Nov. 30, 2011
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats improved to 5-2 on the season with a 62-54 overtime win over the Lehigh Mountain Hawks in a game played in Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa.
After Wildcat junior guard Rachel Roberts made one-of-two from the foul line, Villanova held a 52-49 lead in the game's final seconds. It was then that Mountain Hawk junior forward Kelly Peterson hit a 27-foot, desperation three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.
Lehigh took a 54-52 advantage on the first possession of overtime when Alexa Williams made two free throws. Neither team scored for the next two minutes, before Wildcat junior forward Laura Sweeney made a driving lay-up with 2:41 left in the extra session.
Villanova would take the lead for good 37 seconds later when Sweeney converted two free throws. The Wildcats would hold the Mountain Hawks scoreless for the final 4:43 of overtime and Sweeney would score eight of her team's 10 points in the extra stanza.
The Wildcats looked to have the game in control when they used a 10-2 run to take a 46-37 lead with 4:50 remaining in regulation. Sweeney would net seven of the 10 points in the Villanova spurt. Lehigh would answer the Wildcat spurt by scoring the next six points of the game to cut the advantage to 46-43.
Villanova junior Megan Pearson stopped the Mountain Hawk momentum with a three-point field goal from the top of the key. Pearson would later convert two free throws with 26 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 51-47 lead. Lehigh cut the advantage to 51-49 with 19 seconds remaining when Williams scored on a driving lay-up.
Roberts was fouled on the ensuing possession and made one-of-two from the charity stripe with 16 seconds to help Villanova take a 52-49 lead.
In the win, Villanova was led by Sweeney who scored a career-high 27 points to go with a career-best 13 rebounds. Sweeney was 9-of-17 from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line. Redshirt freshman Lauren Burford had 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting from behind the arc, while Roberts chipped in with 11 points.
Lehigh was paced by Sarah Pearce with 13 points. Williams added eight points and 13 rebounds.
For the game, Villanova was 20-of-64 from the field (31.3%), 8-of-30 from three-point range (26.7%) and 14-of-17 from the foul line (82.4%), while the Mountain Hawks shot 39.3 percent from the floor (24-of-61), 28.6 percent from long distance (4-of-14) and 50.0 percent from the charity stripe (2-of-4).
Lehigh owned a 44-40 advantage on the backboards. The Wildcats had just eight turnovers, while Lehigh was charged with 17 turnovers.
The Wildcats will return to action on Sunday, Dec. 4, when they travel to LaSalle for a Philadelphia Big Five game. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
NOTES: Laura Sweeney now has three double-doubles this season...Sweeney has now scored in double figures in 18 of her last 21 games and she has 43 career double figure scoring games... Villanova is now 12-4 all-time versus Patriot League opponents...The Wildcats now lead the series with Lehigh by a 4-1 margin.