Hawk Still Dead

James Bell nailed a wing, three-pointer in the closing minute to turn a 61-60 deficit into a 63-61 Villanova lead and followed it up with two game-sealing free-throws after the Cats got a stop on the ensuing possession. The Cats moved to 6-4 on the season and 45-25 all-time versus St. Joseph's (PA) with a 65-61 win at the Pavilion. Villanova played a solid defensive game while producing just enough offense to get the job done. Jayvaughn Pinkston and Bell scored 12 each for 'Nova while Langston Galloway led all scorers with 22 for the Hawks. The much ballyhooed SJU(PA) front-line dropped in 20 points but Villanova managed 28 points from the 4 and 5 spots in the line-up.
Generally controlled the glass
Only 4 second-half turnovers
10-6 edge from the FT line in the 2nd half
Balanced scoring - 5 players with 5+ points at half and 5 players with 8+ for the game
24-3 bench scoring margin
76.5% FT shooting
Improved defense
Not so goods:
9 first-half turnovers
36.1% FG shooting
Player Evals & Stats
Ryan Arcidiacono
32 Min, 2-6 FG, 1-4 3PFG, 1-2 FT, 0 Reb, 2 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Stl, 6 Pts
Hit a key three-ball in the first-half that surged the Cats into the lead going into the locker room. Though his assist numbers were down - so were the turnovers.
Darrun Hilliard
27 Min, 3-10 FG, 2-7 3PFG, 1-2 FT, 3 Reb, 2 Asst, 3 TO, 2 Stl, 0 Blk, 9 Pts
Followed up a poor first-half with a decent second-half performance. All of his turnovers occurred in the first half. Hit a pair of timely threes at junctures when it appeared that the Hawks may build a working lead. Jay Wright needs to have a chat with Hilliard about end of game situations - when you are up 4 with only a couple ticks remaining you run away from a 3-point shooter - not at him. An error like that can cost a team a game it has no right losing.
Jayvaughn Pinkston
29 Min, 4-12 FG, 1-3 3PFG, 3-3 FT, 2 Rebs, 3 Asst, 3 TO, 2 Stl, 12 Pts
Tied for game-high VU scorer with 12 points. Made a couple of nice interior passes for dimes. Carried the scoring load for a portion of the game. More active on defense than is his norm.
James Bell
32 Min, 3-10 FG, 2-6 3PFG, 4-4 FT, 5 Rebs, 1 Asst, 3 TOs, 1 Stl, 12 Pts
After committing three first-half turnovers and struggling to find his offense, Bell found his shooting touch just in time to knock down a go-ahead three-pointer and follow it up with two game sealing FTs. Good leadership from the Junior down the stretch in a game where the Cats struggled to find a go-to-guy.
Mouphtaou Yarou
20 Min, 2-4 FG, 2-2 FT, 6 Rebs, 0 Asst, 1 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 6 Pts
Made a dizzying low-post move in which he took in a panoramic view of the Pavilion crowd before laying it in around two SJU(PA) defenders. Yarou chipped in on the glass and played better defense than is his norm.
Tony Chennault
13 Min, 0-4 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 2 Rebs, 0 Stl, 2 Asst., 0 TOs, 1 Pts
Despite shooting the ball poorly, Chennault did a half decent job running the offense when Arcidiacono was on the pine. They played in tandem for some time as well. 2 assists without a turnover is the key for Chennault - being solid with the rock.
Maurice Sutton
17 Min, 4-7 FG, 0-0 FT, 9 Rebs, 0 Asst., 0 TO, 1 Blks, 0 Stl, 8 Pts
Big Mo provided some timely inside scoring in the second half to go with a nice effort on the boards and defensively. A TO free game for Sutton is always a positive.
Daniel Ochefu
14 Min, 1-3 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 2 Reb, 0 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 2 Pts
Had a key offensive rebound and lay-up in the 2nd half to clean up a failed drive by Pinkston. Was forced to jack a three-ball when the Cats had to inbound the ball on the baseline relatively late in the game with only 3 seconds and change left on the shot clock. He had a few cheap fouls on his way to fouling out in limited minutes.
Achraf Yacoubou
16 Min, 3-5 FG, 2-2 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 7 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 Stl, 2 TO, 9 Pts
Another positive outing for Yacoubou. He is providing scoring off the bench and rebounding the ball extremely well. He plays with great intensity - given his athleticism and speed that intensity leads to him grabbing more than his share of 50/50 balls and playing some effective defense. Had a nice O-board and put-back to go with a pair of smooth three-pointers. Earned more second half run but it all worked out in the end.
The victory moves Coach Wright to 36-12 (.750) all-time in Big Five play. Next up for the Cats is a 4:00 PM, Sunday game against Delaware at the Pavilion. It is important to keep moving forward and avoiding a pattern of two steps forward, one step back.