Tuesday, February 10, 2009
We're Going Streaking!
Final Score: #13 Villanova 102, #12 Marquette 84
Co-Players of the Game: Scottie Reynolds - 27 pts & Corey Fisher 21 pts, 4 ast
Recap: Villanova extended its winning streak to 6 overall and 26 in the Pavilion with a win over the Golden Eagles. I predicted a very close game, and I've never been so happy to be wrong. It was tight during the first half, but Nova led the entire second half and pulled away late in the game. Marquette's big 4 combined for 75 points, but Nova's high-octane offense was too much for the Golden Eagles. Villanova scored 102 points for the second straight game after putting up 94 on Providence... I guess Jay Wright is borrowing Mike D'Antoni's playbook. With all the 3-pointers being made and Dominic James' alley-oop, it looked like NBA All-Star weekend came a few days early.
Dante Cunningham has been the anchor of the team all season, and he held it down tonight with 15 points and 4 rebounds. But this game was all about the Reynolds and Fisher show. Scottie shot down my "Road Warrior" theory by exploding for 27 Points (10-17, 5-11, 2-5) in front of the home crowd. Corey Fisher tied his season high by making four 3-pointers to score his 21 points. Fisher and Reynolds played extended minutes together, something Jay Wright has been hesitant to do this season, and it help both excel in their specialties. Fisher ran the point and dished out 4 assists, while Scottie did what he does best: shoot and score. Fisher has been instrumental to Nova's winning streak. He seems to understand his role and has been confident and aggressive on both ends of the floor.
Shane Clark proved that the Syracuse game was no fluke by having another great game. Tonight Shane was perfect from the field (6-6 FG, 3-3 3PT) to score a season-high 16 points. He also added 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block.
Dwayne Anderson got out to a hot start, scoring 10 points in 13 minutes, but then went down with a knee injury and never returned. Not sure of the extent of the injury or how much time if any Dwayne will miss. Hopefully he is ok.
Reggie Redding had a rough shooting night (0-4, 0-3, 2-4), and only scored 2 points. Likewise, Corey Stokes had a quiet shooting night with 6 points, and oddly he didn't even attempt a three. However, both players found other ways to contribute, combining for 10 rebounds and 11 assists. Stokes' 5 assists were a career-high. We've come to expect the defense, rebounds, and assists from Redding, but Stokes has usually been purely a shooter. It's great to see him developing other areas of his game.
Antonio Pena had another low-key night: 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 4 fouls in 11 minutes. I didn't expect Pena to play a big role in this game, figuring Jay Wright would go small to match up with Marquette's guards. He did make some strong plays under the basket while he was in. Pena got into some trouble by picking of a technical foul for jawwing with Hayward after a hard foul.
With 20 wins and sitting towards the top of the Big East standings, most bracketoligists will probably now move Villanova into lock status for the NCAA Tournament. There were high expectations for this team preseason, and they are now looking like they could possibly improve on that Sweet 16 appearance from last season.