Ice cold shooting was the theme for the Wildcats over the last two games. Villanova shot just 26.6% from the floor in today's 54-87 loss to the senior national team of Georgia. Not that Georgia shot particularly well themselves, connecting on just 44.9% of their attempts.
Dominic Cheek was the star for the 'Cats in this showdown, notching 14 points. Maalik Wayns and Mouph Yarou each added 9 points and Yarou continued his rebounding prowess with 12.
Jay Wright used a deep rotation against Georgia, with no player spending more than 25 minutes on the court. Freshmen Achraf Yacoubou and JayVaughn Pinkston each played significant minutes off the bench and provided 8 points and 7 points respectively. Pinkston also added 6 rebounds.
Wayns, Yarou and Armwood all sat out the final three minutes of the first half while in foul trouble. Georgia used that opportunity to take off to a 49-30 lead into the half and continued that strong play in the second half.
Georgia's star and Atlanta Hawks starting center Zaza Pachulia scored 20 points to lead the Georgians. He was not the only professional who suited up for the eastern Europeans today. Two more players collect paychecks in the Italian league, one of Europe's strongest, and another two play professionally in Spain. The average age of the Georgian squad was 24.9 years old.
According to Jay Wright, "This Georgia team was the best team we faced on this trip. They have great shooters and are well-coached. It's a good team with a great player in Zaza Pachulia."
"One of the things you see with these professional teams is that we came in all excited and got off to good starts. By the end of the game we were exhausted. At the start these teams look like they aren't sharp but by the end of the game they're killers. I think that's the experience of being professionals."
Last summer, the University of Michigan took a trip to Europe where they played 4 games against professional teams in Belgium. The Wolverines lost all four games. They proceeded to win 21 games, up from 15 a year prior, and were a buzzer-beater short of knocking off top-seeded Duke to get to the Sweet Sixteen.
"This trip worked out perfectly for us." the Wildcats' coach stated. "We played the best team in the end and every team we played as we went along was a little bit better than the last. I felt we got a little bit better and the important thing was we learned a lot about ourselves. We played everybody today and treated this one a little bit more like practice to give people a chance. We got a lot of teaching in and a lot of bonding over here. It was a great experience in some big-time games."
"I wouldn't have done this trip any other way."
SCORING SUMMARY (Minutes in parantheses)
WAYNS (24:00): 2-11 from the field; 1-4 from 3-point; 4-4 FT shooting; 1 rebounds (1 offensive); 1 steal; 3 turnovers; 9 points.
YAROU (26:19): 2-7 from the field; 0-1 from 3-point; 5-9 FT shooting; 12 rebounds (3 offensive); 2 turnovers; 9 points.
CHEEK (23:45): 5-13 from the field; 2-4 from 3-point; 2-4 FT shooting; 2 rebounds (1 offensive); 1 steal; 0 turnovers; 14 points. BELL (21:41): 0-7 from the field; 0-2 from 3-point; 0-0 FT shooting; 4 rebounds (2 offensive); 0 turnovers; 0 points.
ARMWOOD (13:15): 1-5 from the field; 0-1 from 3-point; 0-0 FT shooting; 1 rebound (0 offensive); 2 points.
HILLIARD (20:36): 0-1 from the field; 0-0 from 3-point; 0-2 FT shooting; 5 rebounds (0 offensive); 1 assist; 4 turnovers; 0 points.
KENNEDY (19:23): 1-5 from the field; 0-0 from 3-point; 0-0 FT shooting; 1 rebound (0 offensive); 1 turnover; 2 points.
PINKSTON (20:52): 3-5 from the field; 0-0 from 3-point; 1-3 FT shooting; 6 rebounds (2 offensive); 2 assists; 1 turnover; 7 points.
YACOUBOU (22:04): 3-8 from the field; 1-1 from 3-point; 1-2 FT shooting; 4 rebounds (1 offensive); 1 turnover; 0 points.
SUTTON (08:59): 0-2 from the field; 0-0 from 3-point; 3-6 FT shooting; 3 rebounds; 1 turnover; 3 points.
Villanova Totals: 17-of-64 FG (.266); 4-of-13 from 3-point (.308); 16-of-30 FT shooting (.577); 41 rebounds (10 offensive); 5 assists; 15 turnovers; 4 steals; 1 blocked shot; 54 points.
Georgia Totals: 31-of-69 FG (.449); 10-of-32 from 3-point (.313); 15-of-26 FT shooting (.577); 43 rebounds (8 offensive); 14 assists; 12 turnovers; 6 steals; 2 blocked shots; 87 points.
Click Here to view the archive of today's live blog.
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