Villanova was once again up by 4 in the closing minute of a Big East road game and once again the Wildcats came up short. 'Nova committed a foul on defense, gave up a critical offense rebound, and ran away from a hot three-point shooter to provide help defense in the lane to botch things on one end of the court. On the offensive end, the Cats frittered away the final possession without even getting a potential game-winning shot. First, Ryan Arcidiacono tried to create something out of nothing and the ball was knocked out with 3.3 seconds remaining. Then, Mouphtaou Yarou couldn't handle the inbounds pass from Darrun Hilliard and the Cats opportunity to seal a big win was lost.
The Cats showed some fight trying to claw back in overtime but the extra period was essentially controlled by Pitt on the way to a 73-64 win.
Not so goods:
Bell and Hilliard combine for 2-15 shooting
Fumbled away several rebounds and an inbound pass in the final minute
Leaving three-point shooters to provide extra help on dribble-drive
Only 5 bench points
Shot only 37% from the floor and 30% from three
Player Evals & Stats
41 Min, 6-14 FG, 5-8 3PFG, 6-6 FT, 3 Reb, 4 Asst, 3 TO, 0 Stl, 23 Pts
Played a solid floor game. His shooting earned Villanova a slight lead at half-time and had them in the game late with a chance to win. Only took one ill-advised shot and handled the ball well against Pitt's pressure defense. Was by far the player of the game for the Cats.
31 Min, 1-8 FG, 0-4 3PFG, 4-5 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Stl, 0 Blk, 6 Pts
Had another rough outing on the road. Shot the ball poorly - scoring only on a transition lay-up and foul shots. Made a key defensive error to give Pitt a wide open look from three late in the overtime. Didn't have the ball in his hands as much as he did in the games he starred in - as Tony Chennault had a bigger role in the offense.
40 Min, 3-11 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 7-10 FT, 5 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 4 Blk, 2 Stl, 13 Pts
Seemed to tire late in the game. It hasn't been the norm for him to play anywhere close to 40 minutes (this was twice the amount of PT he garnered in the Pitt game at the Pavilion earlier in the season). Played active defense for most of the game but didn't close out well on the Pitt three-pointer that tied the game at 57 in regulation. Did a nice job of getting to the free-throw line and converting. Missed some lay-ups that could have made a difference.
33 Min, 1-7 FG, 1-7 3PFG, 0-0 FT, 4 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 TOs, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 3 Pts
A model of inconsistency. He almost got a key three-ball to drop late in regulation but it rattled around and popped. out. His defense was marginal and his offense was nothing but three-pointers. Doesn't put pressure on the defense with the bounce.
37 Min, 7-9 FG, 0-0 FT, 8 Rebs, 2 Asst, 1 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 14 Pts
Shot the mid-range jumper well - even under pressure situations. Couldn't secure the ball on the key inbound play or on several late rebounds that eluded his grasp. His stat line looks good because he scored the ball efficiently and had decent numbers … but when you see Zanna's 14 point and 19 rebound line you realize Yarou was out-played.
29 Min, 2-4 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 1-5 FTs, 4 Rebs, 1 Stl, 4 Asst., 0 TOs, 5 Pts
Played a solid floor game and scored on a tough drive to the tin late in the game. Unfortunately, he had a difficult go of it from the free-throw line and his 1-5 effort at the stripe (most of the attempts at crucial moments) was detrimental to the team effort.
10 Min, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 1 Reb, 1 Asst, 0 TO, 3 Blk, 1 Stl, 0 Pts
Struggled with foul trouble. His blocked shots were his positive - the rest of his game was lacking. Oddly, he had a great game off the glass against Pitt at the Pavilion - 'Nova could have used some help on the glass in this game.
Certainly didn't seem as if he played three minutes.
Nothing to report. Combined with Yarou to waste an offensive possession.
It all comes down to Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center against a red-hot, Georgetown team. Can lightning strike thrice for the Cats who earlier in the year defeated Top 5 ranked Louisville and Syracuse at the Wells Fargo Center in the same week? If not, 'Nova will need to do some seriously lifting at Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament AND pray that there are few upsets in other conference tournaments in order to make the NCAA Tournament.