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06 February 2007

'Nova takes Big 5 with win over SJU Hawks

posted by Pete @ LetsGoNova.com
2/06/2007 10:10:00 PM

Villanova 56
St. Joseph's 39

(box score)

St. Joseph's: 12-10 (13-10, 5-4 A10, 2-1 B5)
Villanova: 15-7 (16-7, 4-5 BE, 4-0 B5)

Next game: at Seton Hall, 02/10 @ Continental Airlines Arena.

Villanova won the Philadelphia Big 5 city series tonight after beating St. Joseph's by a score of 56-39 in an ugly game at the Pavilion. This marks the third consecutive year the Wildcats have earned either the lone or partial share of the Big 5 championship.

Though it was a good win against a solid St. Joseph team, it was an exceedingly unattractive basketball game. The two teams could not combine for triple digits, and neither team had much success shooting the ball.

What's more, the teams combined for a ridiculous 39 turnovers tonight. There were also 34 total fouls called.

Whenever your team shoots 35 percent from the field and commits 18 turnovers, and manages to actually win that game by double digits, you should probably just take the victory and move on. Let's not even mention that the team shot 3-22 (13.6 percent) from the three. Oh wait, we just did.

The Wildcats do seem to have a lot of issues to work on before they resume conference play Saturday in East Rutherford, N.J, but winning the Big 5 is no small accomplishment on its own.

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

  • Mike Nardi (S, 37 min)

    Nardi led the team by far in minutes tonight. We needed him every second out there. He played a solid game of basketball, but he is still struggling to find his shot. Nardi went 3-12 from the floor, including 2-8 from the three. He did shoot perfectly from the charity stripe, 3-3, to finish with 11 total points. He was excellent distributing the ball, dishing 7 assists. That number is even more remarkable considering the team only had 21 field goals, so Mike Nardi either made an assist or make the basket on 10 of the 21 field goals, just under 48 percent. Nardi did have 3 turnovers, and no steals. Hopefully he will shoot better on Saturday, but he carried the team tonight.
    Grade: B

  • Curtis Sumpter (S, 30 min)

    Sumpter led the team in scoring, with 14 points. He shot well from the field, 6-11, and from the line at 2-2. He also grabbed 7 rebounds, had 2 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 turnovers. His defense looked much better tonight than against Louisville. All in all it was a very good game by Curtis.
    Grade: B+

  • Shane Clark (S, 28 min)

    Clark couldn't really get his shot going tonight but was flying all over the court doing other things. He scored 9 points on 3-8 shooting, including 1-5 from the three. We need him to shoot better from behind the arc. Clark did lead the team in rebounds with 8, and had 2 swats, a steal, and a turnover. Clark has come up pretty big the past few games when called on to play crucial minutes for injured or ill starters.
    Grade: B

  • Reggie Redding (25 min)

    Redding is a smart basketball player, and smart players know to keep shooting when open even amidst a slump. Redding was 2-11 from the field, and 0-6 from the three, but none of those shots were ill-advised or forced, in my opinion. That makes his shooting perfomance much easier to swallow tonight. Redding is a freshman and just recently began to earn major minutes. He was an excellent jump-shooter in high school, so eventually the shot will start to fall. Reggie found other ways to contribute tonight, pulling in 5 rebounds, getting an assist, and making 2 steals. He only had 1 turnover, which is a major step up from the Louisville game. Word has it that Redding was working on his jumpshot at the Pavilion tonight after the game until the wee hours of the morning. It is obvious Redding is dedicated to improving as a player, and that dedication is sure to pay dividends.
    Grade: C-

  • Dante Cunningham (23 min)

    Dante is suffering from the flu. He took the floor tonight with a 101-degree fever after receiving intravenous fluids in the locker room. I know we only grade players here, but I am giving the team doctor an F for not getting these guys influenza vaccinations this fall. Cunningham makes the fifth Villanova starter to be stricken with the flu this season. Get them some flu shots next November!

    Cunningham did not start tonight due to his illness. He did, however, see 23 minutes of floor time tonight, fifth-most on the team. He looked like he was ill out there, shooting 1-4 from the floor and 0-1 from the line for 2 points. He only was able to grab 3 rebounds. Cunningham did manage to grab a team-high 4 steals, which was huge. He gets a pass tonight for being ill, but we need the old Dante back pronto.
    Grade: B-

  • Scottie Reynolds (S, 19 min)

    As if having one starter out with an illness weren't enough, the team found out at half-time that Reynolds was also severely ill. Thus the freshman star was limited to 19 minutes on the game, and just 6 minutes in the second period. He also was plagued by foul trouble for much of the game. His line was a bit wobbly. He shot 1-6 from the field but was a perfect 4-4 from the foul line to total 6 points. He grabbed 4 rebounds, which is fantastic in his limited run, but also committed 4 turnovers. He added 2 assists. We need Scottie to get healthy and start scoring again as soon as possible.
    Grade: C+

  • Bilal Benn (19 min)

    Benn played major minutes in his second straight game. Bilal really bailed out the 'Cats tonight with his energy and defensive intensity. He also even scored a little bit, getting 6 points on 3-4 shooting. He pulled in 4 rebounds, including 2 on the offensive glass. Benn also had 3 steals along with 3 turnovers. Kudos to Bilal for filling in so competently for Reynolds tonight.
    Grade: B-

  • Will Sheridan (S, 13 min)

    Sheridan did much more in his 13 minutes tonight than in his 17 against Lousiville. He still looks uncomfortable on the offensive end, but did manage to score 4 points on 2-3 shooting, including one dunk in a run-out, which is impressive. He only got 3 rebounds, but his minutes were limited. He only played 4 minutes in the first half after two quick fouls, even though he started. Sheridan had 2 blocks and 2 steals and 1 turnover. It was a decent performance for the minutes played, but it's becoming clear that Will's minutes are being reduced.
    Grade: C

  • Incomplete grades:
    Dwayne Anderson
    (2 min), Casiem Drummond (2 min), Frank Tchuisi (1 min), Ross Condon (1 min).

  • Did not play:
    Andrew Ott
    (RS), Antonio Pena (RS).

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