Dec. 21, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats ran their winning streak to eight in a row with a 55-44 win over the visiting Temple Owls. With the victory, Villanova improves to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in Big Five play, while Temple falls to 5-5 overall and 0-1 in City Series action.
Villanova raced to a 13-0 lead six minutes into the game. The start was highlighted by three-point field goals by the senior trio of Laura Sweeney, Jesse Carey and Rachel Roberts. Temple broke its scoreless drought at the 13:38 mark when Eric Covile made a baseline jumper making the score 13-2. The Owls had missed their11 shots before the Covile field goal.
Villanova was in control with a 30-15 lead with 2:38 remaining in the first stanza, when the Owls went on a 7-0 run to cut the Wildcats advantage to 30-22. Temple had a chance to get even closer, but Roberts stepped in the passing lane and scored on a breakaway lay-up with five seconds left in the half. The Roberts lay-up would give Villanova a 32-22 halftime advantage.
Temple controlled the first nine minutes of the second half and sliced the Wildcat lead to four at 37-33 with 11:38 to play. After neither team was able to score on its next two possessions, Sweeney made a driving lay-up to give her team a six point lead. Sweeney's bucket would propel Villanova on a 12-3 run. Sweeney had six points in the spurt and a Kane triple from the wing gave Villanova a 49-36 lead at the 4:48 mark.
Following the Villanova run, Temple never got to within eight the rest of the way.
In the win, Roberts led the Wildcats with 13 points, while Pearson added 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks. Pearson was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field. Sweeney chipped in with nine points.
The Owls were paced by senior center Victoria Macaulay who had a game-best 17 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Macaulay, who was the only Temple player to reach double figures, was 7-of-11 from the field.
Villanova finished the game shooting 34.5 percent from the field (19-of-55), 35.0 percent from three-point range (7-of-20) and 66.7 percent from the foul line (10-of-15), while the Owls were 17-of-52 from the floor (32.7%), 3-of-9 from three-point range (33.3%) and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe (77.85). Temple owned a 42-33 advantage on the backboards. Villanova took exceptional care of the ball with just four turnovers for the game.
The Wildcats will return to action on Dec. 29-30, when they travel to Hanover, N.H., to participate in the Dartmouth Tournament. Villanova will play Delaware in the first round, while Duquesne plays host Dartmouth in the other first round match-up.
NOTES: Villanova has now won eight consecutive Philadelphia Big Five games...With tonight's win, Villanova now has 99 Big Five victories which is the most by any Big Five women's team...The Wildcats improve to 3-0 versus Atlantic 10 competition this year and have won seven in a row against Atlantic 10 opponents...The 9-1 record is the best start since the 2003-04 team began the year 10-1...Villanova has now kept seven of its 10 opponents under 50 points...The Wildcats entered the game ranked second in the nation in fewest turnovers per game at 11.9 and had just four turnovers in the Temple win.