Nov. 29, 2003
The Villanova Wildcats broke a school record for 3-point accuracy to grab a 70-57 victory over New Mexico in the championship game of the Holiday Inn Mountain View Lobo Invitational. The Lobos fall to 3-1 on the season while Villanova improves to 5-1.
Led by tournament MVP Liad Suez, Villanova made 65 percent (13 of 20) of its shots from 3-point range, including seven straight during one stretch, as it erased an early 21-13 New Mexico lead. Suez scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half on four treys. She made three straight 3s midway through the second period as the Wildcats' lead grew to 17 points.
The Wildcats converted eight of their last 10 3-point attempts from the 3:12 mark of the first half and five different players connected from 3-point. Villanova shot 50.9% (27-53) from the floor overall, the best against a Lobo team since Long Beach State made 52.5% (32-61) in the 2000 NIT. The Wildcats' solid ballhandling resulted in 21 assists and just five turnovers.
Kate Dessart Mager scored a career-high 18 points while Jenna Viani added 11 for the Wildcats. UNM had allowed its first three opponents to shoot just 32% from the field and 27.5% from beyond the arc.
The Lobos were led by junior Lindsey Arndt, who logged her second career double-double with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Arndt scored UNM's first 12 points and eclipsed her previous scoring best of 17 points with 9:13 left in the first half. The only other Lobo in double figures was junior Jenny Shetters, who came off the bench to score 12.
The Lobos took an early 8-point lead (21-13) on Arndt's bucket and free throw. The Wiildcats clawed back with their long-range shooting. A pair of 8-0 runs sandwiched around a Julie Briody 3 provided Villanova with a 38-32 halftime lead.
New Mexico cut the margin to 43-38 on a Shetters jumper. A Dessart Mager floater capped another 8-0 burst and gave the Wildcats a 53-40 advantage. The Lobos never got coser than 12 the rest of the evening.
The Lobos started hot, making eight of their first 12 shots, but went 16 of 41 the rest of the way. They finished at 45% (24-53) for the game.
The loss spoiled the 60th birthday of New Mexico head coach Don Flanagan. New Mexico remains at home Tuesday when it faces Texas Southern. Tipoff is 7 p.m.
Holiday Inn Mountain View Invitational All Tournament Team