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Villanova Falls to Senegal 69-64 to Open Exhibition Tour
Mouphtaou Yarou

Aug. 9, 2011

FINAL: Senegal 69, Villanova 64

SITE: Paris, France

SUMMARY: Senegal's Senior National Team used a spurt early in the fourth period to defeat Villanova 69-64 in suburban Paris this evening. Senegal owned a 35-34 edge at halftime before the Wildcats built a 50-46 edge with 12 seconds left in the third quarter. But Senegal made a three as the horn sounded to narrow the gap to 50-49 after three periods and carried that momentum into the fourth period, outscoring the `Cats 20-13 in a contest that saw the two teams combine to shoot 66 free throws.

SCORING LEADERS: Junior Dominic Cheek led Villanova with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, including 3-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Junior Mouphtaou Yarou added 15 points, 16 rebounds and a blocked shot for the Wildcats while classmate Maalik Wayns contributed 16 points and six caroms.

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK: With Ty Johnson sidelined for the tour as he continues to recover from a foot injury, four of the Villanova newcomers saw action. Darrun Hilliard earned a starting assignment, scoring three points and added a pair of steals. Achraf Yacoubou scored the last four points of the third quarter while Markus Kennedy added five rebounds and JayVaughn Pinkston four caroms.

FREE THROWS WERE PLENTIFUL: Senegal attempted 40 free throws, converting 26. The Wildcats finished 14-of-26 from the charity stripe.



FROM DEEP: Senegal sank 6-of-9 (.667) from outside the arc while Villanova was 3-of-16 from long distance. Cheek's three triples were the Wildcats' only successful treys on the night.

CAROM COUNT: The Wildcats got off to a slow start on the glass but ended the game with a 51-44 advantage in that category. Isaiah Armwood added eight boards while James Bell picked up five to go with his six points.

HEAD COACH Jay Wright: "I thought this was a great first game for us. It was very physical. We had a five point lead in the third period and just made some crucial mistakes at the end of the third period that hurt us. We had two straight turnovers and gave up that three at the end of the period. At that point we had a lot of young guys out there. We never really recovered from that."

"This was a great learning experience for us. I thought Mouphtaou Yarou was tremendous. They tried to get him out of his game by speaking to him in French but he never responded, never let them get him out of his game. Darrun Hilliard played well in his first game. I thought JayVaughn did a good job his first time out. Maalik was Maalik, he was good. Cheek gave us a great spark off the bench, shot the ball well and created some turnovers defensively." "We really look forward to playing (Senegal) again tomorrow."

ON SENGAL'S FULL-COURT PRESS: "It's funny, in our preparation for this game we only did one day of press offense and they pressed us for 40 minutes. I thought we handled it decently, especially given the circumstances. It was good to have a team come out and go after you like that. It felt like we were in a BIG EAST game."