PHILADELPHIA, PA. -- In women's basketball action on Wednesday afternoon, the No. 18/20 Villanova Wildcats tallied a 76-49 road win at the La Salle University Explorers. With the victory, Villanova improves to 10-0 overall and 3-0 in Philadelphia Big 5 play, while La Salle falls to 5-7 overall and 1-2 in City Series action. The win guarantees Villanova of at least a share of the Big 5 championship.
The Explorers made 7-of-15 from the field in the opening 10 minutes to take a 16-14 lead after one. Villanova was 6-of-16 from the floor in the first quarter.
Back-to-back threes by sophomore forward Bridget Herlihy and sophomore guard Kelly Jekot to start the second quarter gave the Wildcats a 20-16 advantage. After La Salle's Adreana Miller drained a three to make it a one point game at 20-19, Villanova ran off seven straight points to open up a 27-19 lead. The seven points included two Jekot lay-ups and a three by junior forward Jannah Tucker.
Following a three-ball by Explorer guard Shaquana Edwards that ended the Villanova 7-0 spurt, the Wildcats finished the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 36-24 halftime lead.
Villanova put the game away over the first seven minutes of the third quarter, as they outscored the Explorers by a 19-4 margin during that time to open up a commanding 55-28 lead at the 3:23 mark. Jekot scored the first five points of the quarter on a lay-up and a conventional three-point play, before Louin added a lay-up and two free throws and Hahn connected on two triples and two foul shots.
The Wildcats would lead by as many as 31 and La Salle would not get within 25 after the decisive 19-4 run.
In the victory, Jekot led four Wildcats in double figures with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting, while Hahn and Louin had 13 points apiece. Louin also had eight rebounds and four assists. Bridget Herlihy tallied 12 points and four rebounds, while her sister, Brianna Herlihy, pulled-down a career-high 10 rebounds.
La Salle was paced by Miller who had 18 points. She was the only Explorer to reach double figures.
For the game, Villanova shot 45.3 percent from the field (29-of-64), 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-of-19) and 81.1 percent from the foul line (9-of-11), while La Salle was 17-of-52 from the floor (32.7%), 5-of-13 from long distance (38.5%) and 10-of-13 from the charity stripe (76.9%). The Wildcats owned a 40-30 advantage on the backboards. Villanova was charged with just eight turnovers.
Villanova returns to action on Thursday, Dec. 28, when the Wildcats travel to Creighton to open up Big East Conference play.
NOTES: Senior center Megan Quinn missed today's game due to an illness ... Villanova improves to 115-38 all-time in Philadelphia Big Five games ... The Wildcats are 24-4 in their last 28 Big Five contests ... Adrianna Hahn now has 40 career double digit scoring games...The Wildcats improve to 5-0 in road games this season ... Villanova is 5-0 since joining the Associated Press Top 25 ... The Wildcats lead the country in fewest turnovers per game at 9.1.