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Villanova-Robert Morris insights

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  March 18, 2010 02:02 PM

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Villanova coach Jay Wright said the reason he didn't start Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher was to convey a ``minor teaching moment.'' Wright indicated that no team rules were broken, but it seemed like an odd time to hammer his point home, especially in today's first-round matchup against No. 15 seed Robert Morris.

Reynolds was up off the bench, peeling off his warmup, with 16:09 to go and the Wildcats in control of a 7-5 lead. Fisher entered the game at 15:28.

Reynolds wound up struggling in the first half, going 0-for-5 from the field (0 for 4 from the 3-point arc) but scored 4 points (all from the foul line) to go along with 2 turnovers.

Reynolds didn't his first basket of the game until the second half, when he buried a baseline jumper for Villanova's first basket of the half, pulling the Wildcats, who trailed at the half 28-22, within 28-24.

All five starters of Robert Morris's basketball team came over to the media table before the game to give a fist-bump to its radio team seated courtside opposite the Colonials bench. It was a classy gesture by the lads.

Spotted in the crowd: Patriot running backs Kevin Faulk and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who were seated next to the Colonioals pep band. Interestingly enough, the Colonials mascot bore a striking resemblance to Pat Patriot, which probably explained why Faulk and Green-Ellis sat where they did. St. Joseph's coach Phil Martelli was also spotted sitting in the stands. Martelli's second-oldest son, Jimmy, is an assistant on the Robert Morris staff.

Reynolds continues to struggle from the field. After making his first basket of the game with 19:34 remaning in the second half, he's missed his last seven shots in a row. With 2:03 to go, Reynolds had12 points, the last six coming from the foul line. Reynolds tied it, 54-54, with 1:48 to go when he hit two more free throws, giving him 14 points, the last eight points from the line.

Reynolds went to the line with a chance to give Villanova its first lead since 9-8 and he missed the second of two attempts, giving him 15 points, the last nine from the foul line. Not to be outdone, Robert Morris guard Karon Abraham answered with a driving layup for a 58-56 lead.

The game has gone into overtime and in one of those statistical anomalies, Scottie Reynolds led all Villanova scorers with 15 points in regulation, but missed his last eight field goals.

With 57.3 seconds left, a tussle seemed to break out in Robert Morris' huddle. What it was, however, was Gary Wallace lighting up Russell Johnson for the hang-dog expression he wore. Atlhough the Wildcats led, 68 -63, there was still time left for the Colonials to pull within 68-67 on a pair of foul shots by Josiah Whitehead and an inbounds steal and layup by Mezie Nwigwe with 35.5 seconds to go.

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