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Villanova Falls to Columbia, 77-75

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Ryan Sarbello/Villanovan Photography
Lucy Olsen had 33 points in the Wildcats’ matchup against Columbia.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, Villanova fell to Columbia, 77-75, in New York. This non-conference loss puts Villanova at 5-2. 

Senior guard Maddie Burke and junior guard Lucy Olsen were the standout players for the Wildcats, as they combined for over half of Villanova’s points.

Olsen had 33 points and six assists, while Burke contributed with 16 points. 

Junior forward Christina Dalce and senior guard Bella Runyan chipped in on the boards with 14 and eight rebounds, respectively. 

Despite their efforts, Villanova’s 43.4% shooting was not enough to defeat the Lions. 12 turnovers hurt the ‘Cats’ offense, while this was also the first time the Wildcats have given up more than 65 points all season. 

The Wildcats struggled to score in the first two quarters. The first half ended with a two minute scoring drought from Villanova after it went 1-9 in the final minutes. This sent the Wildcats into the locker room down, 31-29. 

By the beginning of the second half, there were nine lead changes between the ‘Cats and Lions, making for back and forth play. 

In the third quarter, Columbia took an eight point lead behind the play of freshman guard Riley Weiss. Weiss drained four three-pointers before Villanova called for a timeout. 

Tensions were high in the fourth quarter as Olsen claimed her fourth personal foul, but when she came off the bench, she scored immediately. She tied the game, 65-65, as the ‘Cats went on a 7-0 scoring run with four minutes to go.

Columbia’s Abbey Hsu had a three point play with 8.7 seconds left to bring the score to 76-75. 

Looking to win the game, Villanova gave the ball to Runyan, who had a jumper blocked by Columbia’s Kitty Henderson. The Wildcats fouled Henderson and she missed her first free throw, but made her second to end the game, 77-75. 

With the defeat behind them, the ‘Cats will now return to the Finneran Pavilion to face Penn on Tuesday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Ranked third in the Ivy League, Penn (5-3) is coming off a loss against No. 23 Marquette and looking to reclaim its winning streak.

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