Villanova Leads From Start To Finish Beating DePaul 65 – 45
VILLANOVA, PA. 1/9/2013 – The usual game expectation from Villanova is to move the ball and rain threes on the opponent. Maybe DePaul read that same plan. This time the Villanova women Wildcats played their usual motion offense, but this time the ball went inside. It was effective as Villanova earned a 65 – 45 win over the DePaul Blue Demons at The Pavilion. Coach Harry Perretta was pleased with the overall performance of the team, and they way they adjusted to the DePaul defensive scheme.
“They were doing a good job of preventing us from getting good looks from three,” said Perretta. “Even though we got some, not our normal amount, so we had to do a little something different in trying to get two-pointers instead of threes. Today it was a good day and it worked out.”
“It is hard to guard us when we are constantly moving,” said Senior guard Rachel Roberts. “They were trying to protect the three and were giving us inside lanes. I am happy with layups. I’ll take those any day.”
It wasn’t that the Wildcats did not take threes, they took 25 making a mere 3. But they found the middle open, and took advantage of it scoring 42 points in the paint. The Villanova close in shots allowed for the host team to shoot 29 of 64 (45.3%) overall and connected on 26 of 39 (67%) two-point shots. Roberts had a career-high 19 points shooting 8 – 15 from the floor, and she had the team best 2 three-pointers. Sophomore forward Taylor Holeman also posted a career best 14 points. Junior guard Devon Kane contributed 10 points. Sophomore forward Lauren Burford scored 4 points, but added 7 assists. Senior forward Laura Sweeney had 8 rebounds in addition to her 8 points.
Villanova played an effective defensive game in addition to the offensive output. DePaul was forced into shooting 17 of 49 (34.7%). The 45 points scored by the Blue Demons were a season low as the team averages over 78 points per game. The nineteen DePaul turnovers resulted in 17 Villanova points. The Wildcats committed 13 turnovers resulting in 7 Blue Demon points. On the boards Villanova held a 43 – 25 advantage.
“I thought we played really good defense today,” Perretta said. “These guys usually get seventy (DePaul). They get sixty in their sleep, and when they play well they get eighty. Our defense was the key to the game.”
At the start of the game momentum was on the side of the Wildcats as they stormed out to a 12 – 2 lead. Villanova made shots and it got them going. In the second half DePaul closed to within 8, but Villanova responded with an 8 – 2 run to take a 44 – 30 lead at the 15:29 mark. That lead would grow to as many as 23 points when the Wildcats took a 63 – 40 lead.
“He (Coach Perretta) has been harping on us to come out to a good start,” Roberts said. “Playing with a lead is better than trying to claw your way back into games.”
DePaul had only seven players available, but were coming off an 86 – 80 win against nationally ranked Louisville. Guard Brittany Hrynko led the Blue Demons in scoring with 17 points.
Villanova improves to 12 – 2 overall, 2 – 0 in the Big East. The Wildcats travel to Pittsburgh for their next encounter before going after the Big Five title at Penn on January 16. The team hopes to build off this win, a quality win against a quality opponent.
“This may have been one of our best games from a mental standpoint to see where people are (on the floor),” said Roberts. “Our defense was intense tonight. You can’t top that. It’s such a great feeling to know everyone was focused and ready to play.”
“We wanted a win against a team that people picked over us. Being an underdog is something we like, we like to have that chip on our shoulder, and how we want to beat people who are supposed to beat us. It’s such a good feeling.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian