Seton Hall clinched a 66-65 win over Villanova with a late three-pointer to put a big dent in the Cats NCAA Tournament hopes. Try as they may, the Cats could never establish a working lead. The Pirates either drained a three-ball or got a tough basket from Aaron Cosby every time Villanova tried to make a run. Despite a dozen made three-balls by the Hall, Villanova still took a four point lead with 20 seconds remaining when Mouphtaou Yarou tallied his 1,000th career point by stepping into a 17-foot jumper on the wing. Unfortunately for the Senior, an untimely foul only seconds later cut the 'Nova lead back to two and a turnover by James Bell, while trying to split a double-team, led to a Fuquan Edwin three-ball from the corner.
When Ryan Arcidiacono's last ditch field goal attempt bounced off the front of the iron, Villanova found itself on the wrong end of a 66-65 score and licking a potentially fatal "NCAA Tournament hopes" wound.
25-27 (92.6%) FT shooting
Out-rebounded the Pirates by a solid margin
Balanced scoring from the starters
Forced 19 turnovers
Not so goods:
Sloppy decision-making in the final minute of play
0 bench points - compared to 11 for Seton Hall
Pinkston and Hilliard fouled out - leaving a dearth of scoring and ball-handling at crunch time
Allowed 13-21 (61.9%) 3PFG shooting
Shot 4-18 (22.2%) from beyond the arc
Player Evals & Stats
34 Min, 4-11 FG, 2-8 3PFG, 6-6 FT, 2 Reb, 4 Asst, 5 TO, 1 Stl, 16 Pts
After playing nearly turnover-free basketball for weeks, Arcidiacono turned it over a bit in this game. He scored 11 points in the first half to help 'Nova close a pair of six point Seton Hall leads down to a half-time tie. His offense was less efficient in the second-half.
31 Min, 2-9 FG, 1-4 3PFG, 6-6 FT, 3 Reb, 1 Asst, 3 TO, 3 Stl, 2 Blk, 11 Pts
Hilliard struggled shooting the ball but stepped up at crunch time with a big-time three-pointer from the wind. He played well on defense but got called for a critical foul late in the game. His fouling out made it difficult for Villanova to inbound the ball against the Pirate pressure - in particular on the last two possessions.
28 Min, 3-7 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 9-11 FT, 2 Rebs, 1 Asst, 4 TO, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 15 Pts
The refs conveniently took JVP out of the game on an absolutely horrid call where the Seton Hall player not only took a dive but tried to pull JVP to the floor. A competent official would have called a technical foul on Seton Hall in that situation given that the player essentially tried to fool him with a deceptive, unsportsmanlike play and then smiled at the crowd to mock how stupid you were to fall for it. Last nights games was not officiated by a very competent herd of zebras. Pinkston did a great job of getting to the free-throw off of hard-to-guard dribble moves. Unfortunately he fouled out.
37 Min, 3-8 FG, 1-6 3PFG, 2-2 FT, 2 Rebs, 1 Asst, 3 TOs, 2 Blk, 3 Stl, 9 Pts
Played a good defensive game. Made two key miscues in the fatal final sequence for the Cats - a foul on the last defensive stand and a turnover on an inbound play when he could have called a TO but tried to split the double-team and got stripped from behind. The refs missed the Edwin walk and the three-point dagger led to the Cats' demise. Didn't shoot the three-ball well in this contest. Interestingly, he tried to be a bit more aggressive off the bounce - albeit with little success.
36 Min, 6-8 FG, 2-2 FT, 15 Rebs, 0 Asst, 0 TO, 0 Blk, 2 Stl, 14 Pts
Played the most solid all-around game of any of the Wildcats in this one. Scored the ball efficiently and rebounded it quite well. Provided some good post defense. Became the 56th 1,000 point scorer in Villanova history with his jumper that stretched the Villanova lead to 4 in the final minute. Unfortunately the team couldn't hold on to make that a game-winning shot. Needs ten more rebounds to become the 12th Wildcat to post 800 career boards.
17 Min, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 1 Rebs, 1 Stl, 0 Asst., 0 TOs, 0 Pts
Took care of the ball on offense but didn't create much off the dribble. Contributed a good defensive effort.
14 Min, 0-1 FG, 0-0 3PFG, 0-0 FTs, 4 Reb, 0 Asst, 2 TO, 0 Blk, 1 Stl, 0 Pts
Good job rebounding the ball. Played okay defensively. Wasn't able to get in the mix on offense - primarily served as a screener and got his touches more away from the basket than in the low post.
3 Min, 1 Rebound
Chipped in on the glass in a short run.
1 Min, 0-0 FG, 0-0 3PFG
Nothing to report
The Cats have six days to regroup and come out focused at Pittsburgh on Sunday. This loss needs to be forgotten before the bus gets back to campus. 'Nova won't be able to just back into an NCAA Tournament bid - it will now have to be earned with most likely two March victories between regular season and Big East Tournament play.