Villanova Outlasts Men's Basketball on Opening Night
Nov. 8, 2013
Villanova, Pa. - Lafayette held a six-point lead early in the second half, but Villanova rode JayVaughn Pinkston's 14 second-half points to a 75-59 win over the Leopards on Friday night at The Pavilion. Seth Hinrichs led the way for Lafayette with 15 points and six rebounds.
James Bell scored the first 11 points for Villanova, including two threes against Lafayette's two-three zone as the Wildcats took an early 6-0 lead. A driving layup by Nick Lindner put Lafayette on the board as Lafayette battled back to tie the game on the strength of three long balls. Hinrichs made two, including the second one that tied the score at 11, forcing Villanova to call timeout a little more than five minutes in.
The Wildcats scored the next four points out of the timeout, but Lafayette took a 19-18 lead with less than seven minutes to play in the period after consecutive buckets by Joey Ptasinski (13 points) and Alan Flannigan. Ptasinski's bucket was a layup after a backdoor cut and feed from Flannigan to give him seven points at that juncture.
With Dan Trist on the bench due to foul trouble for the final 13 minutes of the half and Hinrichs there for a majority of the final 8:32, Lafayette went into the intermission trailing 29-27 after holding Villanova to 33 percent from the field, including 3-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Leopards hit 42 percent of their shots in the period and were 5-of-10 from distance.
A transition three from Ptasinski gave Lafayette the lead at 32-31 early in the second half before Hinrichs drilled one from the top of the key to force Villanova head coach Jay Wright to call a timeout. After a Villanova free throw, Zach Rufer buried a trey with the shot clock expiring and a hand in his face to stretch Lafayette's lead to six (38-32) at 16:33.
Following a Nova basket, a drive left and finish with his left hand after absorbing contact gave Hinrichs a three-point opportunity that he converted at the 14:32 mark to make it 41-36. Villanova put together a run to take the lead for good.
A reverse lay-in by Pinkston gave the lead back to Villanova at 44-43, before a pair at the line stretched the lead to three and capped a 10-2 spurt midway through the second half. Down 47-44, Hinrichs dropped a wing three, but Bell responded on the other end with a straightway trey of his own.
Darrun Hilliard's wing three with less than six minutes to go gave the Wildcats their largest lead to that point and Leopards head coach Fran O'Hanlon called timeout with Lafayette trailing 56-49. Out of the stoppage a Trist jumper pulled Lafayette within five, but Pinkston got to the hoop and made a layup on the other end.
Pinkston continued to have success underneath for the Wildcats and his bucket off a second-chance play made it 61-53 at the 3:41 mark. The Villanova forward finished his night with 22 points (10-of-14 FT) and Bell had a game-high 24 for the Wildcats, who held a 28-12 margin in points in the paint.
Rebounding was the difference for the Wildcats in the second half as they held a 25-9 edge en route to a 41-32 overall advantage.
A Hilliard (13 points) deuce pushed the lead to 10 with three minutes to go, but Bryce Scott (11 points) nailed a step-back three to pull Lafayette within seven. After Ptasinski stepped in to take a charge the Leopards had a chance to cut into the deficit, but a turnover and Ryan Arcidiacono converted a three-point play to extend the lead back to ten.
The Leopards shot 39.2 percent from the field (20-of-51), including 11-of-24 from outside the arc (45.8%). Villanova was 21-of-54 (38.9%), but just 5-of-30 from downtown.
Lafayette returns to the court on Tuesday night when it hosts Robert Morris at Kirby Sports Center. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be seen via the Lafayette Sports Network on RCN-4 & 1004 HD, RCN-8 & 608 HD, WBPH-60 and the Patriot League Network.
Lindner recorded seven assists in his first-career start at point guard.
Flannigan fouled out with 1:34 to play in the game.
Villanova leads the all-time series 7-1.
Lafayette is 64-41 all-time in season opening games.