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Lucy Olsen Paces Villanova to Complete Comeback Against Big East Opponent DePaul, Wins 68-66

Written by on March 4, 2024

The Villanova Wildcats played the DePaul Blue Demons at the Finneran Pavilion this past Sunday, beating them 68-66 after a long and surprising comeback after being down by 21 points in the first quarter. With this victory, Villanova finished the year 18-11 and 11-7 in the Big East, whereas DePaul fell to 12-19 overall and 4-14 in the league.

In the first quarter, DePaul dominated, going up 23-7 with around 5 minutes left of the quarter. DePaul just seemed to be hitting their shots from all angles, whereas Villanova could not make any. DePaul shot 12 of 22 in the quarter, whereas Villanova was 3 of 25. Villanova also did not make one shot from beyond the arch. DePaul also went on an 11-2 run to close the quarter.

In the second quarter, Villanova started finding their game and hitting shots. The Wildcats went on an 11-2 scoring run to cut the once-massive lead for DePaul to 27-26. Villanova was now back on an even playing field. Lucy Olsen contributed significantly to this run, scoring seven points. Zanai Jones and Maddie Burke also contributed to the run with 4 points. DePaul held their lead heading into the half with a score of 36-32.

In the third quarter, DePaul maintained their lead. They were up with around 4 minutes left of the quarter, 50-40, off 3 points from Jorie Allen and 3 points from Kate Clarke. They would maintain their pace of play and finish the quarter with a 55-46 lead.

Villanova trailed as much as 11 points in the fourth quarter with nearly 6 minutes left. At this point, Villanova knew they had to turn on another gear to win the game- and they did exactly that. They held DePaul from scoring for nearly 5 minutes straight; this time, they scored 11 straight points. The score was 61-58, with DePaul still leading with almost 3 minutes left. But Lucy Olsen then scored 2 points to make it 63-60, and then Olsen scored on another lay-up, followed by Bella Runyan, who also scored a lay-up, to allow the Wildcats to have an advantage for the first time in the game with nearly 45 seconds left. DePaul scored again to make it 66-64, but Villanova’s Lucy Olsen responded by making two foul shots to tie the game up 66-66. At this point, there was nearly 2 seconds left. Finally, Villanova regained possession of the ball after DePaul was called for traveling, and Lucy Olsen nailed her shot to make it 68-66. Villanova won the game.

Lucy Olsen was critical in Villanova’s win, scoring 31 points. DePaul was led by Allen and Gilbert, who both had 14 points.

Villanova will compete in the Big East Conference Tournament at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. The Wildcats are slated at #4, rankings-wise, for the tournament. They will play Marquette, who is #5, on March 9.