Jack McAleese – Villanova Correspondent
Villanova’s lack of experience was what brought the Wildcats their 14th loss of the year to the University of Southern Florida Bulls. After a big win against Providence, Villanova (11-14, 4-9 BE) looked like they could possibly win their last few games and gain a spot in the Big East tournament, but with four South Florida (16-10) players in double figures, ‘Nova just could not pull it off.
The 65-51 loss was devastating, especially for a ‘Cats team that now drops to 1-8 on the road.
At halftime, the score of the game was tied at 20. ‘Nova’s inexperience/lack of chemistry began to show in the second half, especially without stellar point guard Maalik Wayns to keep the squad together. 7 minutes into the second half, the Wildcats were down 1 point, until the Bulls went on a 10 – 2 run capped off by a Hugh Robertson slam dunk and a James Bell flagrant foul. Robertson made the two free throws following the foul, and the Bulls got the ball back and made a layup. A six-point possession for South Florida really hurt the Wildcats.
Shortly after, a technical was called on Coach Jay Wright, and Anthony Collins made 4 free throws. Collins was one of the 4 South Florida players in double figures with 10 points. The momentum was completely shifted to the South Florida side, and they went up 20 after a Victor Rudd Jr. 3 – pointer.
Nova cut the lead to 14, but it was too little too late. Both Hugh Robertson and Rudd had 14 points each for the home squad.
Off the bench, Maurice Sutton led the Cats in scoring with 10 points. Jayvaughn Pinkston only had 8, coming off his 28-point marvel against Providence. Villanova is looking to bounce back against Notre Dame on Saturday, at 9 o’clock PM at Villanova’s home court, the Pavilion.