Villanova's 2011 Pre-Season European Tour began with a 64-69 loss to Senegal on Tuesday afternoon in Paris. Dominic Cheek led the way for the Wildcats with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
With limited information coming out of "The City of Light" it seems the game was fairly even. Playing under FIBA rules, the Senegalese held a 1-point lead at the half and the Wildcats were up one at the end of the 3rd Quarter.
Mouphtaou Yarou added 15 points and 14 rebounds. Maalik Wayns, James Bell, Darrun Hilliard, and Isaiah Armwood joined Yarou in the starting lineup.
Though Senegal sank 6-of-9 shots from three, Cheek was the only Wildcat who connected from deep this afternoon. The 'Cats launched 16 attempts from long-range in the game. Some strong rebounding by Yarou, Armwood (8) and Bell (5), helped to make up for the missed opportunities, however.
Nonetheless, this game was perhaps decided at the charity stripe, where Senegal made good on 26 of 40 opportunities. Villanova was limited to 26 free-throw attempts, of which only 14 dropped in.
"I thought Mouphtaou Yarou was tremendous," Jay Wright told Villanova.com. "They tried to get him out of his game by speaking to him in French but he never responded, never let them get him out of his game.
"It's funny, in our preparation for this game we only did one day of press offense and they pressed us for 40 minutes. I thought we handled it decently, especially given the circumstances. It was good to have a team come out and go after you like that. It felt like we were in a BIG EAST game."
The two teams play a rematch tomorrow at 11a Philly time. The game will be played at the French national sports academy, INSEP, located in suburban Paris.