Nov. 1, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova relied on a sturdy defense to outlast Carleton 65-59 in an exhibition basketball contest played at the Pavilion on Thursday evening. Senior forward Mouphtaou Yarou paced the winners with 21 points and 12 rebounds in 32 minutes of action.
Sophomore guard Darrun Hilliard added 15 points, three assists, and three rebounds for the Wildcats.
"I think we showed that we could be a pretty good defensive team and a pretty good rebounding team," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright, whose team limited the Ravens to 18-of-60 shooting (.300) for the night. "We also have to shoot the ball a lot better and have a lot of improvement to make.
"Carleton is a really talented offensive team. They are very well-coached and execute at the offensive end. We scheduled them purposely so that we would have to guard that offense. We have to be a lot better, but I like what we could be defensively and as a rebounding team."
After Hilliard scored the game's first three points for VU, Carleton went on an 8-0 run to craft an 8-3 lead less than two minutes into the contest. The Ravens stretched the edge to 11-5 before Villanova's size and length began to take a toll. The Wildcats slowly turned up the defensive pressure and limited Carleton to just six points over the next nine minutes.
In the mean time, Villanova inched ahead to take a 19-14 lead on the strength of its free throw shooting. The Wildcats would never trail again and held a 36-33 advantage at halftime.
VU was 17-of-22 at the line in the first half and just 9-of-28 from the field. The Ravens stayed close largely thanks to the work of guard Phillip Scrubbs, who would end the night with 32 points, including 8-of-17 from outside the 3-point arc.
"(Scrubbs) is a talented guy," stated Wright. "We knew what he was capable of and he's definitely someone who could be effective in the Big East."
The Wildcats opened the second half with a 3-point field goal from junior James Bell and outscored the Ravens 17-8 over the first seven minutes to take control. Carleton made several late surges but never drew closer than 53-48 with over 11 minutes to play.
Bell contributed eight points and four rebounds and transfer Tony Chennault chipped in with eight points in his Villanova debut.
The `Cats out-rebounded Carleton 48-41.
Villanova connected on just 18-of-57 from the field (.316) and was 3-of-20 from beyond the 3-point arc (.150). But on the plus side, the Wildcats limited Carleton's offensive efficiency - Scrubbs scored exactly half of his team's field goals on the night.
"We leaned on our defense and rebounding," stated Wright. "Mouph was big for us inside. We have to shoot the ball a lot better, though - there's a lot of work to do."
Villanova opens the 2012-13 regular season on Nov. 9 at the Pavilion against UDC at 7 p.m.