Once again, a Villanova basketball team loses to North Carolina State. This time it’s the Lady Cats, dropping their opening game to the Wolfpack 70-64.
Coming off a quarterfinal appearance in the NIT, expectations are high for this team to compete for an NCAA tournament spot. In the first quarter, the Wildcats lived up to these hopes, jumping out to an early 14-11 lead courtesy of six first quarter points from sophomore center Megan Quinn.
The Wolfpack would go on a 10-0 run to end the first quarter, building a 21-14 lead. The run was headlined by Jennifer Mathurin and Dominique Wilson, who both contributed five points.
The second quarter did not fare much better for Villanova, losing the quarter battle 19-12. NC State built upon their late first quarter momentum, with a quick five points. The scoreless streak (one that extended over seven minutes) finally ended for the Lady Cats at 7:08 when Caroline Coyer hit a jumper to cut State’s lead to ten. Coyer ended up scoring an impressive 10 out of Villanova’s 12 points in the quarter, while contributing an assist on the lone non-Coyer basket. N.C. State took a 40-26 into the half.
The third quarter began with yet another quick spurt by the Wolfpack. An and-one from Wilson and a layup from Miah Spencer pushed the lead to 19. After the run, Villanova started to wake up. A balanced scoring attack led by seniors Coyer and Kavunaa Edwards, freshman Alex Louin, and sophomore Adrianna Hahn helped decrease the deficit. The Wildcats were able to amend the lead to eight, making it very manageable for a fourth quarter comeback.
N.C. State had different plans than Villanova. Another rapid start to the quarter and before anyone knew it, the Wolfpack had their lead back up to double digits. After two Wolfpack free throws, youngsters Louin and Hahn combated the run and spotted a combined six points making the lead single digits.
With under four minutes to go, Hahn and Coyer hit back-to-back threes to give Villanova hope that the comeback was a possibility. Both teams exchanged empty handed possessions for the next minute, until NC State was able sink a one out of two free throws at the 2:12 mark. Seeing that a tie game was in sight coach Harry Perretta called a time out, setting up the potential game tying play. Villanova did just that with the freshman Hahn hitting the three tying the game at 62.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the comeback was not meant to be when NC State’s Spencer sank a two on its next possession. The Wolfpack iced the game when Wilson converted an and-one, extending the lead to five.
Caroline Coyer had one of the best games of her career going 10-of-18 from the field and 4-of-11 from three. Her 24 point performance was ten more than Villanova’s next leading scorer, Adrianna Hahn.
Alex Louin finished with 11 points, while Megan Quinn and Kavunaa Edwards contributed eight and seven points, respectively, to the Wildcats losing effort. Leading the Wolfpack was Dominique Wilson who spotted 21 points. The next leading scorer was Jennifer Mathurin, scoring just two points behind her teammate.
The Wildcats will be back in action on Monday night, with a game against Loyola Maryland at 7 p.m.