Dec. 30, 2007
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - In its final non-conference game of the regular season, Villanova (10-3) closed out 2007 with a 69-45 win over Manhattan (7-6) on Sunday afternoon at Draddy Gymnasium. The Wildcats 10th victory of the season was fueled with a 24-3 run late in the first half that broke open a contest which was never in doubt in the second half.
The Jaspers led 15-13 after a basket with 11:50 to play in the opening period but moments later two free throws by junior Lisa Karcic (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) jumpstarted the big run which culminated with Villanova leading 37-18 with just 2:28 left before the intermission. During the run, senior Stacie Witman (Plymouth Meeting, Pa.) scored eight points, Karcic added six and the Wildcats shot 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line.
In all, Villanova shot 52 percent from the field and made seven three pointers in the opening 20 minutes. Witman (12) and Karcic (11) combined for 23 of the team's 39 points in the half and the Wildcats opened a 39-22 lead at halftime. The score never got closer than that margin in the second stanza and Villanova led by as many as 34 points before settling on the final outcome.
After making seven of its first 10 shots to start the game, Manhattan went 3-of-14 (21 percent) over the final 11 minutes of the first half. The Wildcats capitalized on those shooting woes with a 19-9 rebounding edge in the period. Six of those caroms came on the offensive end and Villanova scored all seven of its second-chance points for the game in the half.
Witman led all scorers with 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting and paced four Wildcat players in double figures. Junior Siobhan O'Connor (West Chester, Pa.) came off the bench to produce season highs of 13 points and seven rebounds, while Karcic added 12 points and a game-high nine boards. Sophomore Maria Getty (Centerville, Ohio) hit on 3-of-4 three-pointers and a pair of free throws to contribute 11 points and five assists.
For the game, Villanova drained 11 three-pointers, hit 10-of-11 free throws and dished out assists on 19 of 24 field goals. Getty's five assists led the team, while O'Connor had four helpers and Karcic and sophomore Tia Grant (Lido Beach, N.Y.) tallied three apiece.
Kelly Regan was the lone player in double figures for the Jaspers, as she came off the bench to score 16 points on 8-of-13 shooting in 22 minutes. Her field goal total matched the total of the entire Manhattan starting five, which combined to go 8-of-24 (33 percent) from the field.
The Wildcats will face only BIG EAST opponents during the remainder of the regular season and begins a stretch of 16 consecutive games against league foes this coming Thursday evening. In a tall order for the conference opener, Villanova will host top-ranked Connecticut at 7 p.m. on January 3.
NOTES: Today's game marked the eighth time in 13 contests that the Wildcats made at least 11 three-pointers ... Villanova also held its opponent to fewer than 50 points for the sixth time and to fewer than 60 points for the 11th time ... Witman surpassed the 20-point plateau for the sixth time this season and the third time in the last four games ... Karcic has scored in double figures in 11 of 13 contests this year ... The Wildcats enter BIG EAST play on a high note after being dealt a loss at the hands of Temple in their last game prior to the holiday break ... Villanova's 10 wins this season include five wins away from home (four road wins, one neutral site win) and today marked the sixth victory of the season by at least 20 points.