Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Anderson and Stokes lead rout of West Virginia

Final Score: Villanova 78, West Virginia 56

Player of the Game: Dwayne Anderson - 17 points (5-7 3pt)

Recap: Wearing their classic throwback jerseys, Villanova cruised to its fourteenth straight victory in the Pavilion tonight. The Wildcats are peaking late in the season. They are playing their best defense of the season, thanks in a large part to Dwayne Anderson. He has been the reason Villanova won three of its last four and nearly upset Georgetown. Anderson and freshman Corey Stokes combined for 30 first half points, leading Villanova to a 45-21 first half lead. Villanova held the Mountaineers to 0-11 for three in the first half and 2-20 for the game. Villanova had the hot hands from behind the arc and went 10-23. This was a big win for the Wildcats, putting them at 6-7 in conference play.

Anderson was on fire tonight scoring 17 points on 5-7 for three, all of his points coming in the first half. He provided hustle on defense as well with 4 steals. As a captain, Anderson is setting a great example for the younger players on the team with his energy, hustle, defensive intensity, and unselfish attitude.

Corey Stokes scored a new career-high 16 points on 5-12 shooting; 3-8 for three. He added 5 rebounds. He missed some shots early but never lost his confidence, and the shots eventually fell for him.

Scottie Reynolds got two quick fouls and sat on the bench scoreless for the rest of the first half. They didn’t really need him with the way Anderson and Stokes were playing. He came out and hit two three-pointers in the second half to finish with 9 points.

Corey Fisher had a cold shooting night (2-8 fg, 0-3 3pt), but he did a great job running the point and being a distributor, which is what the team needs him to do. He had 6 assists to go along with his 9 points and 5 rebounds. He was also a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line, and only had 2 turnovers.

Dante Cunningham, who has been one of Villanova's most consistent players this season, had 8 points and 3 rebounds tonight. He also got it done defensively with 2 blocks and a steal.

After sitting out the previous game, Shane Clark looked much better tonight. He had 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists in 14 minutes of action.

Antonio Pena nearly had a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds. He made some nice passes as well, finishing with 3 assists. He did however get into foul trouble once again. There were a couple of times that he tried to draw a charge, and got called for the block. At 6’8 I’d rather see him try to go up for the blocked shot, than try to draw the charge.

Casiem Drummond played only 10 minutes tonight. He had 5 points, and looked good in the second half. He took the ball strong to the basket, which is what he needs to continue to do.

Reggie Redding went scoreless in 14 minutes, but as usual he provided some defense off the bench.

Malcolm Grant also went scoreless in 14 minutes. He was 0-2 from the field but notched 2 assists.

Frank Tchuisi and Jason Colenda each played a couple minutes at the end of the game. They both had 1 rebound and 1 foul. Tchuisi also had a blocked shot.

The five-game losing streak will hurt Villanova, but they are showing that they are capable of making a run in the Big East Tournament. The possibility of playing in the NCAA is still open, but the road will be tough, with UConn, Marquette, and Louisville still on the schedule. This Saturday Villanova has the opportunity to get a marquee victory over the 13th ranked UConn Huskies. UConn has won 10 straight and has established themselves as one of the top teams in the Big East. Villanova will need to beware of the 7’3 center Hasheem Thabeet who is averaging 4.4 blocks per game.

Next Game
: Sat. Feb. 23, at Noon, vs. UConn, at the Wachovia Center

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