Villanova shoots over Syracuse

An injury depleted Villanova Wildcats team toppled the favored Syracuse Orange in Radnor, Pa. Tuesday night, securing its first Big East victory of the season.

With key players missing due to a rash of injuries, Villanova was able to dig deep and jump out to an early lead.  Villanova (12-11, 1-9) maintained the lead with disciplined play and impressive shooting from beyond the arc, putting four players in double figures to beat Syracuse, 83-69, at the Pavilion.

SU attempted to combat the barrage of 3-pointers by shifting from the zone to man-to-man coverage, but with limited success.  Villanova played the notoriously patient and deliberate style of longtime head coach Harry Perretta, patiently passing the ball around the perimeter until drawing a foul or finding a hole in the Orange defense.

Villanova fifth year senior Maria Getty tied a career high with six 3-pointers, scoring a career and game high 28 points.  Getty and redshirt freshman forward Emily Suhey combined to shoot 11 of the 13 3-pointers for the Wildcats, nine of which came in the first half.

The Wildcats shot 48.1 percent (13 for 27) from beyond the arc compared to the Orange's 21.4 percent (3 for 14).

The Orange was able to chip away at the lead in the first half with some aggressive play, heading into the halftime break down by only six points.  But they were unable to get any closer in the second half, handicapped by poor shooting (27.9 percent).

The Wildcats' free throw shooting sealed SU's fate.  When the 3-pointers stopped falling in the second half, Villanova turned to the line for an additional 24 points.  The Wildcats missed only two free throws, shooting 92.3 percent in the second half.

The lone bright spot for Syracuse was senior forward Nicole Michael, SU's newly minted all-time leading scorer.  Michael led the Orange with her 28th double-double, scoring 23 points and grabbing 15 rebounds.

Syracuse (18-6, 5-6) needs to get back on track to prolong any hopes of making the NCAA Tournament in March.  The first attempt will be another Big East contest at home, on Saturday, Feb. 13 against the Cincinnati Bearcats.  

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