Villanova fell short in an attempt to tack a win at Notre Dame onto the end of back-to-back home wins against Top 5 ranked opponents last week. Notre Dame defeated Villanova 65-60 behind 9 three-pointers from Cameron Biedscheid and Jerian Grant. The Cats three-point FG defense was poor - allowing the Irish to shoot 42.9% from beyond the arc for a +18 point edge in that facet of the game. Meanwhile, Villanova shot sub-.500 from inside the arc. After feasting at the FT line for a +8 first-half advantage, 'Nova was outscored from the charity stripe in the second half.
Strong performance from Yarou
88.2% FT shooting
Not so goods:
Poor 3PFG defense
Shot only 3-11 from beyond the arc
Poor defensive rebounding in the first half
'Nova bench outscored 22-11
Ochefu, Arcidiacono and Bell combined: 5-20 FG shooting
Player Evals & Stats
37 Min, 2-9 FG, 1-4 3PFG, 0-1 FT, 2 Reb, 5 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Stl, 5 Pts
Not a good defensive game from Arcidiacono. His foul on a missed 3-ball attempt when the Cats were leading in the second half was a big momentum swing. Played a solid floor game with 5 Assists and 0 Turnovers.
34 Min, 4-9 FG, 1-4 3PFG, 5-5 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Stl, 2 Blk, 14 Pts
Becoming more aggressive looking for his own shot. Showed a ton of confidence shooting a tough three-ball with 'Nova down three and having one last quality opportunity to cut the game to one or tie. Not as active on the glass or in the passing lanes as is his norm. Had a highlight reel dunk and a scintillating crossover move.
27 Min, 4-7 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 3-3 FT, 6 Rebs, 4 Asst, 1 TO, 1 Blk, 0 Stl, 11 Pts
His rebounding and passing have been trending in a positive direction. In this game, he seemed to be a match-up nightmare for the Irish early in the game and then suffered from a lack of touches as the game progressed. Villanova couldn't get him the ball in spots where he could do damage against the ND defense.
31 Min, 1-3 FG, 1-2 3PFG, 2-2 FT, 6 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 TOs, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 5 Pts
Bell had a strong take early in the game that gave the impression he was going to play with more confidence on offense. Unfortunately he didn't build off of that move. ND played him tight outside the arc and he couldn't find a way to get involved and get shots.
31 Min, 8-12 FG, 4-4 FT, 7 Rebs, 0 Asst, 2 TO, 3 Blk, 0 Stl, 20 Pts
Posted a nice stat line - but at the end of the day Cooley and Knight combined for 27 points and 20 rebounds while Yarou and Ochefu combined for 25 points and 12 boards - advantage ND. Not a great defensive effort but he scored the ball very efficiently.
9 Min, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 0 Rebs, 0 Stl, 1 Asst., 2 TOs, 0 Pts
Consecutive games with 0 points, 1 assist and 2 turnovers ... the Cats could use more production out of the back-up PG position. Perhaps Hilliard can spell Arcidiacono at times?
21 Min, 2-8 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 5 Reb, 2 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 5 Pts
Despite showing some nice footwork on a few post moves, Ochefu committed a couple of traveling violations and missed some bunnies close to the rim. Wasn't as much of a defensive presence in the lane in this game. Passed the ball well.
10 Min, 0-2 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 1 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 Stl, 1 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Pts
Didn't get a ton of run. The only "news" here is zero 3PFG attempts from the gun-slinging, rainbow jump-shooter.
Going into the game, the question was "how well can Villanova defend the three-point line?" ... the answer is "the Cats need some work". Notre Dame played a fundamentally sound game, passed the ball well, rebounded it well and made enough threes to pull out the win.
Villanova next takes the court at the Pavilion on Sunday at Noon in a rematch with Providence. 'Nova is 13-8 overall and 4-4 in Big East play.