Women’s hoops splits pair of Big East road games

Katy Funabashi

After an 80-64 victory at Mar- quette last Friday, Villanova suf- fered a heartbreaking 49-47 loss to DePaul in Chicago on Sunday.

The Wildcats are now 5-5 on the road, 13-10 overall and 7-4 in the Big East. Junior guard Caro- line Coyer scored a total of 37 points in these two games.

In the first half against Mar- quette, the Wildcats had a 12 point lead, with Coyer scoring 16 points in the first twenty minutes.

Villanova hit five 3-pointers in the first half, with contribu- tions from Coyer, senior forward Lauren Burford, junior forward Kavanuaa Edwards and sopho- more forward Samantha Wilkes. Edwards was also an effective rebounder, grabbing a team-high eight boards for the ’Cats.

At halftime, Villanova led by eight, 40-32. They would exit the court at the conclusion of the game up by double that score be- cause of the relentless intensity the Wildcats play with.

The Wildcats dominated the second half and did not allow a Marquette player to score more than seven points.

Villanova took advantage of free throws in this game, with Coyer converting 5-of-7, and freshman guard Alex Louin mak- ing 5-of-6. Louin, the team’s lone freshman, also scored 12 points, matching senior forward Taylor Holeman’s total. Louin and Hole- man also had six rebounds each.

After dominating a win at Marquette, the Wildcats headed south to visit DePaul. The Blue Demons were 8-2 in the league before facing the Wildcats, who were 7-3 in the Big East.

Less than one month ago, the Wildcats beat DePaul 79-76 in overtime at home, so both teams knew this would be a fight to the finish.

DePaul was dominant from the opening tip, and wound up being up 25-9 with less than six minutes left in the half.

The Wildcats recovered from this 16-point disadvantage and scored eight points to make it 28- 17 at halftime.

Villanova’s senior center Em- ily Leer and Louin contributed one three-pointer apiece in the first half.

The Wildcats worked hard to keep their momentum going in the second half, and Holeman helped by snatching five defen- sive rebounds in the first five minutes on top of her layup 46 seconds into the second half.

Holeman had a career high of 18 rebounds, which was double the total of DePaul’s best re- bounder.

DePaul got stuck in a seven minute scoreless slump, and Villanova eagerly kept pounding baskets, bringing the score to 36-34. Thanks to a 9-0 run, DePaul never had more than a six-point lead over Villanova after that. In this 9-0 spree, Coyer scored five of her 11 points. She added eight rebounds.

DePaul took a 45-39 lead, but junior guard Katherine Coyer’s three-pointer made it 45-42, with less than three minutes left on the clock.

After that 3-pointer, DePaul scored with a layup, but the five – point difference did not shake the Wildcats.

Holeman followed in suit and gave the Wildcats five points with a layup and her subsequent free throws. That made the game 47-45, with less than one minute left.

After another DePaul layup, Leer’s foul shots made it 49-47, DePaul. Leer finished the De- Paul game with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists, mak- ing it the 10th game this season in which she has scored double digits.

The Wildcats were lucky De- Paul missed free throws with 20 seconds to go – they had a 30 per- cent success rate at the foul line during the match – and the ever- dependable Holeman snatched the rebound.

Head Coach Harry Perretta called a Wildcat timeout with eight seconds left to calm his team and set up one final play. Unfortunately, the Wildcats’ final jump shot attempt was no good.

Villanova finished seven for seven at the foul line, and out- scored DePaul by nine points in the second half. Their constant pressure was something that definitely shook DePaul up in the second half, and this intensity will help them with the remain- der of this season’s matches.

This Sunday at 5 p.m. the Wildcats will face Georgetown in Washington. These teams met in the Pavilion earlier this season, and the Wildcats triumphed, 69-57.After the women’s team faces the Hoyas, there will be less than one month until the Big East tour- nament, which will take place in Chicago from March 7 to March 10.