Wildcats Led by 10 With 10 Minutes Left, But the Boilermakers Overcame the Deficit
November 21, 2021 –
The #5 Villanova Wildcats held a lead late into the second half, but a rally by the #6 Purdue Boilermakers overcame the lead. Purdue wins the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic at the Mohegan Sun Arena 80 – 74. Villanova Coach Jay Wright felt it was the ‘little things’ that went in favor of the Boilermakers.
“We played well, but when you play in a game like that, there are a lot of little plays down the stretch, a foul shot here, defensive possession there, turnover here, little things that cost you,” said Wright.
“They made less mistakes and executed what they do over the forty minutes. That’s why they are a good team.
Let’s set the stage.
With just over ten minutes on the clock the Wildcats took an 10-point lead at 51 – 41 on a Justin Moore jumper. The Boilermakers responded by making 11 consecutive field goal attempts mostly on dunks or three’s that accounted for the next 33 points and a 74 – 65 hill too steep for Nova to climb with only a minute left to play. Zach Edey converted 3 dunks during that stretch on his way to a game-high 21 points. Isaiah Thompson drained three from beyond the arc at that time on his way to 12 points. Only Caleb Furst and Trevion Williams made a shots that were not a slam or from distance in that critical part of the game.
Adding to the Wildcats woes was missing 4 of 7 from the free throw line over the last ten minutes. For the game Villanova converted 9 of 17 from the charity stripe.
“I think we didn’t do the little things down the stretch,” said Nova guard Justin Moore, who scored a team-high 19 points. “Rebounding, turnovers, they capitalized on our mistakes. It’s the little things that we have to get back to work and correct.”
Purdue played 10 players, 7 Villanova players saw the floor with the starters playing all but 25 minutes in the game. The Boilermakers seemed to wear the Wildcats down with their strength and depth.
“If we kept our guys fresh they might not have made the mistakes at the end,” Wright said. “It’s where we are as a team right now. We have a lot of growth ahead of us. A lot to learn.”
For the Wildcats Caleb Daniels scored 17 points off the bench including 5 of 7 from the three-point line. Collin Gillespie sank four from distance, half of his attempts. As a team Nova went 13 of 34 from downtown. For the game they converted 44.8% from the floor and 38.2% from three-point land.
Purdue was good on 52.7% of their shots, making 19 of 32 from inside the arc and had a 38 – 18 advantage in points in the paint. The Boilermakers rebounded the ball 38 times to 26 for the Wildcats.
Villanova (3 – 2) takes a short break during the Thanksgiving holiday. They return to action next Sunday meeting La Salle in a Big Five game at the Palestra.
Written By: Glenn Papazian