Thursday, March 26, 2015

'Nova gets the big one

The Wildcats outslugged Pittsburgh, 67-57, at the Spectrum.

'Nova gets the big one

That's more like it.

We've known for a while now that although Villanova didn't have any real blemishes on its record coming into tonight's game at the Spectrum, it didn't have a really big win either.

And deep down, that 0-4 record against teams ranked in the Top 25 was troubling. Not troubling enough to think they wouldn't get into the NCAA Tournament somehow or other, but not insignificant enough to ignore, either.

Tonight, we can throw all that out.

In a slugfest worthy of the hallowed Spectrum walls in which it unfolded, the Wildcats knocked off No. 3-ranked Pittsburgh, 67-57, and took care of questions about their potential that resonated not only on the Main Line but also across much of the college basketball landscape.

The key stat of the game to me was the rebounding battle. Pitt won it 38-32 if you include team rebounds (rebounds that go out of play and other related things) and 32-28 if you don't, but for the purpose of this exercise let's break down the totals without team rebounds because they tell us something significant.

In the first half, Pittsburgh had a 19-11 overall edge on the glass. The Panthers got six offensive and 13 defensive boards to three offensive and eight defensive for Villanova.

In the second half, though, 'Nova had a 17-13 overall edge. The Wildcats got four offensive and 13 defensive boards to three offensive and 10 defensive boards for Pitt.

I put together a table with these numbers below. I think looking at the numbers that way makes the difference even more star.

Furthermore - and I had to do this by hand, so I hope I got it right - Pitt got the first seven total rebounds of the game, with Reggie Redding finally getting his hands on the ball with 15:11 left to go in the first half. The Panthers pulled down six defensive boards before the Wildcats' first on offense, also recorded by Redding.

In the second half, however, the Panthers did not get an offensive rebound until 5:49 remained in the game.

Line of the game goes to Reggie Redding, and yes, it's easy to say the Philly guy came up big in the last game at the Spectrum. But we'll let others lay claim to the cliché for tonight.



 
Pittsburgh
Villanova
 
OR
DR
TR
OR
DR
TR
1st half
6
13
19
3
8
11
2nd half
3
10
13
4
13
17
Game
9
23
32
7
21
28

Name
Min
FG
FT
3pt
OR
DR
TR
A
S
TO
Blk
PF
Eff
Pts
R. Redding
34
4-6
10-10
0-0
1
6
7
2
2
2
1
3
24
18

Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
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.

Jonathan Tannenwald Sports Producer
Andrew Albert Sports Producer
Latest Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected