Wildcats crush Orange in Carrier Dome

Kate McAvey

The women’s basketball team played well against Syracuse on Jan. 31 by drilling a season-high 16 3-pointers, defeating the Orange with a 69-51 win at the Carrier Dome.

The game saw Wildcat domination right from tipoff, as the ‘Cats never lost control of the lead and at one point stretched the lead to 25 points. Senior forward Laura Kurz made six of the team’s 3-point shots and finished with 21 points and four steals.

Kurz and her teammates were on fire from the tipoff, scoring the first 11 points in less than three minutes. Junior guards Kyle Dougherty and Maria Getty each drained baskets from behind the arc after Kurz sunk two 3-pointers of her own to create a 11-0 lead with 17:16 remaining.

The Orange responded to Villanova’s exploding offense and tied the game at 22-22 and 25-25. The burst didn’t last long; Syracuse was unable to make a basket in the final eight minutes of the first half. The Orange trailed Villanova 42-30 at the end of the period.

The second half was just as successful for the Wildcats when they went on a back-breaking 20-1 run lasting for nine minutes. A 3-pointer from Kurz at the 16:40 mark started the onslaught and ‘Nova took a commanding 63-38 lead. During the run, senior guard Siobhan O’Connor had nine points with three 3-pointers. O’Connor totaled 12 points for the game with a season-high seven assists.

After the ‘Nova scoring spree, the Orange was never able to get within 18 points.

‘Nova had 23 assists on its 25 field goals throughout the game. Senior forward Laura Karcic, Dougherty and Getty each had four assists to add to the total. Sophomore center Heather Scanlon tallied nine points and seven rebounds on the day, and sophomore forward/center Shannon Elliot had six points and three blocked shots. All of the nine Wildcats that got out on the floor scored.

Villanova shot well, especially from deep. It was 16 for 36 from downtown against the Orange. The Wildcats also shot very well overall, finishing at 46.3 percent for the game.

Its defensive effort also was key to the victory as the Orange shot just 32 percent from the field in the game. Defensive intensity has been one of the main reasons Villanova has played well lately.

The Wildcats are heating up as they have won three games in a row and boast a 5-2 conference record which has them ranked fourth in the Big East. Villanova will have a chance to get off to a hot start with Seton Hall and Marquette next on the schedule. Both teams have losing records in the Big East this season.

The game against the Seton Hall Pirates is Saturday at 2 p.m. in South Orange, N.J where Villanova will look to tack on another conference win.