Villanova beats Bowling Green, advances to championship game
Nov. 24, 2012
Las Vegas, Nev. - In the first round of the UNLV Lady Rebel Round-Up on Saturday, Nov. 24, the Villanova Wildcats tallied a 53-42 win over the Bowling Green Falcons. With the victory, Villanova improves to 3-1 overall, while Bowling Green falls to 2-2.
The Wildcats will advance to tomorrow's championship game against Montana who defeated UNLV in overtime by a score of 69-65. The championship game is set for 3:30 p.m. pacific time.
Villanova came out strong racing to an 8-0 lead. Senior forward Laura Sweeney led the opening surge by scoring six of her team's first eight points. Bowling Green started the game cold missing its first seven shots.
The Wildcats held a 19-12 lead, when Bowling Green went on a 5-0 spurt to cut the Villanova advantage to 19-17 with 6:17 remaining in the first half. Two Sweeney lay-ups ended the Falcon run and put Villanova back up six at 23-17.
Sweeney would score 12 first half points to help the Wildcats to a 27-21 halftime lead. Senior guard Rachel Roberts had a strong first half for the `Cats with nine points. Bowling Green was led in the first stanza by Jillian Halfhill with nine points.
A Taylor Holeman lay-up and two Jesse Carey free throws increased Villanova's lead to 31-21 just over a minute into the second half. The Wildcats missed three consecutive open looks that would have given them an even larger lead.
After the Falcons cut the Villanova advantage to 35-29 with 13:26 left in regulation, Wildcat junior guard Devon Kane hit a big triple from the right wing to give her team a 38-29 lead. Following a defensive stop, senior forward Megan Person connected on a three and Villanova had control with a 41-29 lead at the 11:33 mark.
The Falcons would use a 5-1 spurt to slice Villanova's lead to 42-34, before Pearson answered again for Villanova with another three-ball from the right corner. Sweeney then blocked a Falcon shot, ran the floor and converted a lay-up to give the Wildcats a 47-34 advantage. Roberts gave Villanova its largest lead of the game at 49-34 at the 6:37 mark when she connected on a running jump shot in the lane.
The Wildcats would go the next six minutes without scoring a point and Bowling Green cut the Villanova lead to 49-42 with a minute to play. The dry spell ended when Kane made two free throws. Bowling Green turned the ball over on the next possession and Kane made two more foul shots to seal the win for the Wildcats.
In the victory, Sweeney led all scorers with 16 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and four blocks. She was 8-of-12 from the field. Roberts had 11 points, while Kane and Pearson had nine points each. Bowling Green was paced by Jillian Halfhill with 15 points.
Villanova shot 37.3 percent from the field (19-of-51), 27.3 percent from three-point range (6-of-22) and 90.0 percent from the foul line (9-of-10), while the Falcons were 14-of-58 from the field (24.1%), 6-of-20 from long distance (30.0%) and 8-of-13 from the charity stripe. The Falcons owned a 43-34 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: The Wildcats improve to 4-1 all-time in tournaments played at UNLV...Villanova improves to 1-1 all-time versus Bowling Green...Laura Sweeney now has 10 career double-doubles...Sweeney has double figures in points in all four games this season...Villanova is 38-of-43 from the foul line this season...Villanova will be meeting Montana for the first time ever on Sunday in the championship game.