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February 16, 2013

Cats Earn Crucial Road WIn

The emotional ebb and flow of a college basketball season seems unpredictable at times but could likely be captured into fairly accurate tide tables. Villanova was bouncing back from an 18 point loss at Cincinnati while the Huskies were looking to build off a big home win against Syracuse. Given that Villanova is still scratching and fighting for a possible NCAA Tournament berth, the 70-61 Wildcat victory powered by a domination of the boards and boatloads of hustle should come as little surprise.


It was a game of runs and Villanova answered the UConn runs with more sustained runs of its own. The Cats were led by 25 points from Ryan Arcidiacono, 11 points and 16 rebounds from Mouphtaou Yarou, JayVaughn Pinkston's 14 points and 9 rebounds, and a handful of clutch plays and baskets from James Bell in the closing minutes.


Goods:

Huge rebounding advantage

Shot 5-10 from beyond the arc in the second half

Shot 16-34 from the field in the second half

+4 turnover margin

Held Boatright and Napier to 3-15 shooting, 0-7 3PFG and only 6 points - most of those meaningless

Held UConn to 1-8 3PFG in the second half


Not so goods:

64.7% FT shooting


Player Evals & Stats


Ryan Arcidiacono

36 Min, 8-15 FG, 5-8 3PFG, 4-4 FT, 2 Reb, 2 Asst, 4 TO, 2 Stl, 25 Pts

His 17 first half points kept Villanova in contention as UConn got four made three-pointers from unlikely sources in the opening twenty minutes. In the second half, Arcidiacono made an electric half court alley-oop pass to Bell, knocked down a couple more threes, and scored on a nice drive to his right to get all the way to the rim. Handled the ball well against the UConn pressure and generally made good decisions.


Darrun Hilliard

28 Min, 2-10 FG, 1-6 3PFG, 0-0 FT, 2 Reb, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 1 Stl, 0 Blk, 5 Pts

Hilliard closed out the road trip with another sub-par performance. His shot from deep hasn't been falling and he has been more tentative about creating offense off the bounce. Defenses are giving him more attention and his pump fake is proving less effective.


Jayvaughn Pinkston

30 Min, 4-9 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 6-12 FT, 9 Rebs, 3 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 2 Stl, 14 Pts

Very solid game from Pinkston. Took better care of the ball, scored on some quick post moves and contributed heavily on the glass.


James Bell

25 Min, 4-8 FG, 3-6 3PFG, 0-0 FT, 4 Rebs, 4 Asst, 1 TOs, 2 Blk, 2 Stl, 11 Pts

There is some sort of internal alarm clock in James Bell that rings when games get tight down the stretch and he isn't one to hit the snooze bar. In big games he has made the big plays. He had a crucial block in transition, finished a key alley-oop basket and knocked down a series of important three-pointers with the outcome still in doubt.


Mouphtaou Yarou

37 Min, 5-11 FG, 1-1 FT, 16 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 11 Pts

Yarou dominated the glass for Villanova and knocked down a couple of timely mid-range jumpers as well. COntinues to step up up down the stretch as a Senior.


Tony Chennault

24 Min, 2-5 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 1 Rebs, 3 Stl, 2 Asst., 2 TOs, 4 Pts

One of the more solid games for Chennault in a 'Nova uniform. Played well defensively and contributed a pair of buckets. Did a decent job handling against pressure and was less tentative on his dribble-drives.

Daniel Ochefu

12 Min, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 5 Reb, 0 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 0 Pts

Rebounded the ball well in is limited minutes but wasn't overly effective in other aspects of the game. Ochefu doesn't match up well against the smaller, quicker, UConn roster so Coach Wright chose to play more Yarou and Pinkston.


Achraf Yacoubou

1 Min, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 1 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 Stl, 0 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Pts

Grabbed a defensive board in a very brief run at the end of the first half.


Maurice Sutton

2 Min, 0-1 FG

Nothing to report here.


Mislav Brzoja

5 Min, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3PFG

Brzoja must be tearing it up in practice to earn some run - or Coach Wright felt that Yacoubou's ball-handling may be a concern against UConn's defense. Missed an open, corner three-ball during five minutes of decent play.


The Wildcats advance to 16-10 overall and 7-6 in Big East play. After one step forward at UConn, Villanova cannot afford a step backward against Rutgers (9PM tip at the Pavilion on Tuesday night) if an NCAA Tournament bid is the end goal.



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