Villanova women fall to Michigan in NCAAs

Villanova coach Harry Perretta gives instructions to Jesse Carey and her teammates in Stanford, Calif.
Villanova coach Harry Perretta gives instructions to Jesse Carey and her teammates in Stanford, Calif. (BEN MARGOT / AP)
Posted: March 25, 2013

STANFORD, Calif. - Caroline Coyer took a three-point shot from the left side and the ball clanked off the rim. There to secure the rebound was Michigan's Jenny Ryan.

And that summed up Villanova's 60-52 loss to the Wolverines on Sunday in the first round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament. The Wildcats couldn't hit their shots and Michigan dominated the boards at Maples Pavilion.

Laura Sweeney scored 16 points to lead Villanova on 7-of-10 shooting. Devon Kane came off the bench to score 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting. But the rest of the team shot an abysmal 19 percent (8 of 42). Worse, the three-pointers just refused to fall, with the Wildcats making just 6 of 26 (23 percent).

"I thought we were able to generate enough threes, which we try to do every game, but we just didn't make enough of them to win the game," Villanova coach Harry Perretta said. "Putting the ball in the basket or not putting the ball in the basket is a product of what day it is."

Meantime, the Wolverines outrebounded Villanova, 39-28. That was expected given the numbers coming in, to the point that Perretta claimed that an 11-rebound deficit didn't sound too bad.

"That's actually low," Perretta said, "getting outrebounded by 11 - for us."

Added Sweeney, "That's not too bad." Then, she added somewhat more seriously, "That's been part of our problem all year long is the boards. My girl [Rachel Sheffer], she's a threat from the outside. I think that kind of pulled me outside so I wasn't under there for any of those missed shots."

Sweeney finished with three rebounds.

After Sweeney tied the score at 26 with the opening basket of the second half, Sheffer answered with a jumper for the Wolverines (22-10), sparking a 9-0 run and giving them a lead they would never surrender. However, the Wildcats (21-11) never lost touch and with 7 minutes, 48 seconds to go, Lauren Burford hit a three-pointer simultaneously as Taylor Holeman was fouled by Kate Thompson, meaning Villanova got the ball back, trailing by 42-41. After a television timeout, Holeman missed a pull-up jumper. Kane missed a jumper on the next possession and the Wildcats never had another opportunity to take the lead.

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