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WBB Defeats Wake Forest, 74-68

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Ryan Sarbello/Villanovan Photography
Junior Christina Dalce had a double-double in the win with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Villanova narrowly defeated Wake Forest, 74-68, in Winston-Salem, N.C. Sunday afternoon. This latest non-conference win brings the team’s record to 4-1. 

Junior guard Lucy Olsen contributed a team-high 21 points along with five assists in the win. 

Just behind Olsen’s contribution was junior guard Kaitlyn Orihel with 14 points. 

In her third game back coming off of an injury, Orihel made some key shots to help the ‘Cats hold onto their lead throughout the game, including back-to-back three-pointers in the third quarter and four free throws at the end of the game as the Demon Deacons tried to make a comeback.

Another key influence on the scoreboard for the ‘Cats was junior forward Christina Dalce, who picked up a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. 

Showing off spin moves and hook shots, freshman forward Brynn McCurry scored a career-high 12 points in her third game as a Wildcat. 

The game started heavily in the ‘Cats’ favor as they found their rhythm on both sides of the ball, outscoring Wake Forest 23-10 in the first quarter.

However, in the second quarter, things started to slow down for the ‘Cats, who had trouble keeping up with the Demon Deacons’ forwards. Demon Deacon sophomore forward Malaya Cowles had a career-high 22-point game as she continued to make layup after layup against the ‘Cats’ defense.  In addition, the shots started to fall for other Demon Deacons, such as junior guard Reagyn Conley, in the quarter. The Demon Deacons outscored the ‘Cats 21-18 in the second and cut the lead to 10. The two teams went into the locker room with the score 41-31 in the ‘Cats’ favor.

In the second half of the game, the Wildcats continued to struggle to hold onto their lead. With almost half of their ten total turnovers occurring in the third quarter, the ‘Cats struggled to take good shots and find their rhythm on offense. On defense, Dalce got into early foul trouble at the start of the quarter, giving the Demon Deacon forwards the opportunity to capitalize on her absence. Going into the final quarter, the ‘Cats’ lead, which was once 15, dwindled to four, 53-49.

The key to Villanova’s win in the fourth quarter came down to three-pointers and free throws. Although the Demon Deacons were able to tie the game during the last five minutes, key three-pointers by freshman guard Maddie Webber, senior guard Maddie Burke and Olsen helped the ‘Cats push forward. 

The most important factor for the ‘Cats was their shooting from the free-throw line. The ‘Cats shot 19-20 on foul shots, with the only miss being Olsen at the beginning of the game. This, along with two crucial turnovers from Wake Forest in the last two minutes, allowed the Wildcats to close out the win.

For their next game, the ‘Cats will return home to the Finneran Pavilion to take on Richmond. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30.

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