VILLANOVA, PA. 11/24/2015 – The game lived up to expectations. It was thought to be a hard fought, low scoring, defensive battle. And it was. In the end the Villanova Wildcats earned a 55 – 49 win over the Saint Joseph’s Hawks in women’s basketball at the Pavilion. Sometimes it is a matter of survival and that is not a surprise to either coach.
“I thought it was a typical Villanova – Saint Joe’s game,” stated Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “Low scoring, crazy stiff, missed shots. It’s what it is. You accept it and try to move on.”
“It was a typical Big Five game with a lot of defense, and was a possession game,” said Saint Joseph’s Coach Cindy Griffin. “We didn’t score enough points.”
The game also featured a match up of two of the better guards in the city. Caroline Coyer supplied Villanova with a bit of everything on the floor. The senior scored a team-high 14 points and added 8 assists, a game-best, and took down 5 rebounds.
“When we needed the big basket, she got it,” Perretta said about the contributions of Coyer. “She did everything because she is the best player on the court. And we went to her.”
Saint Joseph’s was led by Ciara Andrews who scored a game-high 18 points supplying the Hawks with needed offense.
“She got us back in it,” Griffin said about Andrews. “We are going to her, and she took the shots we wanted her to take. They just did not fall.”
Villanova would put the game away late in the fourth quarter. Andrews scored at 4:11 to bring Saint Joseph’s to within 50 – 47. That would be their last field goal if the game. The Wildcats could not pull away, but got the dagger layup on a drive by Coyer with 40 seconds on the clock to pull ahead by 54 – 47.
“This game was won on defense,” said Coyer. “We’re trying to learn as a team how to play defensively. It felt good especially against a team like Saint Joe’s who have players who do a lot of different things, to lock them down was good.”
Megan Quinn scored 10 points for the Wildcats and was the only other double figures scorer in the game. Hawks forward Sarah Fairbanks pulled down 11 rebounds.
Villanova (2 – 1, 1 – 0 Big Five) usually shoots the three well, but in this contest made 5 of 21. Saint Joseph’s (0 – 3, 0 – 1 Big Five) was unsuccessful in all of their 10 attempts from distance which forced the team to take the ball to the basket.
“That was the key to the game, their missing ten,” Perretta analyzed. “If they make four or five threes, they probably win the game.”
The Wildcats earn the Big Five win. The City Series matters.
“All Big Five games are hard-fought battles.” said Coyer. “The games are so competitive. There is such a special tradition here, and I am glad to be a part of it.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian