VILLANOVA, PA. 1/10/2020 – The Butler Bulldogs played a steady game, Villanova played in spurts. The Wildcats were off the mark in their game and fell 58 – 41 to the Bulldogs on Education Day, breaking their two-game winning streak.
Villanova went 13 for 58 from the floor for just 22.4%. The Cats were able to convert 8 of 31 from beyond the arc. Butler hit only a third of their shots (18 of 54) and made only 3 of 11 from distance. But in running the offense, the Bulldogs got to the foul line and were good on 19 of 23 from the stripe.
The second quarter was a key as Butler, who started the period down 14 – 12, won those ten minutes by a 20 – 4 margin. The Cats made only 1 of 15 field goal attempts in the quarter with the first point coming on a free throw halfway through the stanza.
“We were not throwing the ball to the right spots, when that starts happening, it’s like the snowball going down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger,” said Villanova Coach Harry Perretta. “Then the missed shots start and once that starts, it’s pretty much over at that point.”
The Wildcats began to chip away at the lead and had a 22- 10 run over the third and fourth quarter eventually getting to within 10 points on back to back three-pointers by Sam Carangi, who scored a career-high 9 points and set a collegiate mark with three makes from three-point land. She drained her three shots from distance in that stretch, and the Cats have five overall in that run. Brooke Mullin and Bridget Herlihy had the others.
In the second half I was trying to get the team to play better, which they did one one stretch,” Perretta said. “From the five minute mark in the third quarter to the five minute mark in the fourth quarter we played better. And what did we do? We started making some shots. We cut it to ten, but we have to sustain that.”
Butler wanted to get to the basket and did so outscoring Villanova 24 – 8 in the painted area, 19 – 3 on second chance points. It was the damage done at the foul line that was costly to the Wildcats, a 12 point differential. Their three leading scorers; Kristen Spolyar, Katehrine Strong, and Genesis Parker, went a combined 16 of 20 from the free throw line.
“They (Butler) ran their offense and ran it really hard,” Perretta said.
Maddy Siegrist led Nova with 11 points and 11 rebounds. It was her 6th double-double of the season and has done so in three straight games. The freshman has scored in double figures in 9 consecutive games.
Spolyar scored a game-high 15 points for Butler (10 – 5, 2 – 2) while Strong posted 14 and Parker contributed 11. Shae Brey pulled down a career-high tying 13 boards.
Villanova falls to 8 – 7, 3 – 2 in the Big East. The Wildcats take on Xavier on Sunday before hosting Penn in a Big Five game on Wednesday at the Finn.
Written By: Glenn Papazian