Dec. 15, 2013
Philadelphia, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats shot 52.5 percent from the field and tallied a convincing 83-47 road win over the La Salle Explorers. With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 8-1 overall and 1-1 in Philadelphia Big Five play, while La Salle falls to 3-5 overall and 0-3 in City Series action.
Leading 7-4 with 10:54 remaining in the first half, Villanova went on a 13-5 run to take a 20-9 lead at the 7:56 mark. Junior center Emily Leer led the Wildcat run by scoring nine points, including the first seven of the spurt.
The Wildcats held a 31-19 advantage with 2:42 left in the opening half, when Villanova outscored the Explorers by an 8-0 count the remainder of the half for a 39-19 halftime lead. Two lay-ups by senior guard Devon Kane highlighted the 8-0 run.
After making just three of its first 13 shots, Villanova made 14 of its last 18 shots to shoot 54.8 percent from the field in the opening half (17-of-31).
Villanova outscored the Explorers, 11-2, to start the second half to take a commanding 50-21 lead with 17:18 on the clock. Leer and junior forward Lauren Burford led the Wildcats in the early going of the second stanza. Leer connected on a three-ball and scored on a driving lay-up, while Burford recorded a lay-up and two free throws.
After the Wildcats opened up the 50-21 lead, the Explorers would not get within 25 the rest of the way and Villanova would lead by as many as 36.
Leer led Villanova in the win with 21 points, while freshman Samantha Wilkes netted a career-high 13 points. Wilkes was a perfect 5-of-5 from the field. Burford finished with 11 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals and Kane made 4-of-6 from the field for eight points. Sophomore guard Caroline Coyer added six points, seven assists and five rebounds.
La Salle was paced by Jasmine Alston who had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Alicia Cropper chipped in with 11 points.
For the game, Villanova shot 52.5 percent from the field (32-of-61), 31.3 percent from three-point range (5-of-16) and 66.7 percent from the foul line (14-of-21). The Explorers were 16-of-64 from the floor (25.0%), 4-of-21 from long distance (19.0%) and 11-of-12 from the charity stripe (91.7%). Villanova owned a 45-37 advantage on the backboards and the Wildcats had just six turnovers.
Villanova will be off for a week due to final exams. The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Dec. 22, with a game at Temple. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.
NOTES: Villanova has defeated La Salle five straight times and lead the all-time series with the Explorers by a 34-9 count...The Wildcats have won 10 of their last 11 Philadelphia Big Five games...Villanova is now 101-36 all-time in Big Five play...The Wildcats improve to 4-0 in road games this season...Taylor Holeman is 21-of-29 from the field (.724) in the last four games...Villanova has now had a single digit turnover game in five of the nine games this season...Freshman Samantha Wilkes made her first career start in today's game.