Score: NC State 69, Villanova 68
Players of the Game: Corey Fisher 21 pts, Casiem Drummond 9 pts, 17 reb
Recap: It's a shame when a game is taken out of the players' hands and is decided by the refs, and that is exactly what happened tonight. After Dante Cunningham's tip-in off of Corey Stokes missed shot to put the Wildcats up by 1 point with 2.2 seconds left, NC State threw a full court pass and shot a quick three and missed, but a foul was called on Cunningham, when he had his hands straight up and didn't touch him. Even if he did touch him the contact was so minimal and did not affect the shot. You can't call a foul in that situation. The referee completely decided the outcome of the game, which is just not fair to the players.
North Carolina State wound up winning the game by one point after Gavin Grant missed the first than made the last two free throws. The final score was 69-68 to make the NC State Wolfpack the 2007 Old Spice Classic champions. Villanova had a poor shooting night going 2-12 for three and 8-18 from the free throw line. In a one point loss you need look no further than those 10 missed free throws to find the difference in the game. Despite the loss, Corey Fisher had an outstanding game. He took over offensively in the second half and was nearly impossible to stop with his acrobatic drives and lay ups. He finished with 21 points to lead the team. Casiem Drummond dominated the glass with 17 rebounds to go along with his 9 points, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks, although he fouled out late in the second half. Dante Cunningham had a good night with 16 points and 8 rebounds, but he did take too many long jump shots that he wound up missing. That is not his shot. He should stay inside, especially with all the great guards on the team. Scottie Reynolds had 13 points and 4 assists, but was basically shut down in the second half. Corey Fisher did a fine job running the offense, but Scottie still should have been more aggressive offensively. Reynolds, and the team as a whole should have looked for more threes in the second half, as they only attempted 2 and missed both. Reggie Redding also fouled out late in the second half. Redding finished with 7 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds. Another key to the game was the loss of Shane Clark. He left the game in the first half with a strained quadriceps and scored 2 points before that. Antonio Pena, Corey Stokes, Malcolm Grant, and Dwayne Anderson were all held scoreless off the bench.
The loss shouldn't hurt the Wildcats in the long run because it was a one point game and NC State will most likely be a tournament team. But a win would have been impressive on their resume, especially since Nova's non-conference schedule is relatively weak. Next up on the schedule is Penn on Saturday at the Pavilion.