VILLANOVA, PA. 1/3/2016 – The Villanova Wildcats and the Providence Friars met for the 68th time, the team they have met more than any other. Villanova now leads the series 42 – 26 by winning a 67 – 39 Big East game at The Pavilion. Villanova improves to 8 – 5 overall and is 2 – 1 in Big East play. Sophomore Center Megan Quinn led the way for Nova with 16 points and 13 rebounds. It was a good, bounce-back win after an overtime loss at Xavier.
“Our kids played nervous at the beginning,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “We knew it was a big game. We started to make some shots, and they relaxed. It is a big win as you have to win conference games, it’s what you’ve got to do.”
It was a matter of defense for the Wildcats as they would force the Friars into numerous scoring droughts. In the first quarter Providence tied the game at 6 with 4:49 remaining, but did not score again until the 8:29 mark of the second quarter as Villanova finished the stanza on a 7 – 0 run. Later, the Friars finished the quarter missing 5 of their last 6 shots as the teams went into the locker room with the host Wildcats ahead by 29 – 17 margin.
“Offensively, we can’t control if we make our shots,” said Quinn. “On the defensive end, if we are working hard and being aggressive, it can translate on the offensive end.”
“If we don’t play good defense, with the way we are shooting the ball, it’s tied a halftime,” Perretta said. “Now, you panic more.”
Villanova won the third quarter by a 17 – 7 margin.
“In the second half we stretched the lead to twenty and Providence is missing shots,” said Perretta.
For the game the Wildcats made 24 – 58 from the field (41.4%) and converted 15 three-point shots in 31 attempts. In addition to Quinn, Alex Louin and Katherine Coyer scored in double figures with a career-high tying 13 rebounds and 10 points. Caroline Coyer handed out 7 assists. For Quinn it was her fourth double-double of the season and a career-high tying mark in rebounds.
“I’m excited, it is a good way to start the new year,” Quinn said about her double-double.
Providence was 17 – 57, 2 of 11 from distance. Friars (4 – 9, 0 – 3) committed 13 turnovers in the game. However, they are a young team that has a senior, two juniors, three sophomores, and five freshman.
Villanova returns to the court on Tuesday hosting at 7 PM.
Written By: Glenn Papazian