Final Score: #8 Georgetown 55, Villanova 53
Player of the Game: Scottie Reynolds 24 pts, 10-13 FT
Recap: For the second time this season Villanova was robbed by a foul called with under one second left. This time the foul was called on Corey Stokes with one-tenth of a second left and the score tied at 53-53. The referees held their whistles after there was contact on Scottie Reynolds on his final drive, and it appeared the game was heading to overtime. Jonathan Wallace came up with the loose ball and dribbled down the sideline as he barely brushed bodies against Corey Stokes, and Bob Donato felt the need to call a foul 75 feet from the basket. It was a completely unacceptable call. Bob Donato took the outcome of the game away from the players, and decided to hand Georgetown a victory himself. Even Wallace admitted, "At first I thought I stepped out of bounds," after he heard the whistle. I thought the refs would have learned their lesson after the controversial finish to the NC State game. This was unfair to the coaches and players on both teams. Whether the call is against Villanova or not, it is a horrible way to decide a college basketball game, and that refereeing crew should be ashamed of themselves.
Scottie Reynolds played a great game, scoring 24 points, 10 of which came from the free throw line. Corey Fisher had a nightmare of a game going 1-16 from the field. He took a lot of difficult shots and had some unlucky bounces off the rim. He finished with 4 points and 4 assists. Nova had difficulty guarding Roy Hibbert who had 13 points ands was 7-12 from the free throw line. Casiem Drummond, Dwayne Anderson, and Corey Stokes all fouled out of the game trying to contain the big man. Drummond only had 1 point and 5 rebounds. He had some opportunities with put-backs, but couldn't find the bottom of the basket. Anderson didn't have a big offensive night (6 pts 3-9 fg) after his big game against Seton Hall, but he did have a career-high 10 rebounds. Dante Cunningham just missed a double-double with 9 points and 10 rebounds. He made some clutch free-throws down the stretch, going 7-8 form the line. Corey Stokes had a good first half, scoring 7 points, but he failed to score in the second half. Antonio Pena was held to 2 points and 3 rebounds off the bench. Reggie Redding and Shane Clark both went scoreless in the game. Malcolm Grant did not play for the second straight game. I think it's time Jay Wright gave some answers, as there are rumors swirling around that Grant might be transferring.
Villanova once again went on a long scoring drought, that if avoided could have changed the outcome of the game. During an 11+ minute stretch in the second half the Wildcats went 0-19 from the field. Georgetown had a couple of droughts themselves. If Nova was able to avoid that drought, the game may not have even had to come down to that foul call. Villanova really played some good defense to keep them in the game, despite their offensive struggles.
This would have been a huge win for Villanova, and with a continued strong finish in the regular season and Big East Tournament, they could have had a chance for an at-large bid. Now that seems unlikely, as Nova falls to 4-7 in conference play and 14-9 overall. Despite the heartbreaking loss, this team proved they can hang with one of the best in the country and it should give them plenty of confidence for the remainder of the season.
Next Game: St. John's at MSG, Sat. Feb. 16, 8:00 pm