Saturday, February 19, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Villanova 77, DePaul 75
By Scott Powers
ROSEMONT, Ill. -- A quick look at DePaul's 77-75 overtime loss to Villanova at the Allstate Arena on Saturday.
How it happened: Two words, one player: Corey Fisher. Fisher wasn’t going to let Villanova lose this one. He scored seven points in the final 1:13 of regulation. He sent the game into overtime with a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining. He scored seven points, dished out one assist, grabbed two rebounds and had two steals in overtime. He finished with 34 points, shot 11 of 18 from the field, 5 of 8 from 3-point range, 7 of 9 from the line, and added five rebounds, one assist and three steals. Without him, DePaul would have pulled off the biggest upset of the Big East season.
ESPN SportsCenter highlight of the game: With DePaul leading 72-69 and Villanova on the verge of being upset, Fisher came off a screen, dribbled left, stopped, popped and drained a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.
Stat of the game: Outside of Fisher, Villanova won the game with second-chance opportunities on the offensive glass. The Wildcats grabbed 15 offensive rebounds.
Player of the game: Fisher. See above.
DePaul player of the game: Jeremiah Kelly is playing his best basketball off the season. Coming off a 23-point game in a win over Providence, Kelly followed up with a career-high 25 points and seven 3-pointers against Villanova.
What it means: Villanova will feel fortunate to pull this one out, especially without Corey Stokes, who missed the game with turf toe. DePaul had a number of chances to put the Wildcats away, and Villanova was able to survive. For DePaul, it was another step forward. The Blue Demons knocked the Big East monkey off their back when they ended their 25-game conference losing streak on Thursday against Providence, and they entered Saturday with a ton of confidence. DePaul will come away from Saturday’s loss disappointed, but first-year coach Oliver Purnell has the program slowly turning the corner.