Columbia Downs Nova

Columbia knocked off Villanova last night at the Pavilion by a score of 75-57. The Lions controlled the tempo and patiently moved the ball to get quality against the Wildcat defense. Villanova struggled mightily to get any kind of shot to go in the basket. The loss provides the team a teaching moment to mull over during Thanksgiving as the Cats regroup for a Sunday game at LaSalle.
Villanova had difficulty attacking the Columbia zone and getting good shots inside - particularly in the first half. As a team, VU is too methodical and slow in its attack of zone defenses. They are in a mode of trying to read and react to how the defense reacts to each individual pass or drive vice thinking a move or two ahead and forcing the defense to react to ball movement or a drive and knowing what holes will then be available to exploit. The Cats attempted to get shots for Mouphtaou Yarou against the zone but failed to score efficiently using that plan of attack. The inside scoring and energy level went up when Maurice Sutton saw action but this was in the second half when 'Nova had already dug a hole.
Eventually the team found a little energy and made a couple of runs late - the final score obfuscates those runs given Villanova continued to foul late in the game after the result was clear - resulting in a flurry of Columbia free-throws.
Not so goods:
Continuing to exert a lot of effort and do a lot of chasing on defense while somehow managing to leave three-point shooters open with consistency.
22 first-half points - played at the speed Columbia wanted and couldn't make shots - Coach Wright couldn't find a mix of players that could both bring energy and make shots.
Shot only 37.3% from the floor and 17.6% from beyond the arc
Shot only 57.1% from the FT line
Out-scored by 24 from beyond the arc and by 10 at the free-throw line
16 turnovers
Player Evals & Stats
Ryan Arcidiacono
38 Min, 3-11 FG, 1-8 3P, 4-4 FT, 5 Rebs, 2 Asst, 1 TO, 2 Stl, 11 Pts
Arcidiacono had a very similar box-score line in this game to the one he posted against Alabama. He took better care of the ball and his shot selection was improved, however he again struggled to get his three-point shot to fall. There wasn't much in the way of dribble-penetration or drive-and-dish offense from Arcidiacono in this game against the Lions' zone defense.
Darrun Hilliard
36 Min, 3-11 FG, 1-5 3P, 0-2 FT, 4 Reb, 2 Asst, 3 TO, 5 Pts
Couldn't get anything to go down.
Jayvaughn Pinkston
20 Min, 1-2 FG, 0-0 3P, 4-8 FT, 2 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1 Blk, 3 TOs, 6 Pts
Pinkston needed to get more touches in this game - especially given the offensive struggles of Yarou. If he had a mid-range jumper he would be harder to guard - defenders can sag knowing he is driving everything to the lane.
James Bell
28 Min, 6-11 FG, 1-3 3P, 0-01FT, 6 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 TOs, 13 Pts
Scored 6 of his points off inbounds plays in the first half and then had a nice surge of offensive production during one of the Cats second-half runs. He was far more selective about shooting the three-ball in this game. Showed some leadership and provided scoring spark on a night when not much was going well for Villanova. Unfortunately he fouled out - perhaps trying to do a little too much to turn things around on the defensive end of the floor.
Mouphtaou Yarou
14 Min, 2-7 FG, 3-3 FT, 7 Rebs, 1 TOs, 7 Pts
Rebounded the ball well but continued his struggles finishing in the low post. Another game passed by where the VU offense was unable to get Yarou any mid-range jumpers - shots which are often obtainable against a 2-3 zone with good ball movement and spacing.
Tony Chennault
28 Min, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 0-2 FTs, 3 Rebs,1 Stl, 4 Asst., 3 TOs, 4 Pts
Though he doesn't provide scoring punch off the bench, Chennault served in the role of facilitator from the guard spot - trying to create scoring opportunities for teammates.
Maurice Sutton
11 Min, 2-2 FG, 4-6 FT, 2 Rebs, 2 Blks, 1 Stl, 8 Pts
Came in and played spirited and effective basketball in the second half. Perplexing as to why he didn't play more.
Daniel Ochefu
13 Min, 1-3 FG, 1-2 FTs, 4 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 TO, 2 Stl, 3 Pts
Made a powerful move in the first half that he finished with a dunk. Made a far less positive move when he was spotted in the low post in the second half. Did a nice job on the glass and defensively. Should be seeing more action.
Achraf Yacoubou
4 Min, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3P, 0 Rebs, 0 Stl, 1 TO, 0 Pts
Didn't get much run at all. May he have been useful as a perimeter defender and three-point shooter. He has stroked the ball well from deep at the Pavilion to date.
Mislav Brzoja
8 Min
Got a full eight minutes of burn. Played good positional defense. Seems to still be finding his way offensively. He is used to playing with the ball in his hands more and using his passing skills. So far he has been stuck on the wing and with the ball rotation being slow and bigs not establishing good position in the paint, Brzoja hasn't been able to show what he can do as a distributor of the rock.
Villanova falls to 3-2 for the season and next tips off against LaSalle, Sunday afternoon at 1:00 PM at Gola Arena.