Dec. 22, 2013
Philadelphia, Pa. - Sophomore guard Caroline Coyer scored a career-high 19 points to help Villanova to a thrilling 59-58 win at Temple. With the victory, the Wildcats improve to 9-1 overall and 2-1 in Big Five play, while the Owls fall to 6-4 overall and 1-2 in City Series action.
The first half was a defensive battle with neither team able to get going offensively. Villanova shot just 28.6 percent in the opening half (8-of-28), including a 2-of-11 effort from three-point range (18.2%), while Temple was 7-of-27 from the floor (25.9%) and 1-of-4 from long distance.
The biggest lead of the opening half was three points by both teams. Temple led 18-15 with 3:04 remaining in the half and looked poised to take momentum into intermission, before Coyer connected on a deep three-ball to tie the game at 18-18 at the 2:37 mark.
Following the Coyer triple, neither squad was able to score the remainder of the half and the teams went to intermission tied at 18-18. The Owls and Wildcats were both 0-for-3 from the field over the last 2:37 of the first half.
Temple started the second half on a 12-5 run to grab a 30-23 lead just four minutes into the second stanza. Owl freshman guard Feyonda Fitzgerald scored seven of her team's 12 points in the run.
With the Owls ready to take control of the game, Villanova went on an 18-4 run to lead 41-34 at the 10:29 mark. Caroline Coyer was outstanding in the Villanova spurt. Coyer made two three-point field goals, a pull-up jump shot and two free throws for 10 points in the Wildcat run.
Fitzgerald brought the Owls back leading Temple on a 12-5 run to tie the game at 46-46 with 6:07 remaining. Fitzgerald had five points during the spurt, including a deep three-ball.
Wildcat senior guard Devon Kane made two free throws to give Villanova a 53-50 lead with 4:31 to play. After neither team was able to score for the next two minutes, Temple cut the lead to 53-52 on two Erica Covile free throws with 2:30 on the clock. On the game's next possession, Caroline Coyer was fouled on a drive to the basket. Coyer sank both foul shots and Villanova led 55-52.
Temple had a golden opportunity to tie the game on its next trip down the court, but Fitzgerald missed an open three and Villanova junior forward Taylor Holeman grabbed the rebound. Villanova and Temple traded turnovers on the next two possessions, before the Wildcats opened up a 57-52 lead with 50 seconds left on a jumper by Holeman.
After the Owls sliced the lead to 57-54 on a Fitzgerald lay-up with 40 seconds remaining, Caroline Coyer missed the front end of a one-and-one. Temple took advantage of the miss and made it a one point game on another Fitzgerald lay-up with 33 seconds left.
Villanova broke the Temple press and looked to be in good position to regain a three point lead, but Holeman's lay-up would not fall. Following the Holeman miss, Temple took a 58-57 advantage with 22 seconds on a clock on a lay-up by Tyonna Williams.
Trailing by one, Wildcat head coach Harry Perretta elected to not use his last timeout and let the Wildcats play. Caroline Coyer beat her defender and made a nice bounce pass to Holeman who converted the lay-up and Villanova held a 59-58 lead with nine seconds remaining.
Fitzgerald drove to the basket looking for the game-winner for the Owls but she dribbled the ball off her leg and Villanova had possession with 3.9 seconds on the clock. The Wildcats inbounded the ball to Holeman who was immediately fouled. Holeman missed the front end of the one and one and the Owls took a timeout with 1.7 seconds to play. Temple got the ball to Fitzgerald whose shot from just inside the half court line was off target.
In the win, Caroline Coyer scored a career-high 19 points, including 14 in the second half. Holeman also reached double figures with 10 points to go with six rebounds and three steals. Katherine Coyer and Kane each added eight points. Kane also tallied seven assists and five rebounds.
Temple was paced by Fitzgerald who had a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds, while Covile had 16 points and eight boards.
In the win, Villanova shot 39.3 percent from the field (22-of-56), 28.6 percent from three-point range (6-of-21) and 75.0 percent from the foul line (9-of-12), while the Owls were 21-of-52 from the floor (40.4%), 4-of-9 from long distance (44.4%) and 12-of-17 from the charity stripe (70.6%). Temple owned a 40-29 advantage on the backboards.
Villanova returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 28, when the Wildcats open up Big East Conference play at Creighton. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. eastern time.
NOTES: Villanova is now 11-1 in its last 12 Big Five games...The Wildcats have defeated Temple three straight times and in five of the last six match-ups...Cats lead the all-time series with the Owls by a 28-12 count...Villanova is now 5-0 on the road this season...Taylor Holeman is 26-of-35 from the field in the last five games...Villanova had seven turnovers and have now had a single digit turnover in six of the 10 games this year...Of the seven turnovers, just two were in the second half...Caroline and Katherine Coyer combined to score 27 of Villanova's 59 points.