The Wildcats dominated the over-time period by the score of 15-3 to post a 98-86 win over St. John's in the Big East season opener for both teams at the Pavilion last night. Villanova struggled against the Red Storm pressure defense in the first half but surged to a half-time lead thanks to a slow offensive start by the Johnnies, strong rebounding and a flurry of three-pointers from Ryan Arcidiacono. St. John's turned the tables in the second half to force the over-time stanza. 'Nova was led by 32 points from Arcidiacono and 26 points from Jayvaughn Pinkston.
Only 5 turnovers in the last 25 minutes of play
Overtime defense and shot selection
+22 point scoring margin at the free-throw line
81% FT shooting
35.7% three-point shooting
Not so goods:
47.1% FG defense
50% 3PFG defense
14 Assist / 18 Turnovers
Poor possession to finish the first half - instead of a last shot, VU gave up a scoring opportunity to SJU
Player Evals & Stats
39 Min, 7-15 FG, 7-13 3PFG, 11-13 FT, 1 Reb, 1 Asst, 2 TO, 2 Stl, 32 Pts
Filling the pail with 32 points in your Big East debut - not too shabby. Arcidiacono had his three-point stroke working and fell just one short of tying A-Ray's team record for threes in a game. Add to that a solid floor game where Arcidiacono committed only two turnovers against plenty of Red Storm pressure and you have your game MVP award locked up.
33 Min, 3-12 FG, 1-7 3PFG, 7-7 FT, 4 Reb, 4 Asst, 3 TO, 4 Stl, 1 Blk, 14 Pts
Hit three huge free-throws with about a buck and a half remaining in regulation and the Cats down three. Followed that up with a couple of steals, taking a charge and a scoring surge in the overtime. These contributions were huge difference-makers that led to the victory. That said, when you have a break-away in the Big East it is advisable not to slow down and look behind you - take it hard to the cup. Go strong. If he ever gets his shooting stroke straightened out he could be a big-time contributor. Shows the ability to pick his spots to get the ball to the rim - but again, not finishing strong is an issue.
28 Min, 8-15 FG, 1-2 3PFG, 9-13 FT, 2 Rebs, 1 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 3 Stl, 26 Pts
Scored the ball very efficiently. It was certainly a positive to see a late game possession in which the Cats, instead of a jacked deep three, got the ball in the hands of Pinkston to create a scoring opportunity in the lane. He was fouled, made two FTs and that helped keep the game alive into OT. Active on defense but not very active on the glass.
31 Min, 2-6 FG, 0-3 3PFG, 1-1 FT, 11 Rebs, 1 Asst, 4 TOs, 0 Blk, 2 Stl, 5 Pts
He was aggressive off the bounce in the early going and seemingly grabbing every defensive rebound. Then he got in some foul trouble and had to sit through much of the first half. In the second half and OT he continued his strong rebounding effort and mixed in some solid defense. His passing remains atrocious.
29 Min, 1-3 FG, 1-2 FT, 8 Rebs, 3 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 0 Stl, 3 Pts
Yarou saw a lot of minutes and did a nice job on the offensive glass. He made several nice interior passes to create scoring opportunities and played a little better than is his norm defensively.
16 Min, 2-5 FG, 0-1 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 2 Rebs, 0 Stl, 2 Asst., 2 TOs, 4 Pts
Chennault helped break pressure and run the offense during a few stretches of time when Arcidiacono was out of the game. Knocked down a couple of timely jumpers.
22 Min, 1-3 FG, 3-4 FT, 3 Rebs, 0 Asst., 1 TO, 0 Blks, 0 Stl, 5 Pts
Kept himself on the bench with some foul trouble. Wasn't as effective defensively or on the backboards as he usually is. Made a nice low post move for his lone bucket. Needs to play with a bit more control to maximize his court time.
12 Min, 2-2 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 2-2 FTs, 6 Reb, 0 Asst, 1 TO, 2 Blk, 0 Stl, 6 Pts
Though overshadowed by the lustrous Big East debut of Ryan Arcidiacono, Ochefu had a nice Big East debut of his own. He had a thunderous dunk in the first half off a quick dribble move and then followed up a missed three-ball by Hilliard with another loud dunk.
15 Min, 1-2 FG, 1-2 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 4 Rebs, 2 Asst, 0 Stl, 1 TO, 3 Pts
Continues to knock down his spot-up three-pointers while hitting a lower percentage when trying to shoot pull-up threes. Solid effort on defense and on the boards.
Villanova has a week off before playing at South Florida next Wednesday evening at 8:00 PM. 'Nova is 10-4 overall and off to a 1-0 start in Big East action.