kurz grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds to register a double-double. Karcic distributed five assists and Villanova helped on 21 of its 29 field goals for the night.
In the opening game of this weekend's tournament at War Memorial Gym, the Jaguars led 24-21 midway through the first half. The tone for the game had already been set at that point, though, as Witman and Karcic had eight points apiece and the Wildcats had hit five three-pointers.
Villanova took the lead for good with eight unanswered points from Witman that kicked off the big run to end the first half. Witman made a layup with 9:22 to play before the intermission and then drained back-to-back three-pointers to open a 29-24 lead. The Wildcats eventually scored the final 14 points of the first half and led 45-28 at the break.
The second half began in much the same fashion as the first ended and Witman scored the first 13 Villanova points of the period, surpassing the 30-point plateau for the second time in four games this season on a three-pointer with 13:21 to play. Witman, Karcic and Kurz combined to score the first 60 points of the game for the Wildcats before sophomore guard Maria Getty (Centreville, Ohio) made a three-pointer with 10:37 remaining.
The Villanova lead was never fewer than 12 points in the second half and the 25-point final margin matched the largest of the contest. South Alabama made 10-of-17 three-pointers itself and three players scored in double figures. Monique Jones had 16 points behind 4-of-7 three-point accuracy and Jessica Starling added 14 points off the bench.
The Wildcats owned a 31-19 rebounding edge and had five different players with at least three assists. Getty had five points and four helpers, while Witman and guards Siobhan O'Connor (West Chester, Pa.) and Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) each had three assists. Redshirt freshman Amanda Swiezynski (Exeter, N.H.) had the only two other points for Villanova.
On Saturday evening the Wildcats will play in the championship game of the Odwalla Classic against either the host Dons or Missouri-Kansas City. The game tips off at approximately 7 p.m. (Pacific)/10 p.m. (Eastern).
NOTES: Witman's 36 points were a career-high ... She had 32 points in a season-opening win against La Salle ... Tonight's effort and that game are her only career games with at least 30 points ... She matched the school record of nine three-pointers set by Jenny Higgins (in 18 attempts) against Penn on 12/20/97 ... The only previous times Villanova made 18 three-pointers in a game were in that game against Penn and against West Virginia on 1/3/01 ... The 44 three-pointers the Wildcats have made this season have accounted for more than half of the team's total scoring (132-of-247 points) ... Villanova was 7-of-8 from the free throw line in tonight's game and is 31-of-35 (89%) from the charity stripe this season ... Junior forward Briana Weiss (Piedmont, Calif.) made her first start of the season playing near her hometown.