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WBB to Host Butler at the Finn

Ryan Sarbello
Freshman guard Maddie Webber led the Wildcats with a season-high 18 points in their last meeting with the Bulldogs on Jan. 13.

Villanova climbed to third place in the Big East after a slim, 55–52 victory over Marquette on Saturday, Feb. 10. 

The crucial win brought the team’s postseason ambitions even closer and improved the Wildcats’ record to  15–8 overall and 8–4 in Big East play. Just six games remain in the regular season schedule.

After another road matchup against Georgetown on Tuesday, Feb. 13, the Wildcats will return to the Finn on Saturday, Feb. 17 to host Butler. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs will come into the contest after visiting Providence on Wednesday, Feb. 14. Standing tenth in the Big East, Butler has a 10–13 overall record and is just 2–10 in the conference.

Scouting the Bulldogs

Butler marked its second conference win in its last game on Friday, Feb. 9, overcoming St. John’s, 64–59. 

While Butler’s performance in the Big East has been generally underwhelming, Villanova will still need to bring forward another show of offensive firepower to notch a win on Saturday.

Villanova last visited the Hinkle Fieldhouse on Jan. 13, defeating Butler, 65-54. After building a significant lead in the first half, the Wildcats denied a late comeback bid from the Bulldogs for the win.

Butler’s senior guard and leading scorer Caroline Strande recorded 12 points against Villanova in the previous meeting. Strande averages 14.8 points per game and soars above the rest of the Bulldogs with an average of 7.3 rebounds per game.

Junior forward Sydney Jaynes, who scored 11 against Villanova in their last matchup, is also a key member of the Butler squad. Jaynes averages eight points per game and leads the Bulldogs in blocks, averaging 13 per game.

Butler’s other Big East victory was a 90-57 route of Xavier on Jan. 24.

‘Cats on Track

A reliable scoring committee has helped the Wildcats pull out recent wins against tough Big East opponents, including Seton Hall on Feb. 3 and Marquette on Feb. 10.

Villanova’s offense continues to center around junior guard Lucy Olsen, who is averaging 23 points per game.

Olsen routinely contributes double-figures in scoring and is a crucial playmaker for the ‘Cats. Following last weekend’s defeat of Marquette, Olsen made an appearance on the Big East Weekly Honor Roll for the eighth time this season.

Freshman guard Maddie Webber is also a starter to watch against Butler. Webber led the Wildcats with a season-high 18 points in their last meeting with the Bulldogs. Increasing that number to 20 against Providence on Jan. 24, Webber has become an impactful member of the Villanova roster.

The last-minute win over Marquette demonstrated Villanova’s ability to defend and deliver in the kinds of high-pressure situations that they will increasingly face in this pivotal part of the season.

Series History

Villanova has defeated Butler in the teams’ last seven matchups. The last time the Bulldogs came out on top was a two-point win on Feb. 9, 2020. Villanova owns the all-time series record of 65–54.

Posting another win against the Bulldogs is an important step for the Wildcats to continue their progress in the Big East standings.

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About the Contributor
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis, Co-Sports Editor
Katie Lewis is a sophomore from Miami, FL in her first year as Co-Sports Editor in 2024. From covering games to writing features and profiles, she loves to find the story behind Villanova sports. Pursuing her enthusiasm for writing and journalism in her studies at Villanova, Katie is double-majoring in English and Communication with concentrations in Journalism and Writing & Rhetoric. When Katie isn’t at Holy Grounds working on her next article, she enjoys playing tennis with Villanova’s club team.
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