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08 January 2007

'Nova stuns G'Town

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
1/08/2007 10:11:00 PM

Villanova 56
Georgetown 52

(box score)

Georgetown: 11-4 (1-1 BE)
Villanova: 10-4 (11-4, 1-2 BE, 3-0 B5)

Next game: at Syracuse, 01/13 @ The Carrier Dome.

The experts didn't give Villanova much of a chance tonight. Jay Bilas said he would be quite surprised if the 'Cats pulled out the win. Statistics guru KenPom's model gave Villanova only a 21 percent chance of victory.

Georgetown had won 7 games in a row by an average of 25 points per game entering tonight's contest. Villanova, on the other hand, had lost 2 straight and was looking at an 0-3 conference start if Georgetown won like it was supposed to.

All that was rendered moot by some excellent play by the Wildcats. Though the offense still has some kinks to work out, with Villanoca shooting just 38 percent from the field, the defense was sublime.

Villanova forced 22 Georgetown turnovers (it would have been about 26 if the refs hadn't missed several 10-second calls), and generally wreaked havoc on The Hoyas' offensive plans. Indeed, leading Georgetown scorer and monster in the middle Roy Hibbert did not even take a shot from the field, and scored just 2 points on free throws.

Overall it was a fantastic win for Villanova, and should imbue the team with some much-needed confidence for this weekend's road trip to the Carrier Dome.

Onto the player grades. As always, click "READ MORE" below for player performance grades and analysis.

  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 16 min)

    Sumpter got into foul trouble early tonight, which severely limited his minutes. A few of those fouls were bad decisions on Sumpter's part, however. Curtis shot only 25 percent from the field, 2-8, scoring just 5 points. He grabbed 2 rebounds and committed 3 turnovers. It should be noted that Villanova played better without Curtis tonight, making major runs when he was on the bench. Overall it was a tough game for Sumpter, but look for a big rebound against the Orange -- we will need his inside scoring.
    Grade: D

  • Dante Cunningham (S, 27 min)

    Cunningham had a big game tonight. He took 6 shots, which is huge for him, sinking 4 and scoring 8 points. He also led the team in rebounds with 8. He looked great on the blocks, and even exploded for a huge dunk on the baseline. It was a decidedly above-average night for Dante. The 'Cats need to feed him more down low.
    Grade: B

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 36 min)

    Reynolds carried the team again tonight, willing the 'Cats to victory. He was by far our best player on the court tonight, and that fact is quickly becoming a trend for the team. Reynolds scored a team-high 16 on 6-14 shooting, but the real story was his defense. Scottie was an absolute terror in the pressure D, notching 4 steals. He also played a key role in denying the Hoyas a speedy exit from the backcourt, which severely disrupted John Thompson's offensive sets. Finally, Scottie led the team in assists with 3. It's an A-minus tonight instead of an A because of the 5 turnovers, which mainly consisted of freshman mistakes Scottie should quickly overcome.
    Grade: A-

  • Will Sheridan (S, 33 min)

    Sheridan looked much-improved on the defensive end. He was responsible for Hibbert much of the night, and Hibbert did exactly nothing. Still, Will played 33 minutes and did exactly nothing himself on offense. He scored 4 points on 0-2 shooting, but was perfect at the foul line. He also pulled in 4 rebounds and made 3 steals. A solid night defensively, but too quiet on the offense.
    Grade: C+

  • Mike Nardi (S, 36 min)

    Though Mike's shooting woes continue, Nardi played 36 minutes and the team had a huge win, that's the bottom line. Mike was 1-7 from the field, including 1-5 from beyond the arc, scoring just 3 points. He did not get to the foul line. He had 3 rebounds and 2 assists, but also committed 3 turnovers. The defense looked a tad better; no one Mike was covering lit up the 'Cats tonight. Still, he is taking a lot of bad shots, and even Jay Bilas pointed out the verbal lashing bestowed upon Nardi by Jay Wright during a time-out after one such ill-advised shot. A great heads-up play at the very end of the game when he saved a possession largely mitigates a terrible night.
    Grade: C-

  • Shane Clark (28 min)

    Clark was very clutch tonight. He scored 14 points, second on the team, on 3-7 shooting and a fantastic 6-6 from the charity stripe. Clark also scored 'Nova's last 4 points, cooly icing the win at the line. Shane led the team in three-pointers, sinking 2-4. He also had 3 rebounds, an assist, and 2 steals, with 2 turnovers. Though he still looks a little awkward with the ball, especially when he tries to put it on the floor, Clark is definitely improving.
    Grade: B+

  • Casiem Drummond (13 min)

    Drummomd earned some major minutes tonight with his competent inside play. He shot an efficient 3-5 from the field, scoring 6, and grabbed 4 boards in his 13 minutes. He also managed to get a steal. His defense was solid. If Drummond does not manage to crack the starting lineup by the Big East Tournament (I think he will), he will at least be a major part of the rotation and possibly the first off the bench.
    Grade: B

  • Dwayne Anderson (11 min)

    Dwayne's impact on the game is usually an immediate offensive spark. Though he did not do that tonight, he did play decent defense. He grabbed 2 rebounds and had 2 turnovers in his 11 minutes, and shot 0-1 from the floor, going scoreless. Still, he did not look bad out there, and should continue to see minutes in Big East play.
    Grade: C

  • Incomplete grades:

  • Did not play:
    Bilal Benn
    (CD), Reggie Redding (CD), Ross Condon (CD), Frank Tchuisi (CD), Andrew Ott (RS), Antonio Pena (RS)

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At 6:08 AM, January 10, 2007, Blogger Brian RN said...

I was at the game, and it hurt. It was so painful to watch. I would have been more than happy seeing our team win by 35 on the road, but obviously that's not realistic. Shane Clark was so clutch at the end, and Dante's dunk was amazing, as he attacked the basket like it was a steak. Nardi is turning into a liability, but Scottie is impressive. We still need much better guard play. The best part about the game was my group and I were in a small section in the first level with Villanova fans in front and behind us! It was nice having other people to celebrate with, and walking out amongst many dejected Hoyas.


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