'Cats complete Perfect Trip with 77-62 win over Carleton All-Stars
Sept. 3, 2007
OTTAWA - Backed by a 33-point outburst from sophomore guard Scottie Reynolds, Villanova defeated the Carleton All-Stars by a final count of 77-62 to complete their tour of this city with a 4-0 mark. The All-Stars were a group of former Carleton basketball players who have gone on to play professionally in Europe and other countries around the globe.
"This was more like a BIG EAST game than the other games we played here," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "It was more physical because these are guys who play professionally in Australia and Europe. The previous games we faced teams that were more refined offensively and very well coached. The physicality in this game was incredible.
"I thought our guys did a good job of keeping their composure, particularly when they made a run at us in the second half."
For the second time in as many days in a game here at Carleton, Villanova seized momentum from the opening tipoff, notching 11 of the game's first 12 points in the first 2:39. Junior forward Dante Cunningham scored six of those points (he finished with 10 points before fouling out).
The hot shooting of Reynolds allowed Villanova to keep adding to its margin in the opening period. He drilled 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes and added another field goal to finish with 17 points at intermission. A Reynolds triple at the 6:03 mark boosted Villanova's advantage to 31-11.
The Wildcats took a 44-23 lead into halftime. Villanova, which shot better than 68 percent from the field in its Sunday win over the University of Ottawa, kept it going by draining 16-of-24 (.667) in the opening half. The Carleton All-Stars meanwhile were just 8-of-30 from the floor (.267) and 3-of-17 (.176) from beyond the 3-point arc.
The All-Stars made a push to get back into the contest after halftime. A Paul Larmand 3-pointer and Brian Leonard basket cut the Wildcats lead to 44-30 with 17:23 left in the contest. But freshman Corey Stokes (12 points, three rebounds in 25 minutes) drained a triple from 25 feet with the shot clock winding down that helped stem the tide.
The All-Stars drew within 53-42 with 12:14 remaining but that's as close as they came. Villanova finished the afternoon off with a workmanlike effort to complete the 15 point win. Corey Fisher added seven points and five assists while Shane Clark had four points and seven rebounds. The starting lineup included Clark, Cunningham, Andrew Ott, Reynolds and Reggie Redding.
Reynolds' shooting mastery was the story of the day. It capped an impressive weekend for the sophomore from Herndon, Va., after an uneven shooting effort with Team USA at the Pan American Games in Rio de Janiero last July.
"Scottie had a great summer in a lot of ways," said Wright. "He made the Pan American team and helped our team. But I think he saw in Rio how physical the game is at the next level and how prepared you have to be.
"I sense a renewed commitment in Scottie after that experience. This was a game that was similar to the games we played in Rio, with older, veteran players. Scottie did a great job. I knew he was good off the ball but I thought he was terrific working with Corey Fisher and Malcolm Grant today."
"We wanted to set the tone defensively first," said Reynolds. "I thought we did that and that created some offensive opportunities. My teammates did a great job of getting me good looks. Shane, Cas, and Dante set great screens and Corey (Fisher) and Malcolm did a great job of finding me with passes."
And, yes, Reynolds is so much the better after his Pan American Games experience.
"I feel that helped me out a lot," he said. "I learned so many things, good and bad, that will help me this season and beyond."