Villanova looked to be on their way to an easy victory over a good Dayton team, until the Flyers came storming back late in the second half. Nova led by 8 at the half and by as many as 18 points in the second half before Dayton cut it to a 2 point game with 2:23 left. Then Corey Fisher stepped up to ice the game from the free throw line for a 71-65 win. Now for the rest of the recap I'll be highlighting some famous "Flyers".
Superman: Corey Fisher saved the day with his clutch free throw shooting, sinking 10 of 12 to finish with 18 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals. Scottie Reynolds had been the "Superman" of the team for the past three years, but he has struggled so far in his senior season. He went just 3-12 from the field and 0-3 from behind the arc to score 8 points, although he did dish out 5 assists. I don't know if there's been a complete changing of the guard yet, but Corey Fisher has been the MVP of the early season, leading the team in points (15.3) and assists (4.5).
The Wright Bothers: Jay Wright's team is gaining valuable experience with these close games early in the season, first fighting back to win against George Mason, and now withstanding Dayton's comeback to hold on for the win. Obviously you'd prefer to win more convincingly, but these tough games will help the team prepare for Big East play. No relation to Jay, but Dayton's Chris Wright looked impressive with some high-flying dunks and scored 15 points.
Stealth Bombers: It seemed like Luke Fabrizius was invisible the way he kept getting wide-open threes. He made 5 from long-range to lead the Flyers with 16 points. Corey Stokes, aka the Bayonne Bomber, is normally Nova's top sharpshooter, but he had his second-straight off-night shooting the ball. Stokes went 1-9 from the field (1-3 from 3-pt), although those rims in Puerto Rico looked really tight, which may be affecting his shot.
Griffin: Antonio Pena has been playing like Blake Griffin this year. He had 13 and 7 with a block, and is basically averaging a double-double on the season with 11 points and 9.8 rebounds. He even sank two clutch free throws at the end of the game. He had big shoes to fill, but Pena is proving to be a capable replacement of Dante Cunningham.
Vulture: Maurice Sutton earned the start, and he has been vulturing the paint in Yarou's absence. Sutton isn't going to score a ton, but at 6'11 he can run the floor, rebound (8) and block shots (2). Jay must have liked what he saw from the young center as well, playing him for 30 minutes.
Balloon Boy: Alright, I can't figure out how to relate these psychos to anyone on Nova, but I'll use this space to mention how good Taylor King was. He got hot early, making 4 threes for 14 points, but he has impressed me the most with his rebounding, grabbing a team-high 9.
Sully Sullenberger: Sully became an American hero for landing a plane in the Hudson River, and Isaiah Armwood will be a Villanova hero for his game winning shot against George Mason. He scored 4 points off the bench.
Puff the Magic Dragon: Reggie Redding... I kid, I kid. Sorry Reggie, we still love ya.