Wildcats to Meet No. 6 Seed Louisville on Second Round of BIG EAST Championship
March 5, 2011
HARTFORD, Conn.--Saturday night in the second round of the BIG EAST Championship, No. 14 seed Villanova (12-18) will meet No. 6 seed Louisville (19-11) at the XL Center with a berth in the quarterfinals on the line. Saturday night's game will be the second in as many days for the Wildcats, who opened the conference tournament with a 52-50 overtime victory over No. 11 seed Providence on Friday night.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals will be playing their first game in the BIG EAST Championship as a result of receiving a bye into the second round. Saturday night's meeting is the first ever in the postseason between Villanova and Louisville.
Below are some quick notes related to the Wildcats game against Louisville, while there are also links to the team's complete tournament notes packet and other information relevant to Saturday night's game.
Villanova Complete Notes Packet
No. 14 Seed Villanova (12-18) vs. No. 6 Seed Louisville (19-11)
WILDCATS ADVANCE: With a 52-50 win over Providence on Friday, March 4 in the first round of the Big East Tournament, Villanova advances to face No. 6 Louisville in the second round. In the regular season match-up between the teams, the Cardinals tallied a 64-48 win at Villanova on Feb. 6. In that game, Louisville led 16-15 with 7:37 left in the first half, when the Cardinals used an 18-4 run the rest of the half to take a 34-19 advantage at intermission. Louisville would lead by as many as 23 in the second half and cruise to the victory. In the loss, the Wildcats were led by sophomore forward Laura Sweeney who had 14 points and eight rebounds, while junior forward Lindsay Kimmel added 12 points. The Cardinals were paced by junior forward Monique Reid who had 20 points and 13 rebounds.
SEARCHING FOR A WIN: Villanova will be looking for its first-ever win over Louisville when the two teams play in the second round of the Big East Tournament. The Wildcats are 0-6 all-time versus the Cardinals.
20 POINT SCORER: In Friday's first round win over Providence, the Wildcats were led by sophomore forward Laura Sweeney. In 37 minutes of action, Sweeney netted a game-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including a 7-of-9 effort from the foul line. This was Sweeney's second 20-point game of the season and the fourth of her career. In 30 games this year, she has scored double figures on 20 occasions, including in 13 of the last 15 games.
KANE CONTRIBUTES: Redshirt freshman guard Devon Kane turned in an outstanding effort in her first career Big East Tournament game. In 42 minutes of action, she tallied 13 points, four rebounds and four assists. In addition, she had no turnovers. This is the fourth time in the last six games that she has reached double figures in points. She is averaging 10.5 points per game over the last six games.
ENDURANCE TEST: Twice in the last three games, redshirt freshman guard Devon Kane has played 40 or more minutes. Last Saturday (Feb. 26), she played all 40 minutes and scored a career-high 16 points in a 59-58 loss to South Florida. Last night against Providence, she logged 42 of a possible 45 minutes in the 52-50 win.
DOMINANT DUO: Sophomore Laura Sweeney and redshirt freshman Devon Kane were outstanding in the second half and in overtime in last night's first round victory over Providence. The pair combined to score Villanova's last 16 points of the game and 22 of the team's 31 points after halftime (each scored 11).
BENCH SUPPORT: The Villanova bench gave the Wildcats a big boost in Friday night's win over Providence. The team's reserves scored 36 of the 52 points and shot 13-of-31 from the field (.419). By contrast, the five starters shot just 6-of-29 from the floor (.206).
LIMITING MISTAKES: In the last two games, Villanova has committed just 18 turnovers (10 vs. Pitt in regular season finale; 8 vs. PC in Big East first round). The eight turnover performance against the Friars marks the third time this year that the Wildcats have had a single digit turnover game.
MARKED IMPROVEMENT: Villanova has played its best basketball of the season the last three weeks. Entering play against Louisville in the second round of the Big East Tournament, the Wildcats have won four of their last six games.
EXTRA TIME: With its 52-50 overtime win against Providence on Friday in the first round of the Big East Tournament, Villanova is now 2-0 in overtime games this season. The Wildcats also defeated Lehigh in overtime on Nov. 23 by a score of 69-68.
SMALLEST OF MARGINS: Villanova's last three games have been decided by a total of five points - including a 59-58 loss to USF, a 54-52 win at Pittsburgh and a 52-50 overtime victory against Providence. This is the second time this season that the Wildcats have had three straight games decided by one possession. Earlier in the year the team had a stretch of three games decided by a total of seven points: a win over Fairfield (30-29), a loss versus West Virginia (39-36) and a loss to Saint Joseph's (46-43).