Villanova had been rolling right along, but the Big East has a way of humbling everybody sooner or later.
First, the Wildcats lost at Providence and then they were beaten by Georgetown, 69-66, Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Villanova, UConn and Cincinnati all suffered their first home losses on Saturday. West Virginia won by 11 at Cincy without top scorer Casey Mitchell, who’s been suspended for undisclosed violation of team rules.
To be more specific, the Wildcats (17-4, 5-3 Big East) were done in by a wonderful performance from the Hoyas’ Austin Freeman (30 points, six assists, one turnover).
Freeman’s 30 points was only three off the record for a Villanova opponent in South Philly. On March 3, 2007, Syracuse’s Eric Devendorf had 33 in a 78-75 Wildcats’ win.
G-Town resides just outside the Daily News Top 15, with spots opening up daily.
Villanova can certainly lose to Georgetown (16-5, 5-4). In fact, it has been happening regularly in recent seasons. But one would not think ’Nova, a really good foul-shooting team, would lose it at the line, But it did. G-Town was 16-for-17, while ’Nova was 17-for-24.
After the Wildcats made a terrific late comeback in no time flat, Freeman made sure it did not hold with his shooting late on the shot clock and from the foul line, as well as a terrific pass out of a trap for a dunk. Still, Villanova had a chance to tie at the finish.
Antonio Pena, who had attempted just 11 threes in four seasons, found himself with the ball. He dribbled behind the line. The only problem was that it was the NBA line. He still almost made it.
Villanova hosts Marquette on Wednesday and then West Virginia on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.