Everyone who said this was a potential trap game for the Villanova Wildcats was spot on. The Maryland Terrapins are one of the toughest defensive teams in the country, and they proved that for the better part of 30 minutes and cooled down the 'Nova offensive attack.
Mouphtaou Yarou and Antonio Pena were having a difficult time dealing with Terps star big man Jordan Williams, and to all who were watching, it looked like the 'Cats had indeed looked ahead to Monday's game in Storrs vs. the Connecticut Huskies.
Then, out of seemingly nowhere, everything changed. Yarou, Pena, and Isaiah Armwood nullified Williams while Corey Fisher jumpstarted the 19-0 run that would turn the game on its head and send 'Nova to victory.
So what did we learn? That this team has heart. After losing Dominic Cheek to injury and playing without the suspended Maurice Sutton, Jay Wright used just 6 players (Yarou was also dealing with foul trouble) to gut out a tough win.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from the game after The Jump.
Isaiah Armwood - I'm nearly convinced that there isn't a single player in the country with the pure rebounding ability of Armwood. He may not be doing much offensively, and he may kick it out too quickly when he gets an offensive board, but his career-high 13 rebounds were very impressive. His frenzy took Jordan Williams out of the game.
Team defense - I was more impressed with the 'Nova D during the defining run of the game than the offense. We hadn't been shooting well and I think the general feeling was that it would change soon. But Jordan Williams was doing whatever he wanted. Then, he couldn't get the ball. And that killed Maryland.
Corey Fisher - THAT was the Corey Fisher that we expected to see this year. We couldn't get anything going, and he took it into his own hands. Those two 3's that sandwiched the circus shot in the lane got the crowd back into it and sent it on our way.
Rebounding - We covered it already with Armwood but how about Yarou and Pena with 11 and 10 respectively? I was worried we were going to get killed on the glass against Williams, but those three led a great effort to keep the Terps at bay.
Maurice Sutton - He was suspended by Jay Wright for yesterday's game after a throat-slashing gesture he made during the Louisville game. I distinctly remember seeing it too. I'm not going to get on a pedestal and say he was wrong, because at the end of the day, he didn't really mean anything violent by it, but I'm glad Jay Wright took a stand.
Jordan Williams - Not him, because he is a phenomenal player. But the way he abused us for 3/4 of the game is not a good sign. We're going to see better frontcourts than him and Dino Gregory and it can't wait until the final 10 minutes to realize you're getting killed and fix it.
Dominic Cheek - If that injury is serious like Jay Wright said, we're in a deep pile of poo.
THE BIG EAST, THE BEAST, THE YOU SUCK ACC...conference - Anyone see Notre Dame get embarrassed against St. John's today? This conference is touuuuuuuuuuuuughhhhhhhhhhh.
See you tomorrow for UConn.