Dec. 7, 2007
Below are some notes related to Villanova's 68-67 victory against LSU on Thursday evening. Additional notes on the game will be posted during the day on Friday.
DRAMATIC COMEBACK: It took a furious finish to the game for Villanova to pull out the victory, as the Wildcats trailed by 21 points (54-33) with 8:48 remaining by 15 points (64-49) with under three minutes to play. Villanova closed the game with a 19-3 run in the final 2:55, taking their only lead of the entire game on Dante Cunningham's put-back of a missed layup with six seconds left. Freshman guard Malcolm Grant scored all 18 of his points in the second half, including 12 points in a span of 1:16 during the 19-3 run.
BEEN A WHILE: It has been several years since Villanova won a game that it trailed by 20 points at any point during the game. The closest the Wildcats have come to winning such a game in the past few seasons was on March 24, 2006 against Boston College in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats trailed by 16 points (25-9) in the first half and eventually won 60-59 in overtime to advance to the Elite Eight.
ONLY TWO AT A TIME: The Wildcats were held without a three-pointer for the first 34 minutes of tonight's game. The team wound up with just three made field goals from long distance, all coming from Malcolm Grant. Villanova has made at least one three-pointer in 339 straight games since coming up empty on February 9, 1997 in a 93-56 loss to Kentucky.
SERIES AGAINST LSU: Villanova is now 3-2 all-time against LSU, with the first meeting coming in 1952 and the most recent meeting coming in 1990. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers 93-91 on November 24, 1990 in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic in Springfield, Massachusetts. Villanova also posted a 76-68 win at LSU an December 28, 1976. The two wins in the series for the Tigers came on December 29, 1952 in the Sugar Bowl Tournament in New Orleans (100-94 in double overtime) and on March 15, 1990 (70-63 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament).
VILLANOVA AND THE SEC: The Wildcats now have an all-time record of 19-23 (.452) against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The three most recent games against SEC teams before tonight for Villanova came in the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons. The Wildcats were defeated by Kentucky in the first round of the tournament in 2007 and lost to eventual national champion Florida in the Elite Eight in 2006. Villanova had defeated Florida in the second round of the 2005 NCAA Tournament. The last time the Wildcats played a regular season game against an SEC team was against Georgia on December 28, 2000. The Bulldogs defeated Villanova in that game by a 91-80 score.
BIG EAST AND THE SEC: The Big East claimed each of the first two games of the BIG EAST-SEC Invitational on Wednesday night in Birmingham, Alabama. In the opening game, fifth-ranked Georgetown defeated Alabama 70-60, while West Virginia posted an 88-59 win over Auburn in the second contest. In addition, South Carolina defeated Providence 68-67 in the first game of tonight's doubleheader. BIG EAST teams are 4-3 overall against the Southeastern Conference this season after going 6-5 against the league last season. Aside from last night's games, the other win this season was by Providence in a 67-51 win over Arkansas on November 16 in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Puerto Rico Tip-Off. The two losses came when Florida defeated Rutgers on November 17 (88-63) and when Tennessee defeated West Virginia on November 23 (74-72 at the Legends Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.).