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Schickel, Bulldogs overwhelm No. 21 Villanova in 76-53 upset at Nevin

This is the Wildcats’ second loss in three Big East games to start conference play.

-Ryan Bowman/VU Hoops

Jake Nevin Field House had been kind to the Villanova Wildcats this season.

The Wildcats, who had spent most of their season on the road to start, were perfect at home. They pulled off their upset over Duke there and beat rival St. Joe’s in lopsided fashion. Their other “official” home game was at the PPL Center in Allentown, where they downed Lehigh by 20.

While there weren’t many, Villanova was generally good to go at home—until Tuesday night.

The visiting, unranked Butler Bulldogs came into Nevin and pulled off an upset of the ‘Cats, winning 76-53.

The loss marks the first one at home this season, as well as Villanova’s second loss in Big East play out of the three games so far.

Villanova started the game hot, with an 11-2 run topped off by a Megan Quinn basket with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

However, Butler would overcome its slow start and respond with a run of its own, closing out the quarter with a 14-3 spurt that gave the Bulldogs a 16-14 lead going into the second.

From there, Villanova played from behind. The Bulldogs had a nice start to the second quarter, but the Wildcats were able to rally back and make it a two-point game at halftime. Butler carried a narrow 31-29 lead going into the break.

Things fell apart in the third quarter, as the Bulldogs outscored Villanova, 27-11. Butler’s standout forward, Tori Schickel, carved up the ‘Cats inside. She had 10 of her 26 points in the third quarter alone, nearly outscoring Villanova—in that 10-minute stretch—singlehandedly. The 6-foot-1 junior made her mark in almost every facet of the game.

Aside from scoring the most points in the game, she also had seven rebounds, two blocks, and six assists to go with her scoring splendors. She only missed one shot for the whole game, going 10-for-11 on the floor.

As for Villanova, it was simply unable to keep up with the barrage of Butler baskets. The Wildcats shot just 9-of-26 in the second half, including an ugly 1-for-14 performance from deep.

A 13-3 Butler run to close out the third quarter, helped it push the lead into double figures. From there, the lead reached as high as 28. The fourth quarter was reduced to a mere formality.

For the game, Butler shot 52.8 percent on the floor. Aside from Schickel, Whitney Jennings had 16 points for the Bulldogs. Michelle Weaver added 11 points and five boards to the winning effort.

Alex Louin paced the Wildcats with a double-double performance. The senior guard had 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jannah Tucker finished with 10 points. Adrianna Hahn and Kelly Jekot struggled against the Bulldogs, combining for just eight points. Together, they were 4-of-16 overall and 0-of-8 from deep.

The Wildcats are now 11-2 for the season, and 1-2 in conference play. They will look to rebound against Xavier, when they host the Musketeers on Friday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.