Wildcats bounce back with win over Providence



Mitchell Berrang

After a triumphant victory over Penn, the women’s basketball team (14-8 overall, 7-4 in the Big East) had a Big East conference weekend road trip. The trip included having to play Creighton on Friday then Providence on Sunday. The Wildcats suffered a hard-fought loss to Creighton (53-48), but bounced back with impressive win over Providence (76-47).

Friday night in Nebraska, standout guard and senior captain, Caroline Coyer, continued her dominance in the backcourt as she recorded 15 points and grabbed six rebounds against the stingy Blue Jays’ defense. 

Coyer drained two threes during an 8 – 0 run that gave her Wildcats a 34 – 27 lead with roughly two minutes left in the third quarter. Despite the impressive run, Creighton answered with an equally impressive 10 – 0 burst to close out the quarter. 

In the fourth quarter the Blue Jays continued to find offensive success, but the Wildcats incessantly fought back and managed to get within a point, 49 – 48, with 23 seconds left in the game. Villanova was then forced to foul, which resulted in Creighton calmly sinking both free throws. A costly turnover due to Creighton’s full court press ultimately sealed the deal for the Blue Jays, who sank two more from the charity stripe and gained their fifth Big East conference win of the season.

Junior forward, Samantha Wilkes, contributed 11 points and also pulled down six boards. Unfortunately, Coyer and Wilkes seemed to be the only two Wildcats who could penetrate Creighton’s lockdown defense. Creighton’s frontcourt stifled sophomore center, Megan Quinn, who has been a force both offensively and defensively for the Wildcats this year. 

On the season, Quinn leads the team in rebounding and averages the third highest point total per game. However, Creighton held the sophomore sensation to only four points. Nonetheless, Quinn still maintained her rebounding presence by recording a team high six rebounds. 

Both Villanova’s field goal percentage (29.3 percent) and three-point percentage (23.3 percent) were significantly lower than their season average of (38.4 percent) from the field and (31.4 percent) from long-range. Nonetheless, Villanova looked to move forward and focus on beating Providence, which it did.

Earlier in Big East play, the Wildcats cruised to a 28 point victory over Providence in the Pavilion. Sunday’s matchup followed suit as Villanova coasted to 29 point victory, this time in Providence’s Alumni Hall. Quinn responded to her quiet performance at Creighton by having  arguably one of the best games of her Villanova career. Quinn led the Wildcats in scoring, three-pointers made, and assists by netting 20 points, draining four threes, and recording four dishes respectively. 

Villanova exploded out of the gate by absolutely dominating the first quarter. Villanova opened the game on a 17–1 run, which ended with 37 seconds to go in the first quarter.  

After setting such a commanding tone in the first quarter, the Wildcats never looked back and maintained the lead throughout the entire game. At halftime, Villanova had the advantage 38–10. Due to such a lead, the second half of the matchup featured Villanova’s role players and bench players receiving extended minutes. These extended minutes allowed some starters, such as the Coyer sisters, much needed rest after just playing such a physical matchup that Friday.

Promising freshman guard, Adrianna Hahn, tallied 10 points, including two three-pointers and three boards. Meanwhile, junior guard Jordan Dillard and senior guard Kendall Burton each contributed with seven points of their own. 

Starting sophomore guard Alex Louin nearly posted a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds. Louin has recently been on an offensive tear and has scored in double digits in nine of the last ten games.

The Wildcats shot nearly 50 percent from both the field and beyond the arc. Villanova shot a season-high 29 for 59 (49.2 percent) from the field and converted nine out of the 21 three-pointers attempted (42.9 percent), which truly propelled the Wildcats to their fourteenth win of the year. 

Villanova’s next game will be back in the Pavilion as they host Big East powerhouse DePaul, who are seated first in the Big East and have been dominating conference play. Villanova already beat Providence earlier in the season in a nail biter by a score of 64–60. 

In order for Villanova to sweep the notorious Big East front runner, they must buckle down and continue to ride the successful momentum from the Providence game into this Big East showdown.