Villanova Basketball

Villanova basketball clinches Big East title.

This game was a huge one for both teams. With a win, Villanova basketball would win the conference outright. However, if Creighton basketball won, they would need to win against Butler or have the Wildcats lose against Providence on Saturday. Coach Greg McDermott is also under fire for a comment made earlier in the week about his players. This may have been a distraction for Creighton basketball. Coach McDermott has apologized and is hoping to move on from the comment.

The Wildcats came in ready to play, even with Collin Gillespie missing six minutes and 38 seconds of the first half with a knee injury and would not return. At one point, the team leads 42-23. Justin Moore led the team in scoring with 10 points and going four-for-four from the field and two-for-two from the 3-point range. Villanova basketball took 33 shots made 18 of them. The Wildcats also went six-for-seventeen from beyond the arc. Villanova had 13 assists on 18 made baskets in the first half. Meanwhile, Creighton basketball could not get things rolling.

The team shot an abysmal 29.0% from the field and 25.0% from the 3-point range. Taking 31 shots, the Bluejays made just nine of those baskets. The Bluejays took 16 3-pointers and only made four of them. The Wildcats really dominated the Bluejays in every category in the first half. Coach Jay Wright came out with a plan and executed it very well. Now, it was up to coach McDermott to turn it around for the Bluejays.

Despite a late run by Creighton, Villanova basketball was able to pull off the win and clinch the Big East regular-season title. The Wildcats won 72-60 over the Creighton Bluejays. Justin Moore showed up in a big way scoring 24 points going 9-for-12 from the field, 3-for-5 from 3-point range, added 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl was another asset for Villanova basketball, recording a double-double scoring 14 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists. Meanwhile, Creighton basketball’s star player was Damien Jefferson, who scored 13 points, added 8 rebounds, and 4 assists.

1) Ball Movement

In the first half, Villanova basketball dished the ball very well, finding open shooters and knocking down shots. The Wildcats will need to continue to move the ball quickly and make smart passes. This is an area that Creighton basketball will need to work on. The Bluejays could not seem to get rolling and only had five assists in the first half to Villanova’s 13.

In the second half, it looked like the game was going to more of the same. Creighton basketball had something to say about it, moving the basketball and making shots. Villanova basketball led by as much as 22 points, but with under six minutes left in the second half, the Bluejays had cut the lead to only 7. Creighton basketball had added nine assists to the Wildcats’ six. Villanova basketball had built up enough of a lead and continued to move the ball well. The Wildcats’ added eight total assists for the second half for a total of 21 assists.

2) Communication

This is an area that Villanova basketball dominated in the first half. The wildcats were making switches, boxing out, helping, and disrupting all parts of the game for Creighton basketball. Meanwhile, Creighton was getting crossed up and doubling players. To have hope, the Bluejays will need to communicate on defense or potentially switch to a zone. Unfortunately, the zone defense would play into Villanova basketball’s game plan as the team would prefer to slow the game down, and this would be an asset to the Wildcats.

This really showed up in the second half for Creighton basketball. The team was able to make stops and communicate switches. Villanova basketball started failing as the team switched to a zone defense and lost some of the intensity they played within the first half. Beyond that, the team had a few miscues that led the Bluejays to steal an inbound pass for an easy layup at a critical point in the game bringing the Wildcats to lead down to only five. Villanova basketball was able to come up with crucial stops down the line and hold the Bluejays off.

 

3) Drive the ball

Creighton basketball seemed to have some success driving the ball. The Bluejays were able to get to the foul line four times in the first half. Unfortunately, the team only made one of the free-throws. The Bluejays will need to raise the foul count against Villanova basketball and hope that the Wildcats crash down and allow for more chances to dish the ball out for an open shot.

The other option is that the driving player can dish it off to a big man down low as he draws to defensive players. Creighton basketball battled back by knocking down their shots and driving the basketball. Collin Gillespie not being on the floor could really be felt in the game for Villanova basketball. The team seemed to lack the leadership on the floor but could do enough to seal up a win.

This is the shot that put away the game. The team created some separation and was able to seal up the win. Villanova basketball will travel to play against Providence Friars on Saturday, March 6, 2021. Creighton basketball will host the Butler Bulldogs on Saturday, March 6, 2021.

In interviews after the game, Coach Wright indicated that there is some serious worry surrounding Collin Gillespie. CBBReviews’ thoughts and prayers are with him, and hoping for a speedy recovery. Everyone is hoping that Collin can play his senior year in the NCAA tournament. Villanova basketball will definitely need his leadership. After losing the chance last year, it would be extremely frustrating for the Wildcat fanbase and college basketball to play without Collin Gillespie.

 

Featured Image from Villanova Athletics Twitter (@NovaAthletics)

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