VILLANOVA, PA. 3/17/2016 – The Villanova Wildcats won their first round game and advance in the WNIT with a 67 – 51 victory over the Liberty Lady Flames at the Pavilion. The Wildcats won it they way they need to, making three-point shots.
“We were able to make thirteen-three’s, that was the key to the game,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “We were 13 for 36, and it’s pretty good if you can make that many three’s. We knew it would be that kind of game, and we tried to do the best we could.”
“We can’t pound the ball inside. If we make them (three-pointers) we have a chance to win.”
For the game Villanova converted 13 of 36 shots from beyond the arc led by forward Megan Quinn who score 21 points making 5 of 14 form deep in addition to pulling down 9 rebounds.
On the defensive end Nova caused turnovers, 10 of the 18 for Liberty in the second half, then held the Lady Flames to 5 fourth quarter points. Villanova sealed the victory in the final stanza with a 12 – 0 run highlighted by two three-pointers by Kavunaa Edwards who scored 9 points n the contest.
“Defense is related to offense,” Perretta said. “Our defense was good, but when you make two or three three-pointers in a row, the score was 5 and now it’s 11, all of a sudden, they panic, and that is what happened to us a lot of the time. When you score in the 60’s and get a 16-point lead, it helps your defense.”
Adrianna Hahn scored 11 points for the Cats. Three Liberty players posted double figures as Ashley Rininger scored a team-high 13 points. Catherine Kearney and Candice Leatherwood had 10 points each.
The Wildcats continue a season that ended abruptly after one game in the Big East Tournament. They get another game which allows the seniors more opportunities, and a chance for the underclassmen to gain experience.
“It is important to continue the season and building confidence preparing ourselves for next year,” Quinn said. “The more we advance, the more games we get to play, and that’s more experience we have under our belts. It’s so important to just keep winning and stay alive.”
That next game will be on Saturday when Villanova (20 – 11, its fourth straight 20 win season) hosts Hofstra at 6 PM at The Pavilion.
“This is a great tournament,” Perretta said about the WNIT. “The sixty-four teams in the tournament have a chance to win. Everybody is relatively close to each other, and if you play well you can win. These kids know it and it is a different feeling when you know you have a chance to win.”
Written By: Glenn Papazian