Hoya’s bark, worse than bite

James Evans

A close first half battle with rival Georgetown turned into a blowout in the second half, as the ‘Cats continued there success on the road with a 75-60 win over the Hoyas at the MCI-Center last night.

‘Nova was led by sophomore Curtis Sumpter who was there go to guy all night long. Sumpter scored 24 points, while grabbing five boards and his acrobatic lay-up at the 13 minute mark of the second half gave the ‘Cats a 43-42 lead, and started the a 15-0 run for ‘Nova and gave them a lead that they would not reciprocate.

“Curtis was so active tonight,” head coach Jay Wright said. “On the offensive end, defensive end, cutting to the hoop, making plays, that was a big time game by him.”

Sumpter, who struggled in the St. Joe’s game shooting 1-14, definitely made up for it tonight, by hitting 9-11 from the field, including sinking both of his three-point attempts.

“I came out not wanting to put up so many shots, but instead wanted to try and do it on the defensive end and work on grabbing boards,” Sumpter said. “My shots just started to fall.”

The ‘Cats 15-0 run in the second half to put the game away was highlighted by senior Derrick Snowden who hit three consecutive three’s.

“They were pressuring the other guards and left me open,” Snowden said. “I just set my feet and hit them.”

The game was a homecoming for Snowden who is from the D.C. area.

“I had 60 people at this game,” Snowden said. “I grew up only 10 minutes away from here [MCI Center], so it was real special for me to come down here an perform the way I did.”

Snowden, who had surgery on a torn ACL in late August, had slowly been working his way back into the line-up. And tonight there were flashes of the brilliance that he has displayed his whole career at Villanova.

“I am so proud of him,” Wright said. “It’s been a such a long road back for him, but he started out playing well defensively tonight and then he started hitting his shots.”

The ‘Cats also received solid contributions from Jason Fraser and Allan Ray.

Fraser opened the game scoring the teams first six points, all coming on slam dunks and finished with eight points total. He also was aggressive on the glass, leading the ‘Cats with eight rebounds, four on both the defensive and offensive.

Ray struggled shooting the ball last night, hitting 3-10 of shots and scoring 12 points, but really started focusing on grabbing rebounds, as he had seven and dished out four assists.

The win for the ‘Cats improved their record to 13-8 overall and 5-3 in the Big East. The ‘Cats however, seem to do better on the road when it comes to Big East games as they are a staggering 3-1 on the road this year.

“At the beginning of the season we wanted other teams to fear us coming into their house,” Sumpter said.

And with that record no team will be welcoming Villanova with open arms.

The ‘Cats return to the hardwood this coming Wednesday, when they host the Providence Friars in the Pavilion. The game will be the second meeting between the ‘Cats and the Friars this year, the Friars got the best of the ‘Cats in January, winning 62-56.