Villanova Downs Boston University in Battle of Cats vs. Dogs
In a second round game of the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Tip-Off Tournament, the 2-0 Villanova Wildcats played 1-1 Boston University at the Pavilion. The Terriers are coached by former Wildcat Assistant Coach Pat Chambers. Last evening in the opening round, Villanova pounded Marist 84-47 and B.U. beat George Washington 76-67.
After falling behind momentarily 7-6, Villanova took control of the game by outscoring B.U. 14-3 to take a commanding 20-10 lead. Villanova got balanced scoring in the first half, with each of the 8 players who entered the game contributing at least one basket. Antonio Pena led the way with 8 points and 5 rebounds, Maalik Wayns scored 6 and dished out 6 assists. Overall the Cats hit 17 of 29 shots (58.6 %) in the half and once again Villanova played aggressively on the defensive end holding B.U. to 24 points on 32.1% shooting. The half ended with the Cats on top by a 40-24 margin.
Villanova started off the second half with a quick 6-0 run to up their lead to 22 points (46-24). However, the Terriers began hitting their shots and narrowed Villanova’s lead to twelve points, 57-45, on a Matt Griffin three pointer. The Cats then stretched the lead back to twenty points when Corey Fisher converted two foul shots to make it 70-50. The Terriers made one more run at cutting the margin below double figures, but the closest they came was 72-59 following a bucket by Griffin.
The final score was 82-66.
The Wildcats had 4 players in double figures. Senior Antonio Pena was the high scorer with 17 points. He also led the Cats in rebounding with 8. Other double digit scorers were Corey Fisher with 16, Corey Stokes with a dozen, and Maalik Wayns who also had a dozen points and 12 assists. Villanova had 21 assists and only 7 turnovers. Wayns had only one turnover and Fisher did not commit a turnover for the third straight game. Villanova did struggle with its three-point shooting, making only 1 of 12, (by Corey Stokes) in the first half.
B.U. shot the ball much better in the second half hitting 16 of 34 shots for 47.1%. The Terriers, like the Wildcats, had 4 players in double figures. John Holland racked up 14 points, Jake O’Brien chipped in 13, and Darryl Partin, the transfer from LaSalle, had 12 points. Lastly, Matt Griffin had 10 points, all in the second half.
With the win, the Cats earned a trip to New York next week to play U.C. L. A. in the semi-finals of the NIT Tip-Off tournament. Before that game comes a visit by the Lafayette Leopards on Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Pavilion.
In other local action, Penn lost to Manhattan 59-54. George Washington beat Marist in the NIT consolation game at the Pavilion before the Villanova game.
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