Home > Uncategorized > Phew!: Villanova beats Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime

Phew!: Villanova beats Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime

Down by eight points with 3:57 remaining, Villanova seemed destined to become the fifth 2-seed to fall to a 15-seed. Then, for perhaps the first time this season, the Wildcats got stops what they needed on defense against Robert Morris. Villanova rallied, forced overtime and eventually won its first game in over two weeks to advance to the second round.

“Phew,” said senior guard Scottie Reynolds. “I forgot what that felt like.”

It seemed like a cursed day from the start for Villanova. Head Coach Jay Wright decided before the game to bring Reynolds and junior guard Corey Fisher off the bench as a teaching point. What they did was not discussed after the game, but Reynolds tried to summed it up in his own way.

“You have to be excellent all the time,” said Reynolds. “You can’t have any of flaws.”

Reynolds’ team had many flaws in its first round game. The Wildcats were outrebounded 21-10 in the first half and trailed 28-22 at the break. Reynolds, Fisher, Corey Stokes, Antonio Pena and Reggie Redding combined for six points in the first half.

The game was put in Reynolds’ hands in the second half, particularly when the team was trailing by eight with 3:57 remaining. Despite shooting 1-for-14 from the field, Reynolds was able to get to the line consistently in the final few minutes, hitting seven-of-eight free throws. Overall, Reynolds made 15-of-16 free throws and finished with 20 points.

Freshman guard Karon Abraham, who finished with 23 points, had all the answers for Robert Morris. When Villanova was rallying, Abraham hit every big shot the Colonials needed, including a layup to break a tie at 56 with 1:07 remaining.

On the next possession, freshman center Mouphtaou Yarou, who finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, hit a layup to tie the game.

Abraham missed a chance to take the lead with 39 seconds left, and the Wildcats were able to take the shot for the win. Reynolds held the ball for the majority of the clock, but he missed the layup, and it was tipped out of bounds with 0.9 seconds remaining. For the win, Villanova ran an alley-oop inbounds play to redshirt freshman center Maurice Sutton, but he was unable to to connect.

In overtime, Villanova quickly took control, scoring the first six points. While it controlled the game for most of the overtime, Robert Morris battled back and found themselves down three points with 39 seconds remaining. Villanova inbounded the ball to Stokes, but Colonials senio guard Mezie Nwigwe stole the ball from him and hit a layup to cut the score to 68-67.

Yarou, Redding and Reynolds hit five-of-six free throws, and Robert Morris trailed 73-70 with nine seconds remaining. Unable to get the ball to Abraham, the Colonials settled for a desperation three-point attempt by Nwige that was off the mark.

The loss was tough to swallow for the Colonials.

“My insides just got torn out,” said Robert Morris head coach Mike Rice, who was fighting off tears after the loss. “I’m just proud to coach them.”

His team, who played the role of David well against the most recent Goliath, received a standing ovation from the Providence crowd as he left the floor.

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  1. tom
    March 19, 2010 at 9:46 am

    It was a miracle VU won…Jay Wright should be called to task for not starting Reynolds and Fisher….Its the NCAA fcol. It affected them AND the team the whole game. The coaching the last 6 weeks has been awful. I saw King actually shoot and make a hoop yesterday…whres he been?.. It not the same bunch that was 20-1 for sure.

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