Pinkston Powers ‘Nova Past Providence

In Villanova’s last 6 losses, they had leads. Last night against Providence was a different story. With 14:05 left in the game, the Villanova Wildcats (11-13) were down 19 points. The Friars (13-12) thought they had a win secured, especially when Maalik Wayns left the game with 11:31 to go in the game with a knee injury. “When one guy goes down,” said guard Dominic Cheek, “someone else has to step up.” Cheek had 17 points for ‘Nova.

Given Cheek’s assertion (that someone had to step up), without a doubt it was Jayvaughn Pinkston. The freshman was the core behind Villanova’s comeback. Towards the end of the first half, with the Friars leading 44-30, Pinkston went into the locker room with a cut on the top of his left eye and received 5 stitches for that. “I forgot it was there,” said Pinkston after the game. The cut did not play a factor in Pinkston’s level of play. He made the game winning layup with 28 seconds to go. Other than making this layup, Pinkston finished with 28 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 assists. After the game, Jay Wright came up to Jayvaughn and embraced him. Villanova has had a rough year so far, but this win really brought them closer together as a team.

The 'Cats starters celebrate a much-needed win.

The Providence Friars had 1 final possession and it was a shot blocked by junior center Maurice Sutton. After star guard Maalik Wayns left the game with his knee injury, Tyrone Johnson stepped up and did a fantastic job with guarding junior guard Vincent Council, who had 17 points. “I thought Tyrone Johnson did a great job defensively against Council,” Villanova coach Jay Wright stated, “(Council) leads the Big East in assists and and he does a great job of finding their shooters for open looks.” The Friars had 4 players in double figures and their leading scorer was Bryce Cotton, who finished with 20 points, but it was not enough to hand Villanova its fourteenth loss. Mouphtaou Yarou alsoadded 17 points.

Even though Villanova is having one of their worst seasons in the past 10 years, this was a very big win, seeing as their only chance of making the NCAA tourney is winning the Big East tournament. Only twelve teams make the big east tournament, and right now Villanova is .5 games behind St. Johns for 12th place. Their next game is next Wednesday against South Florida in Tampa.


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Categories: CBB, Villanova

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