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Feb. 7, 1998

Higgins Leads Villanova Past Pittsburgh.

VILLANOVA, Pa.-- In women's basketball action at The Pavilion, the Villanova Wildcats won for the fourth straight time, with a 48-42 victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Villanova, who has won nine of its last 11, improves to 16-6 overall and 10-4 in the Big East, while Pittsburgh falls to 4-18 overall and 1-13 in Big East action.

Leading 42-41 with 3:20 to play in regulation, Wildcat senior Jenny Higgins hit a 13-foot running jumper to give Villanova a 44-41 advantage. Following a defensive stop, Higgins buried a 14-foot jump shot to put the Wildcats up, 46-41, with 2:32 to play.

Panther guard Monique Toney connected on one-of-two free throws with 53.1 seconds left, helping Pittsburgh close to within four at 46-42. Villanova junior point guard Shanette Lee put the game away, when she hit a 10-foot jump shot, as the shot clock was winding down and 22.1 seconds on the game clock, to give Villanova a 48-42 lead.

Higgins got Villanova started early, when she hit two three-point field goals to give the Cats a 6-0 lead at the 15:39 mark. Following a foul shot by Villanova senior Jenn Beisel, Pittsburgh scored two-straight field goals to cut the Wildcat advantage to 7-4. Villanova would gain its largest lead of the first half at the 5:54 mark with a 22-14 lead. However, the Panthers would finish the half on a 6-3 run, cutting Villanova's lead to 25-20 at halftime.

Villanova began the second half by outscoring the Panthers, 10-4, over the first four minutes, to gain the largest lead of the game at 35-24 with 16:00 minutes remaining. Higgins led the Wildcat charge with two three-point field goals and a baseline jumper. Pittsburgh fought right back, as junior Gina Montesano hit a three-pointer and an eight-foot jumper in the lane to help the Panthers cut the deficit to 37-35 with 11:46 left.

Higgins was the story of the day for Villanova, as she made four three-point field goals, enroute to a game-high 20 points. In the process, Higgins broke former

Wildcat Sue Glenning's school record for three-point field goals made in a season with 83. Glenning recorded 82 triples during the 1995-96 season. Sophomore Mary Beth Snell had a strong game for Villanova with a career-high 12 points on a career-best four three-point field goals. Lee recorded seven assists, six steals and no turnovers. For the game, Villanova shot just 28.1 percent from the field, but the Cats did manage nine field goals from behind the arc.

Pittsburgh was paced by Montesano who had 11 points and nine rebounds and Toney who also netted 11 points. Alecia Balich grabbed nine rebounds for the Panthers.

The Wildcats return to action on Wednesday, Feb, 11, when they travel to Washington, D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas in a Big East contest at 7 p.m.