Dec. 7, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In a highly contested Philadelphia Big 5 game, the Saint Joseph's Hawks tallied a 63-60 road win at Villanova. With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 7-1 overall and 0-1 in Big 5 play, while Saint Joseph's improves to 8-1 overall and 2-0 in City Series play.
Saint Joseph's dominated play in the early part of the game. After Kendall Burton scored a lay-up on Villanova's first possession, the Hawks ran off 13 straight points to lead 13-2. Saint Joseph's was led by senior guard Erin Shields who made three triples in the Hawk run.
Villanova junior center Emily Leer scored on a lay-up to end the Hawk run of 13 unanswered points. Leer's bucket would jump start a 17-6 Wildcat spurt that would tie the game at 19-19 with 6:15 remaining in the first half. Junior forward Taylor Holeman scored six of Villanova's 13 points in the run.
Saint Joseph's led 26-23 when Caroline Coyer converted a driving left-handed lay-up to cut the Hawk lead to one at 26-25. Saint Joseph's guard Natasha Cloud made a jumper on the next possession to give the Hawks a 28-25 advantage. Following Cloud's basket, Villanova junior forward Lauren Burford connected on a 3-point field goal to tie the game at 28-28 at the 1:58 mark. Neither team would score the rest of the half and the game was tied 28-28 at intermission.
The Wildcats started the second stanza on an 8-0 run to grab a 36-28 advantage. Leer led the charge with six consecutive points to start the half for Villanova. Following the Wildcat spurt, the Hawks went on an 11-2 run to take a 39-38 lead with 14:28 to play.
Saint Joseph's lead was short lived, as Holeman buried a jumper from the corner to give Villanova a 41-40 lead. Holding a 47-45 lead with 9:13 to play, Caroline Coyer made a 3-point field goal to give the Wildcats a 50-45 advantage at the 8:51 mark.
After Coyer's 3-ball, the Wildcats went cold and missed six consecutive shots. The Villanova dry spell helped the Hawks go on a 10-0 run to take a 55-50 advantage with 4:42 to play.
Villanova senior guard Devon Kane ended the Wildcat scoring drought with a 3-ball from the right wing. Kane's triple sliced the Hawk lead to 55-53.
Trailing 59-55, Caroline Coyer made a deep three to pull Villanova within one at 59-58 with 2:52 to play. After Shields missed a 3 attempt, the Wildcats took a 61-60 lead with 1:48 remaining when Coyer scored on a pull-up jumper. On the game's next possession, Saint Joseph's Ciara Andrews made a driving lay-up and the Hawks led 62-61. Villanova had a good look to regain the lead, but Leer's three-ball from the corner was off the mark.
Following Leer's miss, Cloud gave her team a 63-60 lead with 1:08 to play when she scored on a 12-foot jump shot. The Wildcats turned it over on the next possession and the Hawks had the ball and a chance for a two possession lead. Villanova got the defensive stop it needed and had the ball with 21 seconds to play. Coyer attempted a game-tying 3, but the ball was partially blocked. Kane missed the follow-up rebound and the ball went out of bounds off of the Hawks with eight tenths of a second remaining. Coyer's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was no good and the Hawks tallied the victory.
In the loss, three Wildcats had 12 points, including Leer, Holeman and Coyer. Kane chipped in with nine points. Holeman also added a game-high nine rebounds. Shields paced the Hawks with 15 points, while Cloud and Andrews added 14 points each.
For the game, Villanova shot 43.9 percent from the field (25-of-57), 31.6 percent from 3-point range (6-of-19) and 66.7 percent from the foul line (4-of-6), while Saint Joseph's was 27-of-56 from the floor (48.2%), 4-of-9 from long distance (44.4%) and 5-of-8 from the charity stripe (62.5%). The Hawks owned a 32-29 advantage on the backboards.
The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Dec. 15, when Villanova travels to La Salle. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova and Saint Joseph's are now tied for the most wins in the history of Big 5 women's basketball with 100...The Wildcats saw their nine-game Big 5 winning streak snapped...Villanova does not play at home again until hosting Providence on Jan. 4...Taylor Holeman is 17-of-24 from the field (.708) in the last three games...Villanova has made at least one three-point field goal in 311 consecutive games.