Villanova made an improbable comeback late in the game against Purdue at Madison Square Garden to garner a hard-fought, 89-81 overtime win.
After a D.J. Byrd lay-up put Purdue up eight points with 1:29 remaining in the game, things looked bleak for Villanova. But the Cats continued to fight back in a game which had the look of a back-yard brawl. First, Ryan Arcidiacono made two FT in exchange for one FT for the Boilermakers. Then Darrun Hilliard drained a three-pointer in exchange for two more Purdue FTs. Things really turned when Byrd was called for a flagrant foul for swinging his elbows into Hilliard. Villanova took full advantage by tying the game behind two Hilliard free-throws and two more from Ryan Arcidiacono on the ensuing possession. Neither team could score on their final possession of regulation and Villanova dominated the overtime powered by two James Bell three-balls, an impressive Daniel Ochefu flush and a flurry of FTs to seal the victory.
Four starters with 15 or more points scored
17 point scoring margin at the charity stripe
Held Purdue to 21.7% three-point shooting
Not so goods:
Losing a double-figure second half lead - primarily due to poor shot selection
Shot selection in general
Out-rebounded and allowed 15 offensive rebounds
Player Evals & Stats
3-12 FG, 3-7 3P, 9-10 FT, 3 Rebs, 5 Asst, 7 TO, 1 Stl, 18 Pts
Arcidiacono started out strong and finished strong but had some rough spots in between. Hit several pressure free-throws and found ways to create for teammates at key moments. Didn't shoot the ball particularly well from the floor - in part due to some head-scratching shot selection. Will need to be stronger with the ball as he continues to get familiar with the speed and physicality of the college game.
7-10 FG, 2-3 3P, 6-8 FT, 3 Reb, 0 Asst, 0 TO, 2 Stl, 2 Blk, 22 Pts
The player of the game for the Cats. Consistently stepped up to score baskets at critical junctures in the game. His pull-up jumper from mid-range and three-point marksmanship was timely and efficient. Somehow managed to not produce an assist nor a turnover in the game. Very efficient scoring the ball and effective on the defense end as well.
4-8 FG, 0-1 3P, 8-8 FT, 3 Rebs, 2 Asst, 2 TOs, 0 Stl, 16 Pts
Though he fouled out of the game early in the overtime, this was Pinkston's most effective game of the season. Made better decisions on when to shoot the jumper and when to take it to the cup. Converted at the free-throw line and chipped in on the glass. Took better care of the rock than he has been.
5-17 FG, 3-10 3P, 2-2 FT, 9 Rebs, 0 Asst, 3 TOs, 1 Stl, 1 Blk, 15 Pts
Bell couldn't buy a three-ball - until overtime when he drained two deep ones that helped seal the win. Bell played physical defense and contributed heavily to the rebounding effort. Had the confidence in himself to continue shooting the ball when he was open.
1-5 FG, 2-3 FT, 7 Rebs, 4 TOs, 4 Pts
Continues to be too soft and tentative with the ball and to think too hard when he receives the ball in the low post. Rarely does the ball make its way back out once it goes in to Yarou. He did make a key second-half basket and rebound the ball well. Needs to find some confidence and look to get his mid-range game back.
1-2 FG, 1 Rebs, 1 Asst, 1 Stl, 2 Pts
Gave the team a nice shot in the arm in the first half as he spear-headed a 'Nova run late in the half when Arcidiacono was on the bench. Continues to play under control and take care of the ball.
0-1 FG, 5-7 FT, 2 Rebs, 1 TO, 2 Stl, 1 Blk, 5 Pts
Despite not making a field goal, Sutton made a positive difference in the game with energy, defense and free-throw shooting.
3-4 FG, 1-2 FTs, 6 Rebs, 1 TO, 1 Blk, 7 Pts
Has a good feel for the game on both ends of the floor. Gets good position on his man on defense, generally gets himself well positioned for rebounds. and knows how to find shooter with the pass from the low post. Had a thundering dunk in overtime off a strong low post power dribble move. May be starting soon.
0-2 FG, 0-2 3P, 0-1 FT, 4 Rebs, 1 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Pts
Missed the front end of a one-and-one when the Cats were busy letting the double-figure lead evaporate. Played solid defense. Another turnover free game for Yacoubou. Never shy about shooting the three when he has space and time. Solid rebounding effort.
Villanova moves to 3-0 on the young season and advances to play Alabama Friday night at 7:30 in the championship game at Madison Square Garden.