These are the shooting numbers that did the Wildcats in as they lost to #7 Oklahoma Sooners 78-55 on Monday night.
After coming off a seven game win streak, Villanova traveled to Hawaii to take on the Sooners in a game that was played in honor of the 74th anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Oklahoma came right out of the gates with a barrage of threes. Mainly fueled by their excellent press break, the Sooners had the Wildcats on their heels early on. The Villanova starters tried to match the same success. However, they came up dry from deep early and often. Oklahoma was able to double up their opponents with a 20-10 lead halfway through the first half.
“We have not started well any game this season and to do it against a team like that and to try to come from behind against a team like that, you’re going to be in trouble and that’s what happened,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said.
Despite the slow start, Villanova was able to get back into the game by virtue of the bench play. Guard Phil Booth and forward Mikal Bridges provided some energy off the bench and contributed on the defensive end. The defensive effort led to some momentum on offense and Villanova was able to tie the game at 26 late in the first.
A late 6-0 run by Oklahoma gave the Sooners a six point advantage going into half.
The second half was highlighted by a number of errors on the offensive and defensive end for Villanova. While it did persist throughout the game, poor shot selection and shoddy perimeter defense allowed Oklahoma to open up the flood gates early in the half. Three pointers from big man Ryan Spangler and guards Isaiah Cousins and Jordan Woodard, extended the lead to 15 going into the first media timeout of the second half.
The Wildcats were able to cut into the lead as Booth and Ryan Arcidiacono hit shots on consecutive possessions to cut the lead to eight. However, this would be the closest the Wildcats would get for the rest of the night.
More hot shooting from the Buddy Hield and friends, on top of the game long dry spell for Villanova from the field, proved to be the proverbial dagger. The Sooners put the finishing touch on the game with a 16-6 run, putting the final score at 78-55.
The onslaught by the Sooners was led by star players Isaiah Cousins and Buddy Hield. Cousins finished with a team high 19 points and was a perfect 4-for-4 from downtown. Hield finished with a near team high 18 points, and shot an efficient four of nine from three.
The senior leadership proved to be infectious as the team had five players finish with double digit points (Cousins, Hield, Woodard, Spangler, and Dinjiyl Walker).
“Coach always preaches moving the basketball and we can’t be selfish,” Hield said. “That’s how we make plays for each other and we’ve got to be an unselfish team, and everybody is going to be able to get shots up. Isaiah did a great job facilitating the ball.”
As a team, Oklahoma finished 46.7% from the field and a staggering 53.8% from beyond the arc.
On the Villanova side, the numbers were not pretty. An ugly shooting percentage of 31.7% overall coupled with a pitiful 12.5% from three-point range was a recipe for disaster and the blowout that had occurred.
Booth, Arcidiacono, and Josh Hart led the Wildcats with ten points apiece. Daniel Ochefu was the best Villanovan on the boards as he finished with a ten, nine of the defensive variety. Bridges proved to be the jack of all trades guy tonight as he contributed five points, six boards, and a team high three steals.
Villanova will be back in action this Sunday, as they take on Big Five rival La Salle at the Pavilion.