RECAP TO COME
Villanova does what Villanova does
The Wildcats hit 11-19 from behind the arc in the first half to effectively run Xavier off of their own home court. Nova is a deadly three-point shooting team at any rate, and they seem especially effective against Xavier all the time. They went cool at the start of the second half as Xavier cut the lead to just three, but they couldn’t stop hitting down the stretch as the Muskies never quite got over the hump.
Trevon is a Xavier legend
With his performance tonight, Trevon not only did everything he could to keep Xavier in the game, he passed David West on the all-time scoring chart. He’s not going to catch Byron Larkin without something really extraordinary happening, but the concerns about his shooting in January seem like ancient history at this point. Tre will be ready in March.
Xavier’s defense will be its undoing
Xavier let Villanova shoot 60% from the field and 47% from deep. Nova hit 16 threes. Xavier forced just 6 turnovers. There’s not much more to say than the raw numbers; Xavier has to figure out the defense or this senior class will leave with unfinished business. The below point about the refs stands, but it was Xavier’s inability to get stops that cost them the game.
The officiating needs handled
When Xavier was working into Villanova’s lead and the Cintas Center roof was ready to come off, Paul Scruggs and Omari Spellman found themselves in a bit of a scuffle over a rebound. The officials made a call and then, as Spellman advanced on Scruggs, who was not backing down, fired off a double technical. Five minutes of watching the officials’ butts as they huddled over the scorer’s table later, nothing of consequence happened, but Xavier’s momentum was broken. This was the second time in two games that the refs sucked the air out of the Cintas Center; the difference today was that the Muskies were trying to erase a lead instead of hold one. That kind of ref show can’t continue to be making a difference in the flow of good college basketball games.