Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dayton Post Game -- Flyin' High

They Were Born to Run
Fans from the Flyer Nation said over and over their guys liked an uptempo game. And the two teams ran through much of the game. Going into the locker room at the half, the 'Cats led by 6 in a game on pace for 75 possessions. That would have made this game the highest possession game played since Kutztown. Half time adjustments slowed the pace. Villanova pushed the lead out to 18 before Dayton took one last 24-8 run to tightened it up at the 2:22 mark. Flyers repeatedly fouled Wildcats (Fisher, King & Pena -- did Coach Gregory see the Louisville game last season?) to stop the clock and force possession changes, but going 9-10 from the line thwarted the strategy.

The Nova Blogosphere is replete with recaps/analysis/commentary. The Villanovan Sports Blog, IBBW,, Villanova News and Villanova Viewpoint have posted entries. The Flyers, coming off of the 2009 season which saw them send the Mountaineers packing from the NCAAs, are no longer satisfied with moral victories, according to the Dayton Daily News story filed Saturday. The official website posted the usual AP wire story, along with a number of quotes from teh post game presser. And of course, the official box score. The breakdown by halves.

 Offense Defense

No Offense But...
On a day when the Wildcats could not find a 3 point shot, nor could they convert their 2s after the break, the defense (everywhere except the 3 point line...) held the Flyers in check. Note the red highlighted shooting percentages in the table. What the 'Cats gave up in 3s, they more than made up for in defensive rebounding (see the OR% line above). The 'Cats went ice cold in the 2nd half, except at the free throw line -- note Villanova's point distribution for the 2nd half was a disquieting 41.2-17.6-41.2 (2s-3s-FTs) -- the 'Cats scored as much from the free throw line as they did from 2 point field goals.

Notes & Observations
1. Rebounding was an area of concern coming into the season. The Wildcats have registered their second strong outing against (a more...) experienced front court. Taylor King, Antonio Pena, Maurice Sutton and Corey Stokes have proven to be an effective front court rotation. Dominic Cheek, for the time he logged was effective on the defensive boards too.
2. Antonio Pena's double-double streak ended at two, as the junior bfc scored 13 points (on 4-5, 5-8 shooting), but grabbed only 7 rebounds. Pena, matched against Dayton's 6-10 Twin Towers, Devan Searcy and Kurt Huelsman, logged 19 minutes while dealing with 4 personals. 7 rebounds in 19 minutes is not bad at all.
3. Taylor King missed logging his first double-double by a single rebound. The sophomore transfer scored 14 points and snagged 9 rebounds in 31 minutes of play.

Ref Notes
Lee Cassell, Terry Davis and Rick Randall worked the game. This was the second consecutive game for Randall, who was involved in the foul-fest versus George Mason on Thursday. It must have been the other two zebras (Terry Oglesby and Gerry Pollard), as this trio whistled 40 fouls between the two teams (23 against Dayton, 17 against Villanova), contrast to the extraordinary 54 fouls (which translated into 76 FTAs between the two teams), a number more consistent with Villanova's first two home games.

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