Villanova, Pa. - Junior forward Lindsay Kimmel (Binghamton, N.Y.) scored a game-high 15 points on the strength of five three-pointers - three of which came in the first 90 seconds of the game - and Villanova (1-0, 1-0 Big Five) started the season on a strong note with a 57-42 victory over La Salle (0-1, 0-1 Big Five) at the Pavilion on Friday afternoon.
In the season opener for both teams, the Wildcats surged out of the starting blocks with a 12-2 run in the first 2:15 of the contest. Kimmel made a three-pointer on the game's first possession, added another in before the game was a minute old, and Villanova eventually made six three-pointers en route to an 18-5 lead by the first media timeout.
Although the frenzied shooting pace did not last for long - the Wildcats were 6-of-8 from the field (all from beyond the three-point line) in the first 3:57 - the early pace set a tone and Villanova led by at least six points the rest of the way and maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second half.
Kimmel finished with 15 points on 5-of-15 shooting and junior guard Sarah Jones (Philadelphia, Pa.) added 11 points. Sophomore forwards Laura Sweeney (Marlton, N.J.) and Megan Pearson (West Chester, Pa.) had eight and seven rebounds, respectively and the Wildcats made 12 of their 19 field goals from three-point range.
In the second half, the Explorers closed to within 10 points on two occasions but went a stretch of more than eight minutes without a field goal and Villanova pushed its lead to 51-35 with 4:08 to play. La Salle was held to just 25 percent (12-of-48) shooting for the game and finished the afternoon with one more free throw made (13) than field goals (12).
Ebonee Jones scored a team-high 12 points to lead the Explorers and Alexis Scott added 11 points.
The scoring for the Wildcats was spread amongst seven different players, six of whom made at least one three-pointer.
Villanova returns to action next Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a road game at Delaware.