Final: Villanova Survives Rutgers, Wins 77-71

Mar 1, 2012; Piscataway, NJ, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights guard/forward Mike Poole (10) reaches in on Villanova Wildcats guard Maalik Wayns (2) as he drives to the basket during the first half at the Louis Brown Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers University. Mandatory Credit: Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE

It was the same story again. In the first half, Villanova looked like a Top-10 team as they cruised to a 16-point halftime lead in which they dropped 48 points in the half.

Then, Jay Wright sang his halftime lullaby yet again and put his team to sleep. Within 6 minutes, the lead had evaporated down to 5 points as Wright pulled back the reigns on his team and instituted the famed burn offense.

Luckily, tonight the team was able to push through and survive, which is a huge step in the right direction for a young team trying to find its way.

More after The Jump.

Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek each had 14 points at the half and were complimented by JayVaughn Pinkston's 11 point effort. Wayns had 7 assists as well.

All that went away after the break though as for almost the entire half Villanova had more turnovers than offensive field goals. Some terrible shooting by Rutgers kept Villanova slimly in the lead, and some questionable officiating at the end gave Rutgers a half a shot to stun Villanova for the 2nd time in 3 years, but it wasn't to be.

Clutch FT shooting down the stretch on a night when the team shot terribly from the charity stripe was enough to seal the win for a desperate Villanova team looking to find some positives and not blow yet another lead.

A step in the right direction, for sure. But die burn offense, die.

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