Everyone breathe. And then breathe again. Somehow, some way (read: Corey Fisher is a God), the Villanova Wildcats WERE NOT upended by the DePaul Blue Demons, as they eeked out a 77-75 overtime win Saturday afternoon at Allstate Arena, despite shooting just 20-31 at the foul line, something that could have come back to bite them in the rear end.
The story of today starts with Corey Fisher, mixes in a little Jeremiah Kelly, and then ends with Corey Fisher. The senior went H*A*M on DePaul today, dropping in a career-high 34 points on 11-18 shooting. Fisher's decision to go Kemba Walker all over the court was truly the deciding factor.
Kelly did his best to make Villanova fans' lives miserable today, having a great day himself with 25 points, including 7 three-pointers. It was frustrating to watch Kelly have loads of space, as it was clear he was only interested in bombing away from deep.
Maalik Wayns chipped in with 17 points, while Mouphtaou Yarou had a terrific game with 12 points and 15 rebounds, including 8 on the offensive end. Nobody on DePaul could contain the big man, and it showed well today. DePaul freshman sensation Cleveland Melvin had a good day as well, finishing with 16 points.
It was really a fight all afternoon though, as DePaul's hot shooting carried them to a 3-point halftime lead that they quickly extended to 9 after the break. From there on, it was the Corey Fisher show. After just 5 points at halftime, he poured in 29 after the intermission including some circus shots and some huge 3-pointers.
The biggest 3 came after DePaul broke a late-tie on a Kelly 3 which only left 20 seconds on the clock. Fisher came down the floor and buried a 3 to even it up again, and Kelly's desparate attempt at the buzzer clanked off the rim. Fisher continued to put on a show in overtime, doing it at both ends of the floor. His biggest play was a steal falling out of bounds, and a steal and And-1 at the other end to put Villanova up for good.
On a day when the Pitt Panthers were felled by the St. John's Red Machine (and Notre Dame currently being shellacked by West Virginia), it's good to say that the 'Cats survived (in every sense of the word) another day in the Big East.
Oh, and all praise Corey Fisher. Seriously, bow down before him.