After a two game hiatus from the meat grinder portion of the Big East schedule (with match-ups against lowly USF and DePaul), it was back to reality for Villanova with a road game at Cincinnati. The physical and athletic Bearcats, eager to break a two game losing streak, came out with a solid game plan and plenty of desire. After a sloppy start to the game, Cincy grabbed a double figure lead which the Cats cut to a 32-29 Bearcat lead at half. Cincinnati shut down Villanova's offense after the half to cruise to a 68-50 win.
Cincinnati focused defensive attention on Darrun Hilliard and applied plenty of ball pressure on the Villanova guards to speed them up, and keep them from taking significant advantage of interior mis-matches. The plan led to nineteen Villanova turnovers. On offense, the Bearcats (a team that isn't shy about shooting three-balls) was able to get dribble penetration and take advantage of Villanova's defensive aggression to kick out to open three-ball shooters. When the Villanova defense stuck with the Bearcat shooters they knocked down difficult shots anyway.
Nova bench outscored Cincy bench 16-13
Out-rebounded the Bearcats
Not so goods:
Played tentatively on offense against the Cincy ball pressure
Missed many decent looks in the second half (made only 8 of 24 FGs)
Out-scored by 27 points beyond the arc
Out-scored by 7 at the FT line
Poor 3PFG defense (allowed 12-25, 48%)
19 turnovers - 12 in the second half
46.7% FT shooting
Player Evals & Stats
32 Min, 2-6 FG, 1-3 3PFG, 2-3 FT, 2 Reb, 5 Asst, 2 TO, 2 Stl, 7 Pts
Got in some foul trouble in the first half - leading to reduced minutes. Made a few highlight reel passes - in particular the backwards toss over the shoulder that Pinkston converted as a first-half buzzer beater.
32 Min, 2-7 FG, 0-3 3PFG, 1-1 FT, 1 Reb, 3 Asst, 3 TO, 0 Stl, 0 Blk, 5 Pts
His string of quality games ended with a bit of a stinker at CIncy. The Bearcats focused plenty of defensive attention on the rising Sophomore and seemed to have his game well scouted. Cincy didn't buy his pump fakes and were quite effective in keeping him out of the lane.
29 Min, 6-11 FG, 0-2 3PFG, 0-3 FT, 8 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 12 Pts
Other than his poor FT shooting, Pinkston was the lone bright spot on offense for Villanova. He mixed it up inside to grab rebounds and found ways to score the ball.
28 Min, 3-6 FG, 2-4 3PFG, 0-0 FT, 8 Rebs, 1 Asst, 3 TOs, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 8 Pts
Nice job on the boards - showed some toughness. Shot the ball effectively but didn't go out of his way to step up his offense when teammates were struggling. Three turnovers is a high number when unaccompanied by any assists and coming from a player who didn't handle the ball much.
31 Min, 3-10 FG, 4-6 FT, 5 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 TO, 1 Blk, 0 Stl, 10 Pts
Yarou couldn't get his mid-range jumper to fall nor finish with any consistency in the paint. Struggled with his hands in this game - rebounding and catching post feed - oddly he didn't commit a turnover.
18 Min, 2-3 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 3 Rebs, 0 Stl, 2 Asst., 3 TOs, 4 Pts
Chennault knocked down a couple of jumpers in the first half and seemed prepared to step up and contribute in a game where a couple of primary scorers were being taken out of their games. However, in the second half, Chennault reverted to the tentative style of play that has plagued him. Penetrate the lane … stop … pick up dribble … look around for a bail-out pass - that simply doesn't work at any level of basketball.
19 Min, 2-3 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-2 FTs, 1 Reb, 1 Asst, 4 TO, 1 Blk, 1 Stl, 4 Pts
Struggled a bit with the speed and physicality of this game. Scored on a positive, strong low-post move in the second half but other than that he made his decisions split seconds too late - leading to turnovers.
9 Min, 0-1 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 4 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 Stl, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Pts
USed quickness and toughness to contribute on the boards but had difficulty handling the ball on offense against Cincinnati tenacious defense.
1 Min, 1 Rebound
Nothing to report here.
1 Min, 1 TO
'Nova is now 15-10 overall and 6-6 in Big East play. A win at UConn on Saturday at Noon is a must if Villanova is to maintain hope of an NCAA Tournament bid.