Villanova's women opened WNIT play with a home win against American on Thursday and followed it up with a 58-55 upset over Illinois State on Sunday. The Wildcats trailed 55-53 with just 31 seconds remaining in the game, but a big 3-pointer by Devon Kane, flipped the script and put the 'Cats ahead by a point and forced Illinois State to foul and send Kane to the line to extend their lead to three.
They were down by 10 points with just under 9 minutes remaining, but a 16-5 run brought the Wildcats back to the top, at 50-49. Though ISU would eventually get back ahead, they couldn't gain any separation over the final 8 minutes.
Villanova shot 37 percent from the field while their opponent went just 31.3 percent from the field.
Rachel Roberts led the team with 16 points, draining 4 triples, while Devon Kane finished with 12. Megan Pearson also contributed 10 points. Laura Sweeney, who has been the team's leading scorer, was unavailable after breaking her hand in the WNIT opener.
"We shoot a lot of threes as is, but when Laura went out we don’t really have a post game," Villanova coach Harry Perretta told Pantagraph. "We had to adjust our game a little bit to become a little more perimeter oriented. To win this from behind without her playing was an amazing achievement."
ISU had been to three straight WNIT semifinals and had five consecutive 20-win seasons. Both streaks are now ended.
Villanova's next game will be against the winner of Colorado and South Dakota, which will be played tonight at 7p.m. Central. The third-round game could bring the 'Cats back to the Main Line for a home game, but date and time will not be determined until after Monday night's game.
Temple and Drexel are also still alive in the WNIT, with Temple advancing to the third round and Drexel playing Syracuse tonight for the chance to face them. St. Joseph's was also in the WNIT, but lost at home this weekend to VCU in overtime.