Thursday, August 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Game 9: Villanova 70, La Salle 59

Will we see an upset tonight?

Game 9: Villanova 70, La Salle 59

So much for what I think.

When I got here, I had a hunch that Villanova might struggle tonight because of the long week it's had.

It was close early, but it didn't last. After La Salle took an 18-16 lead with 10:08 left in the first half, the Wildcats launched a 20-1 run over the next six minutes of play. They did so not only with good shooting, but also with a strong effort on the glass, pulling down six defensive rebounds during the stretch.

The result? A lead that never dipped below double digits until the game's final seconds, and a quieted sellout crowd at Tom Gola Arena - except for the section of 'Nova fans near my seat behind the basket.

Given what Villanova went through against Texas and St. Joe's, I thought this was a pretty impressive performance. Key stats included a 20-6 assist-to-turnover ratio, seven steals, six blocks and and 8-for-16 shooting from three-point range.

La Salle had the edge in total rebounds, 40-31, including 11 offensive boards. But that stemmed in part from 37.5 percent field goal shooting on the night, including 4-for-14 from beyond the arc.

Also not good: a 15-9 assist-to-turnover ratio. But Kimmani Barrett and Rodney Green scored 16 points each, and I particularly liked what I saw from Explorers big man Vernon Goodridge. Even though Goodridge only scored five points, he got eight rebounds, two blocks, a steal and an assist.

Villanova held a big advantage in points from the bench, 23-9. Corey Fisher had eight, Reggie Redding seven and Shane Clark six.

Line of the game goes to the game's high scorer -- and, according to Jay Wright, one of its better defenders.

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
C. Stokes
29
6-10
2-2
4-7
0
3
3
1
1
0
0
3
19
19




Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
About this blog
Soft Pretzel Logic is Philly.com's college sports blog, with a primary focus on the University of Pennsylvania. You'll also see coverage of the Big 5, other major college sports events in the region, and the annual Penn Relays track and field meet.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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