VILLANOVA, PA. 1/26/2016 – The Villanova Wildcats used a combination of three-point shooting and defense to earn a 66 – 46 win over the University of Pennsylvania Quakers and with it at least a share of the Big Five Championship. Caroline Coyer led all scorers with 23 points and registered her 15th twenty-point game of the season, and her 7 made three-point baskets set a career-high.
“It’s awesome,” Coyer said about winning the Big Five in her senior year. “Now that I have been here I feel a part of it, it feels good. My Dad texted me before the game and said it’s your last Big Five game ever. I felt a little emotional about it.”
Coyer made 8 of 13 from the field and was 7 of 11 from three-point land.
For the game Villanova made 17 of 41 from beyond the arc. Of their 23 field goals, 17 were from deep. Nova also set a season mark for most made three-pointers in a game.
“We knew coming into the game that we were going to have to make three’s to win,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “We practiced it a lot, the kids knew it and took the shots with confidence.”
Meanwhile Penn went cold scoring only 7 second quarter points. The downward trend continued in the third quarter. Sydney Stipanovich made a layup at the 9:13 mark. They would not score again until Anna Ross canned a three at the buzzer.
“Our defense was good especially in the third quarter,” Perretta said. “We went smaller because when we go small we have better defensive players. That was the difference in the game.”
The Red and Blue led 24 – 20 after one quarter. The Quakers were getting the ball inside to Michelle Nwokedi and Stipanovich. The inside was taken away and Penn did not recover.
“We had some shots,” said Penn Coach Mike McLaughlin. “Then they started packing it in on both of them. If we make a couple of shots maybe we could control where we needed to be, but that is not what happened.”
Adrianna Hahn added 15 points for the Wildcats and Alex Louin contributed 12 points. As a team Villanova had 19 assists on 23 field goals.
“We got back to playing our Villanova style of basketball,” said Perretta.
Stipanovich had a team-high 18 points for the Quakers and Nwokedi scored 11 points.
Villanova still has a chance to win the Big Five outright should La Salle defeat Saint Joseph’s in February. The Wildcats are 13 – 7, 3 – 1 Big Five, and return to Big East action on January 29 hosting Creighton.
“I’m from Philadelphia,” said Perretta. “I told the team that I don’t care if you tie with ten other teams as long as we have a share of it (the Big Five title) and no one gets it by themselves.”
Penn posts a 12 – 3 record, finishing 2 – 2 in the city series, and will begin Ivy play on Friday hosting Yale.
Written By: Glenn Papazian