Jan. 14, 1998
Villanova Wins Thriller in Overtime
VILLANOVA, Pa. - In women's basketball action at The Pavilion, the Villanova Wildcats won for the fourth straight time, defeating the Miami Hurricanes in overtime, 68-67. With the victory, Villanova improves to 11-4 overall and 5-2 in Big East play, while Miami falls to 9-6 overall and 4-3 in conference action.
With two seconds remaining in overtime, Villanova sophomore forward Jenea Skeeters was fouled and awarded two foul shots. However, Skeeters injured her left elbow on the play and was unable to remain in the game. Sophomore guard Mary Beth Snell was sent in to shoot the free throws for Skeeters. Snell missed the first and made the second for her only point of the game in three minutes of action. Following Snell's free throw, Hurricane junior Kym Hope missed a turn-around shot at the buzzer.
Miami forced overtime late in regulation, when senior forward Octavia Blue was fouled shooting a three-point shot with 14 seconds remaining. Blue made the first free throw and then missed the second. She then missed the third shot intentionally, which was rebounded by Hope, who converted a five-foot jumper with 12 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 59-59. Villanova's Skeeters had a chance to win the game in regulation, but missed a nine-foot jumper with two seconds left.
Villanova went to intermission with a 30-26 lead. The Wildcats came out strong, as they raced to a 19-6 lead at the 11:10 mark of the first half. Miami would outscore Villanova, 6-2, over the final 4:32 to cut the Wildcat lead to four at halftime.
For the game, Miami shot 53.1 percent and out-rebounded Villanova by a 38-27 margin. The difference in the game for Villanova was its three-point shooting, as the Wildcats connected on 12-of-35 from behind the arc. Villanova's long distance shooting was highlighted by senior Jenny Higgins who buried seven-of-13 from three-point range, en route to a game-high 23 points. Junior Jenn Sliwa played a strong game for Villanova with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Other Wildcats in double figures included Skeeters with 12 and senior Jenn Beisel who added 10. Junior point guard Shanette Lee tallied 11 assists.
Miami was paced by Blue who had 22 points and eight rebounds and Hope who registered 18 points and 11 rebounds. MeChelle Murray came off the bench to score eight points for the Hurricanes.