Dec. 7, 2011
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Villanova women's basketball team got off to a hot start in its BIG EAST opener on Tuesday night with a 69-42 victory at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence.
The Wildcats (7-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) won their conference lidlifter for the first time in six years. They are now 13-17 in BIG EAST openers under head coach Harry Perretta.
Junior Laura Sweeney totaled 25 points on 10-for-15 shooting from the field. She also pulled down 13 rebounds, had two blocks and three steals.
Sophomore Rachel Roberts also tallied double figures with 14 points on 4-for-9 shooting from the field with two three-point baskets.
Villanova held an 18-13 lead with 7:49 remaining in the first half after junior Megan Pearson connected on a three-pointer and went on a 14-5 run to close out the first half with a 32-18 advantage. The Wildcats shot 44.8 percent (13-for-29) in the half.
The hot shooting continued into the second half as Villanova opened with a 16-9 run over the first 6:30 and led 48-27 at the 13:23 mark. Roberts earned seven of her 14 points during this stretch, while Sweeney helped with five points.
The Friars didn't stay silent and responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 12 points, 48-36 with 9:23 left in the game. Villanova turned on a 12-0 run over the next six minutes and held a commanding 60-36 lead with 3:38 remaining in the game.
Freshman Taylor Holeman was fouled after connecting on a lay-up with just 1:29 remaining and the Wildcats led 66-40 after she sank the free-throw. Freshman Kendall Burton hit the game's final shot- a three-point basket- and Villanova won 69-42.
The Wildcats combined for 25-for-52 (48 percent) shooting from the field and were 9-for-23 (39 percent) from three-point range. They held Providence to 19-for-61 (31 percent) field goal shooting.
Teya Wright led the Friars with 17 points, 14 rebounds and four steals. Providence moves to a record of 4-5 and opens BIG EAST play 0-1.
With the victory, Villanova improves to a 5-1 record on the road. The Wildcats will host Saint Joseph's on Saturday afternoon at The Pavilion at 2:00 p.m.