Nov. 29, 2013
Miami, Fla. - In the first round of the Florida International Thanksgiving Classic, the Villanova Wildcats tallied a 79-54 win over the Montana State Bobcats. With the victory, Villanova improves to 6-0 on the season, while Montana State falls to 3-2 on the year.
The Wildcats will now advance to Sunday's championship game against host Florida International at 3 p.m.
Villanova led 20-18 with 7:54 left in the first half, when the Wildcats went on a 16-5 run to take a 36-23 lead at the 2:37 mark. Junior forward Taylor Holeman led the Villanova spurt with eight points. The Wildcats would have their biggest lead of the opening half at 40-24 after two free throws by Caroline Coyer with 15 seconds remaining. Montana State scored the final two points of the half when Jasmine Homme sank two foul shots with nine seconds on the clock. Homme's free throws made the score 40-26 Villanova at intermission.
After making five of its first 18 from the field, Villanova finished the half connecting on 11 of its last 19 from the floor. Holeman led the Wildcats in the first half with 11 points, while senior guard Devon Kane added eight points and four assists. Hommes led the Bobcats with 11 first half points.
Villanova carried the momentum from late in the first half into the start of the second half. The Wildcats made their first five three-point field goals of the second half to open up a commanding 57-28 lead with 16:01 to play. Villanova would shoot a sizzling 64.0 percent in the second stanza (16-of-25), including a 7-of-11 effort from three-point range (63.6%) to lead by as many as 33.
Holeman led the Wildcats in the win by going eight-of-eight from the field en route to a career-high 17 points. She becomes the first Wildcat in program history to shoot 100 percent from the field in a game on two occasions. She also had a perfect shooting night when she went 7-of-7 from the floor in a win over DePaul last season. Holeman also grabbed a career-high 10 rebounds for her first career double-double.
Kane played an outstanding all-around game for Villanova with 16 points, seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block. She made her first seven shots of the game to finish 7-of-8 from the floor. Two other Wildcats scored double figures, including junior forward Lauren Burford with 11 points and sophomore guard Caroline Coyer with 10 points.
Montana State was paced by Hommes with 13 points, while Kayla DeWit added 10 points.
For the game, Villanova shot 32-of-62 from the field (51.6%), 9-of-21 from three-point range (42.9%) and 6-of-9 from the foul line (66.7%), while the Bobcats shot 31.8 percent from the floor (21-of-66), 16.7 percent from three-point range (2-of-12) and 73.3 percent from the charity stripe (11-of-15). Montana State owned a 40-37 advantage on the backboards.
NOTES: Villanova is 6-0 for the first time since 2002-03...The Wildcats who are making their third all-time appearance in the FIU Thanksgiving Tournament are now 4-1 all-time in the tournament...Five different Wildcats made a three-point field goal in tonight's win...Katherine Coyer is 7-of-12 from the field in the last two games...Caroline Coyer registered a career-high four steals in tonight's victory...Samantha Wilkes played a career-high 15 minutes in the win...Devon Kane has 15 assists in the last two games.