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postGame: Providence 83 Villanova 68

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Vincent Council led the Providence Friars to a shocking upset of the #7 Villanova Wildcats at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Vincent Council led the Providence Friars to a shocking upset of the #7 Villanova Wildcats at the Dunkin Donuts Center.

Game ended approximately 9:10 PM eastern time.  Providence Friars defeat Villanova Wildcats 83-68. Some notes on the game are below.

-In what has become a recurring trend for Villanova this year, the Wildcats yet again fell behind 6-0 stemming from a couple of three pointers by the Friars in the first 60 seconds.  Providence certainly was not shy shooting the ball from deep, as 11 of their first 15 shots were from behind the arc.

-The Cats were absolutely ice cold on the offensive end throughout much of the first half, which allowed the home squad to gain some momentum.  After a Mouphtaou Yarou free throw brought Villanova within 16-14 with nine minutes left, the Friars scored 8 straight points to extend the lead to double digits. 

-Maalik Wayns and Antonio Pena kept Nova in the game to an extent, as Wayns had 9 points in the first stanza and Pena notched 11 boards.  On the other hand, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes were a combined 0-13 from the field going into the break.  Those paltry numbers, coupled with poor defense and ballhandling, allowed Providence to establish a 9 point halftime lead.

-Halftime score: Providence 34 Villanova 25  

More on the game after the jump...

-After a dismal first twenty minutes, the Cats knew they were in a dogfight against one of the weakest teams in the Big East.  Providence quickly the extended the lead to 13, but Villanova got it back under double digits by the first media timeout after Corey Fisher's first bucket of the game.

-As Villanova tried to make the run that we all expected, Providence would not back down.  The Wildcats cut the deficit to 7 on a few occasions, but the Friars responded every time by torching the porous Villanova defense or getting to the free throw line.  There is really nothing else to break down, because this was the sequence that occurred over and over again from the sixteen minute mark to five minutes left in the game. 

-With the Cats down 11 and the clock waning below the five minute mark, the Friars finally put Villanova out of their misery by blowing the game open to an 18 point lead. 

-Stats-wise, only 3 Villanova players had decent games.  Antonio Pena had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Maalik Wayns scored 18 points.  Dominic Cheek chipped in 9 points and 9 rebounds in a solid effort off the bench.  Stokes, Fisher, and Yarou combined to go 5-31 from the field.  As a team, Villanova shot 32.5%, including 18% from beyond the arc.  For the Friars, Marshon Brooks only shot 4-15 from the field but he sank 12 free throws to earn a 20 point night.  Guards Vincent Council and Gerald Coleman each contributed 16 points, and Council added 8 rebounds and 8 assists.  As a team, the Friars went to the line 38 times, compared to Villanova's 18 free throw attempts.

-General observations:

  • Well, in the classic let-down game, Villanova fell into the trap of playing poorly against a much inferior team after a huge road victory against Syracuse.  Looks like they may have bought into all of the hype.   
  • If Providence shot something like 50%, then I might be a little less disappointed, because I could say they were just on tonight.  This was not the case though, as the Friars shot only 37% from the field.  It's alarming to get ripped by 15 points when the opponent doesn't even shoot great.  The loss really comes down to the Villanova defense playing into the strengths of Providence.  They didn't shoot great from three, but the Friars still made 7 from downtown, and most of the shots were uncontested. In addition, letting a team shoot 38 free throws, while you only get 18, truly exemplifies a lack of focus. 
  • If 3 starters, especially Stokes and Fisher being 2 of them, are going to miss that many shots, then the likelihood of winning is slim to none.  Unfortunately, offensive shooting like this happens sometimes, so hopefully it doesn't turn into a stretch of a few games.  
  • Some may criticize Corey Stokes for taking too many shots when it's obvious he's having an off night, but he's the one guy that should have a green light no matter what.  I don't expect to him have many more nights like this.
  • Not sure Villanova ever wants play in the Dunkin Donuts Center ever again.  After 2 pitiful NCAA tournament games there last year and tonight's embarrassing loss, the Cats need to stay away from that arena.
  • I think we will learn about this Villanova team on Saturday against the hated Georgetown Hoyas.  Can the seniors and Jay Wright humble the team and get them to re-focus?  Georgetown rolled St. John's by 25 tonight, so they are coming in hot.