Villanova got double-digit scoring output from four players en route to a 67-57 victory over #5 Georgetown at The Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. It was their fourth home win over a ranked team this season and their third win over a top-5 team. All of those top-5 upset victories came from games at the pro- arena in Philadelphia. It was the first time that Nova had knocked off three top-five teams in a season since 1985.
The victory, the third over a top 5 team, has many talking about a bid to the NCAA tournament, and while the 'Cats bubble situation is looking good again, things are still pretty close.
"I would think given where everything is right now, we would be [in the tournament]," Jay Wright told reporters. "We also know we're close enough that things could happen, too."
Villanova held a 33-29 edge at halftime, but didn't let off the gas. JayVaughn Pinkston hit a 3-pointer midway through the second half pushed that lead up to 8 points, which helped keep the 'Cats ahead for good.
Led by Pinkston's 20 points on 4-6 shooting, the Wildcats (19-12, 10-8) forced 20 turnovers by the Hoyas- a season high. It was a classic, gutty BIG EAST matchup that saw 'Nova get the edge in steals (15-8) and on the boards (24-21) led by Mouphtaou Yarou's game-high 12.
Both sides shot well with a slight edge to Nova, 47.1% to 46%, with Nova performing slightly better on the defensive glass, even if they lagged slightly behind on offensive boards. Villanova grabbed 17 of Georgetown's misses while the Hoyas were able to hold on for only 14 of Villanova's. Georgetown's defense had held most opponents to an average of 38 percent shooting — one of the stingiest defenses in the game.
However, the story of the night may have been written at the free throw line, where Villanova connected on 30 of 42 visits, while the Hoyas went 4-8. Those trips iced the game for Nova as they made one field goal in the final 14 minutes of play. It was a rare occurrence, according to ELIAS, the last time that a top-5 team was outshot by at least 30 FTs was Texas Tech's upset of Number-5 Texas on March 1, 2008.
Jay Wright's young squad held presumed conference player of the year Otto Porter Jr. to a quiet 17 points, most of which were in the second half. Porter went just 2-of-9 from beyond the arc and just 6-of-16 overall, grabbing four rebounds, dishing 5 assists and turning the ball over twice.
Nova now sits and waits the balance of the conference to finish their regular season schedules to know where they will be seeded before the BIG EAST Tournament starts next Tuesday, March 12th.