Dec. 4, 2011
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - On Sunday, Dec. 4, the Villanova Wildcats traveled to La Salle University where they tallied a 67-51 victory. The Wildcats have now won three in a row to improve to 6-2 on the season, while the Explorers fall to 2-7. With the win, Villanova is 1-0 in Philadelphia Big Five play. La Salle falls to 1-1 in City Series action.
Junior forward Laura Sweeney registered her third 20-point game in the last four outings and second consecutive double-double with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Her 24 points came on 10-of-12 shooting from the field and a 4-of-4 effort from the foul line.
The Wildcats came out of the gates strong, racing to a 20-4 lead at the 7:38 mark. Sweeney dominated the early going for Villanova scoring 14 of her team's first 20 points.
La Salle used a 12-0 run to cut the Villanova advantage to 20-16 with 3:49 left in the first half. Wildcat junior forward Emily Suhey stopped the Wildcats four minute scoreless streak when she buried a three-point field goal to give her team a 23-16 lead. La Salle's Alexis Scott answered on the other end with a short bank shot, before Villanova's Lindsay Kimmel connected on a triple from the top of the key to push the lead to 26-18.
Holding an eight point advantage with 23 seconds left in the half, Villanova sophomore guard Devon Kane grabbed an offensive rebound to allow the Wildcats the last shot of the first stanza. Suhey made it count with her second three-pointer of the game as time expired in the first half and Villanova went to intermission with a 31-20 lead.
The Explorers were led in the first half by Brittany Wilson's 10 points.
Villanova led 35-28 with 15:58 to play, when the Wildcats went on a 15-6 run to open up a 50-34 advantage at the 10:51 mark. The spurt was highlighted by two Suhey three-point field goals and five points from redshirt freshman center Emily Leer.
The `Cats would lead by as many as 19 (58-39 at the 7:18 mark) and the Explorers would not get to within 12 the rest of the way.
Joining Sweeney in double figures for Villanova was Suhey who made four three-point field goals for 12 points and freshman forward Taylor Holeman who had career-highs of 11 points and seven rebounds. Holeman was five-of-seven from the field.
La Salle was paced by Wilson who netted 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds. She was the only Explorer in double figures.
For the game, Villanova shot 47.4 percent from the field (27-of-57), 29.4 percent from three-point range (5-of-17) and 88.9 percent from the foul line (8-of-9), while La Salle was 21-of-49 from the field (42.9%), 2-of-13 from behind the arc (15.4%) and 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. The Wildcats owned a 34-25 advantage on the backboards. Villanova had just six turnovers, while La Salle was credited with nine turnovers.
Villanova returns to action on Wednesday, Dec. 7, when the Wildcats open Big East Conference play at Providence. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
NOTES: Laura Sweeney now has five career 20+ point games...Sweeney has scored in double figures in 19 of her last 22 games...Sweeney has made 23 of her last 24 free throw attempts...The Wildcats lead the all-time series with La Salle by a 32-9 count...Villanova's six turnovers marks the fourth time this year and second straight game that the Wildcats have had single digit turnovers...Villanova had 21 assists on 27 made field goals.