Providence Stuns the Wildcats, Beats Villanova WBB 82-76 in Overtime
Written by Anthony Miller on January 25, 2024
The Providence Friars beat the Villanova Wildcats 82-76 in overtime on January 24th at Alumni Hall in Providence, Rhode Island. The Wildcats drop to 12-7 overall and 5-3 in Big East play. The Friars are now 10-11 overall and 4-4 in Big East play. Maddie Weber led the Wildcats with 20 points on the night, and Grace Efosa led the Friars with 29 points.
1st Quarter: Villanova Starts off Strong
Villanova came out of the gates strong and early. They found themselves up 17-6 before the first media timeout at 4:25 in the 1st quarter. Villanova’s Zanai Jones carried much of the weight, scoring 9 points in that run and going 4-4 on shooting. The Wildcats also made 8 of their first 10 shot attempts in this span. Providence then scored 5 points, all from the foul line, to make the score 17-11 at the near 2:22 mark of the quarter. The Wildcats then went on another tear, going on a 7-2 run with Christina Dalce leading the way with 4 points, both coming off layups. Providence’s only 2 points in that span came from Marta Morales off a layup. Villanova would find themselves with an 11-point lead at the end of the first with a score of 24-13.
2nd Quarter: Villanova Keeps Up Pressure
Providence started off on a tear, going on a 7-2 scoring run to cut the lead to 26-20. The Friar’s Brynn Farrell made two layups and a three-pointer to lead the way with 5 points. At this point, Villanova’s Belly Runyan scored the only points for Villanova with a layup. The Wildcats then went on a 13-6 run, with Lucy Olsen scoring 11 of those points. The Wildcats took a 41-26 lead at halftime while shaking off the Friar’s early scoring run. Villanova shot close to 55%, going 18 for 33, while Providence shot close to 23%, going 7 for 31.
3rd Quarter: Providence Dominates Villanova
Providence went on a 21-2 run to start the third quarter. Grace Efosa led the Friars in that span with 14 points. Villanova’s Maddie Webber had the only 2 points in that span off a layup. With this dominant scoring run by the Friars, they found themselves up 47-43 with 1:56 left in the corner. Maddie Weber and Bella Runyan collectively had 5 points for Villanova, and the Friars went up 50-48 at the end of the half due to a massive scoring run of 24-6. Villanova shot 20 percent overall this half, going 3 for 15, while Providence put up significantly stronger numbers, shooting close to 69 percent and 9 for 13 overall.
4th Quarter: Back and Forth Action
Despite their struggles scoring in the third quarter, Villanova went on an 11-2 scoring run to start the half, boasting mainly by scoring from Bella Runyan and Maddie Webber. With this, Villanova was able to claim back their lead with a 59-52 score with close to 7 minutes in the quarter. Grace Efosa from the Friars then scored back-to-back, making it a score of 59-56 score. The game was tied 64-64 with nearly 2:26 left on the clock. Kaitlyn Orihel hit a big-time three for Villanova to make the Wildcats lead 67-64, which was around 1:47 on the clock. The game was then tied again after a foul on Grace Efosa, of which she made both of her attempts and tied the game at 67-67 with nearly 50 seconds remaining. Providence then found themselves up 69-67, with Morales Romero scoring the bucket. Runyan then scored for Villanova with 2 seconds remaining, tying the game at 69 and sending it to overtime.
Overtime: Providence Takes Control
The half’s scoring started with Providence, where Morales Romero scored a three to make the score 72-69. Since then, the Friars went on a 10-2 scoring run, with Villanova’s Maddie Weber having the only 2 points. Villanova simply couldn’t make their shots as much as Providence did, and the Friars ended up winning the game 82-76 after Villanova came out to a strong start at the beginning of the game.
The Wildcats look to bounce back against DePaul, who is 10-10 overall on the year and 2-5 in conference play. The game will be held at Wintrust Arena in Chicago, IL.